How much does britney spears dancers get paid

How I Became a Backup Dancer for Britney Spears

Pam Chu practically grew up in a dance studio, training from the age of 3. After graduating from a performing arts college, she moved sight unseen to L.A. and ended up sidetracked for five years. But still, she trained. A chance online encounter led Chu to sign with an agency that got her jobs on TV shows such as Scrubs, American Idol, and Dancing With the Stars. She performed with Cirque du Soleil, toured with Demi Lovato, and danced with the Rockettes. Chu is currently performing alongside Britney Spears in her Las Vegas residency show, "Britney: Piece of Me" at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Chu, 37, shares her story about realizing her dream career through hard work and a little luck.

My mom put me in dance classes when I was young to help contain my energy, and I kind of never looked back. When I was 9, I spent so much time at the dance studio that my mom [eventually] took a job as a receptionist. Most of my friends who danced didn't go to my high school [in Wisconsin], so I wasn't a part of the high school things. So much of my time was being pulled away for dance — and I was actually good at it. I thought, This could be something I could do.

After high school, I went to Point Park College in Pittsburgh. At the time it was a very small conservatory of dance. My concentration was jazz dance, but I studied everything. I was exposed to a lot of different choreographers because the college would bring in dance companies to [teach] us. For me, there was really no other option [than dance].

My first professional job was working for Universal Dance Association (UDA), who hosts a national cheerleading competition for college teams. They also have dancers. I taught jazz and technique on their tour the summer after my freshman year. The next summer I got hired at Walt Disney World and danced for three months in Tomorrowland.

Denise Truscello

At Point Park, you are groomed to be a concert dancer, which is supposed to lead to joining a dance company and performing in theaters on stages. I was not interested in dancing in a dance company. I was interested in commercial dance — TV, film, and live stage shows. I didn't want to move to Chicago because I'm from Wisconsin and it felt too close. I didn't want to move to New York because most of the work was for Broadway dancers. So after I graduated, I moved to L.A. in late 2000. I knew nothing about L.A. I just had some friends who graduated with me who had the same idea, so we moved out there together.

There weren't many technical auditions for jazz dancers. They were mostly for hip-hop or dancing for a pop artist, and I didn't really know what it meant to dance for a pop artist. I didn't even know how to dress for these auditions. So I had to get a job.

I started teaching at a dance studio called Dance Precisions, which was incredible, but sort of my demise because I put all my time into that dance studio and didn't go to any auditions. After about two years, I started working in the fashion industry as an office manager in a downtown showroom. The problem with me is I want to be really good at whatever I do. It was supposed to be a part-time job, but I ended up working 9 to 6 for about two years. I was still taking dance classes in my time off, but not paying my bills as a dancer.


I wanted to get back into the dance world and at least have my presence be known. So I became the nighttime manager for Millennium Dance Complex in North Hollywood, which is a very well-known dance studio. I just wanted to be around dancers again. But working in the office, I didn't get an opportunity to dance with them. I was cutting the paychecks to all these incredible teachers who didn't know that I wanted to be a professional dancer too.

In 2006, everything changed. A woman named Anastasia Miller, who worked at UDA with me when I was a freshman in college, reached out to me after seeing my headshots online. She asked, "Are you in L.A.?" When I said, yes, she said, "Well, how come you're not working for this choreographer, and that choreographer?" Turns out she was the dance agent for Bloc Agency [a talent agency], and she wanted to sign me. I knew I had to focus and work extra hard. I was already older than many of the dancers who were booking the commercial dance jobs I was going for.

I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish in three, six and 12 months. And I accomplished everything in the first three months. I booked a role on the TV show Scrubs for their musical episode. It was a weeklong shoot and I was one of the six main dancers. After that, I landed a national commercial with Quiznos, shot a music video for a Disney movie, and booked appearances on American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing With the Stars. I just went for it, and with the help of Bloc, it worked. I've been able to support myself solely on dancing ever since.

Denise Truscello

In 2008, I auditioned for Cirque du Soleil because Wade Robson was the choreographer. [Robson rose to fame in the early '90s as the primary choreographer for artists such as Britney Spears and *NSYNC.] It was for the Criss Angel Believe show in Las Vegas. I became part of the original cast. The dancers were sent to Montreal for two to three months to work with Wade, the director, and our stage manager. We had the time of our lives, learning to fly on bungees and harnesses.

When we got to Las Vegas and they started integrating Criss Angel into the show, things started to change a little bit. Some things worked. A lot of things didn't. Because we were working with illusion, when something didn't go right, the dancers got cut or pieces got moved around. I finished my two-year contract and didn't resign.

The next thing I did was audition for the Radio City Rockettes. I got accepted and spent a season in New York City performing at the Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes. It was one of my favorite jobs, and one of the most challenging. We worked six days a week, and one day a week, we worked six shows a day.

Denise Truscello

Then I got a phone call from Wade to go on tour with Demi Lovato. He was the director of her "Unbroken" tour. This was before The X-Factor, before she had a no. 1 single. I had never been on tour before and I was so nervous, but this is what dancers do — throw us into something new and we'll learn really quickly.

In September 2013, I got an audition notice from Bloc that said, "Audition for Britney Spears resident show in Las Vegas." I wasn't going to go. I didn't know the choreographers and they didn't know me. They had their Asian girl already — and she was amazing. In this industry, you kind of know where you fit in. Since everyone is trying to cast diverse, in auditions, they end up putting us in little groups of like-cultured people — the Asian girls, the redheads, the ethnic girls, the tall girls. At the end, there's usually only one Asian. But my friend Deirdre called me the night before the audition and said, "Pam, I think you've got this. You should go." And that's the only reason I went.

At the audition, I remember having a feeling like, I want to get this. You have to psych yourself up and you have to believe you can get it. You have to have that confidence without being arrogant.

From the way the choreographers were teaching, I knew they wanted people who had technique, style, and would dance full out all the time. I knew not to sit down in the audition — ever. We were there for nine hours. They didn't tell us how many people they were hiring. They told me, "You have a callback, but it's not for three weeks."

The day we were scheduled for the callback, I was supposed to be in Kalamazoo, Michigan, doing a residency for chuthis. , a nonprofit dance company run by my dear friend Peter Chu [no relation]. I asked, "Guys, I don't think I can come to the callback, how important is it?" And the assistant choreographer said, "You have to come. Britney will be here and she needs to see everybody." I said, "Done, I'll make it happen."


The day before the audition, I had to teach all day with chuthis., then take a Greyhound bus from Kalamazoo to Chicago, to take the last red-eye flight to L.A. The Greyhound bus was late and then made a stop for dinner. I called my friend from high school who lives in Chicago and who I hadn't seen in three years. She came to pick me up. I made it to my gate just in time.

[At the audition,] we all danced for Britney, and then she said, "OK," and got up and left. As dancers, you're used to working with stars. But we all were like, That is BRITNEY SPEARS! She is an icon. There were seven girls in the room and 10 men. Nobody knew what was happening. They started measuring us. Finally the choreographers came up and officially offered us the contract. I'd never cried at an audition before then.

This is definitely the most exciting part of my career and something I still cannot believe I get to do. Working on a residency show is the most incredible schedule. The next two years, we will work a month on and a month off. All of the dancers live in L.A. and just rent when we have to be in Vegas. When we are on, we have three shows a week. Honestly, that's all I could do because the show is so demanding.

Britney is so sweet. She's very quiet and reserved, and she's also very goofy. I don't feel like she's my boss even though I know she is. She's had a lot of input in the revamp of the show. We have an all-girls number now that is so sexy because Britney wanted it. I think it's hard for artists to get close with their dancers sometimes — or with anyone — because it's such a solitary life. You're working so hard and you don't know who you can trust. But I really feel like Britney trusts us.

In my off time, I dance with chuthis., and I am on the board. I also teach with Adrenaline Dance Convention, where I travel around the U.S. working with kids and teachers. I want to dance as long as I have the same integrity that I did when I started. My passion has grown as I've gotten older. I feel like I'm at the top of my game because I have put so much time into it. I feel so lucky for everything I've accomplished, but I also know I've earned it.

Get That Life is a weekly series that reveals how successful, talented, creative women got to where they are now. Check back each Monday for the latest interview.

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‘Britney was broken. I’ve been broken and it’s horrible’: Elton John on helping Britney Spears sing again | Elton John

This July, in a small basement studio in Beverly Hills surrounded by candles, coloured lights, keyboards and her new husband, Britney Spears rebooted her music career. Six years since her last album, and nine months since she was freed from the conservatorship that had ruled her life for 13 years, she was at the home studio of producer Andrew Watt, recording her parts for Hold Me Closer – a duet with Elton John which mashes up perhaps his defining hit, 1971’s Tiny Dancer, with his 1992 song The One (and a dash of 1976’s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart).

Spears arrived with her vocals warmed up and determined ideas about her contribution, and nailed the performance in less than two hours. “She sang fantastically,” says John from his house in the south of France. “Everyone was saying they don’t think she can sing any more. But I said, she was brilliant when she started so I think she can. And she did it, and I was so thrilled with what she did.”

Released today, the euphoric Hold Me Closer follows Cold Heart, John’s 2021 duet with Dua Lipa, which combined his hits Rocket Man, Sacrifice, Kiss the Bride and Where’s the Shoorah? and made him the first solo artist to score a UK Top 10 single in six different decades. “I want to do one every year for a fun, happy summer record,” says John. After he and Watt created the new Tiny Dancer remix, they weren’t sure who to invite in as guest vocalist. Then John’s husband, David Furnish, had an idea. “He said it would be wonderful for Britney Spears to do it,” John says, as the pair sit side by side the day after he surprised diners in a Cannes restaurant with an impromptu performance of the song. “I said, that’s a pretty amazing idea. She hadn’t done anything for so long. I’d been following what’s been happening to her for a long time.”

The single Hold Me Closer.

John had been an admirer since day one. “She just put out incredibly brilliant records,” he says. “She sang and danced so beautifully.” They first met at his Aids foundation Oscars viewing party in 2013, and she was “lovely – adorable”. And they had their respective Las Vegas residencies at the same time, her at Planet Hollywood, him at Caesars Palace. But even though they often stayed in the same apartment block, “we didn’t really see each other”, says John.

Given what we now know, it’s hard to imagine many people saw Spears at that time. In her fearsome testimony to a court hearing on her conservatorship in June 2021, Spears said she was punished and put on lithium for rejecting some new choreography during the residency, and likened herself to a slave, earning millions for the controllers of the arrangement, including her father, Jamie Spears, while being allocated a $2,000 weekly allowance herself.

Elton John during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in New Orleans in January. Photograph: Derick Hingle/AP

In January 2019, she cancelled the residency and announced an “indefinite work hiatus”. Soon after, the #FreeBritney movement went mainstream, convinced – accurately, it would transpire – that Spears was being exploited and abused. In September 2021, the New York Times released the documentary Framing Britney Spears, detailing her fight with her father. John watched it. “You forget she was the biggest star in the whole world at that time. And to see what happened to her makes me so angry. What happened to her shouldn’t have happened to anybody.”

Spears was freed from her conservatorship by a judge in November 2021. The following month, she said that her experiences had left her scared of the music industry, with no intention of picking up her career. “Not doing my music any more is a way of saying ‘fuck you’,” she wrote on Instagram. But she didn’t need any convincing to join John for the duet, he says.

It’s very hard for young musicians today to jumpstart a career. But I’m Uncle Elton. They can phone me

Spears was going to fly to London to record with John, but she was in the middle of her honeymoon after her wedding to the Iranian American model and actor Sam Asghari – having been restricted from marrying or managing her own birth control under the conservatorship – and so recorded with Watt at his studio in Los Angeles. He had never met her before. When she arrived, they talked about music they loved. “She asked me who my favourite artists were – Prince – and I asked her who hers was. She said Elton John,” says Watt. “The song meant so much to her, and you can hear it in her vocal performance. She’s singing her ass off.”

It was as if no time had passed since Spears last stepped inside a studio, Watt adds. “She was so prepared. She had spent time with the record and knew how she wanted to do it.” To construct the song, he explains meticulously, he took the guitar from Tiny Dancer, originally buried so low in the mix you could hardly hear it, and fiddled with the tempo. Extracting the original bass and strings and speeding them up gave it a disco feel. To amplify that sense of transcendence, he punctuated the song with a scale-climbing, heaven-bound sample of “hold me closer”. And John played new Rhodes piano (those are his original vocals).

Music producer Andrew Watt in his home studio in Los Angeles. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Watt is 31, the prime age to have been a huge childhood Spears fan with her posters on his wall. He was now faced with one of the biggest pop stars of all time recording her instantly identifiable, strobing, rasping vocals in the same room. “She’s unbelievable at layering her voice and doubling, which is one of the hardest things to do. She really pushed herself, vocally. Sometimes when you produce, the greatest thing in the world you can do is say nothing, so I just let her do her thing. She’s so good at knowing when she got the right take. She took complete control.”

Spears recorded the falsetto parts first, then the lines where she belts. Watt never had to ask her to do anything, and watched as she exacted her own high standards. “She kept going: ‘Nope, again, again, again.’” Then she had an “amazing idea”, he says. “She wanted to listen to the music a bunch of times and she started doing all her incredible ad libs that make the record so her. Tiny Dancer with her voice is special enough, but then she went through and did all these amazing runs.”

Once they had recorded, Spears was “incredibly specific” about how she wanted her vocals and levels mixed, he says. “She was really collaborative and had really good ideas about the production. She’s an expert in music to make you dance.” (Spears’s primary form of performance in recent years has been posting self-choreographed dance videos to Instagram.) “So many of her records are pop perfection, she worked with the greatest of all time and made timeless pop. We experimented with speeding the record up and turning certain elements of the sound up to get it pumping and make you wanna dance.”

Britney Spears performing in San Jose, California in 2016. Photograph: Steve Jennings/WireImage

Given how disempowered Spears has said she was in the process of making her own music during the conservatorship, she must have felt liberated to wield her expertise in the studio, I suggest. “We didn’t really get into that,” says Watt. “She came there to sing and record. She’s so pro. And if that was something that she was thinking about, she put it all into the record.”

It was afterwards, John admits, that Spears needed some convincing that releasing the track was the right thing to do. (On 25 August, she tweeted about being “kinda overwhelmed … it’s a big deal to me !!!”) “We had to get her to approve what she did,” he says. “She’s been away so long – there’s a lot of fear there because she’s been betrayed so many times and she hasn’t really been in the public eye officially for so long. We’ve been holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be alright.

“I’m so excited to be able to do it with her because if it is a big hit, and I think it may be, it will give her so much more confidence than she’s got already and she will realise that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy. That’s all anybody in their right mind would want after she went through such a traumatic time.”

John is no stranger to helping musicians experiencing difficulties whether in their personal or professional lives, from George Michael, Robbie Williams and Geri Horner (Halliwell) in the 90s to contemporary artists such as Lewis Capaldi, the xx’s Oliver Sim and Sam Fender. He’s motivated by his memories of his own struggles, he says. “It’s hard when you’re young. Britney was broken. I was broken when I got sober. I was in a terrible place. I’ve been through that broken feeling and it’s horrible. And luckily enough, I’ve been sober for 32 years and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been. Now I’ve got the experience to be able to advise people and help them because I don’t want to see any artists in a dark place. A lot of artists, you’d think they’d have a lot of self-esteem but they don’t, and that’s why we go onstage and we get the applause, and then we come offstage and we’re back to square one.”

He wants musicians to “enjoy what they’re doing and feel that they’re worthwhile”, he says. “They deserve to be happy and to be loved and to have an affirmation from someone like me. When I first went to America, I had affirmations from Leon Russell, George Harrison, the Band, Neil Diamond – it made me so happy. It makes you realise they cared and it gave me validation that what I was doing was OK.

The artists as children on the Hold Me Closer artwork.

Peer support is one thing: should the industry be better regulated to support musicians and prevent exploitation? “It’s down to having a good manager for a start,” says John. “Someone who’s with you 24/7, who believes in you. It’s all about reaching out. I never reached out and asked for help because I thought, I’m too proud – it will make me feel weak. A lot of these artists don’t reach out for help, so I find out and ring up and then we get together.

“I don’t really know about the music industry. Everyone’s got a different case. It’s very hard for young musicians today to jumpstart a career. Sam Fender has done it with his second record. Little Simz has been fantastic, but she couldn’t go to America because she didn’t have the money to do her tour, which is a disaster for her because the record is doing quite well in America. So there’s a lot of pressure. It is what it is. But I’m Uncle Elton. They can phone me.”

As for Spears, she tweeted before the release that she’s learning “every day is a clean slate to try and be a better person and do what makes me happy … I want to be fearless like when I was younger.

“Rehabilitation is such a wonderful thing for anybody,” says John. “And I’m just crossing my fingers that this will restore her confidence in herself to get back into the studio, make more records, and realise that she is bloody good.”

Hold Me Closer is out now.

How much do Chippendale dancers get paid? –

Chippendales Salaries

Position Salary
Salary of dancers - 3 salaries declared $32,936 / year
Salary of male exotic dancers - reported 1 salary $205,954 / year
Marketing salaries - reported 1 salary $88,847 / year
Production tour manager salary - reported 1 salary $87,045 / year

• January 24, 2022

Also, do the Chippendale dancers get tips?

We get paid plus tips. It differs. Every guy gets his own contract and every guy gets paid differently.

Do you need a strip license in Vegas then?

When you arrive in Las Vegas as a stripper, make sure you bring the following with you: 2 forms of ID (Driver's License, State ID, Social Security Card, Military ID, DD214, US Passport, Certificate of Naturalization, baptism certificate and Alien

Is that why the Chippendales film it all? The Chippendale men are dancers, not strippers. Yes, they film it all, but it's done with style.

How much do Chippendales make in Vegas? per year in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is 32.936% higher than Chippendale's median salary of $36,000 per year for this job.


Who was Chippendale's first black dancer?

Natalia: He was the only black dancer in the cast. Later, after he left Chippendales, Hodari decided he could start his own show after spending three years studying Banerjee's business moves.

Who is Chippendale's oldest dancer?

John Katsilometes finds the world's oldest stripper, Bernie Barker, 66, who was discovered in the Chippendales Las Vegas Sun.

Why is it called a gentlemen's club?

Each time, hundreds of thousands of men got the vote, and it was common for them to feel like they had been elevated to the status of a gentleman, so they looked for a club.

Can I gamble in Vegas at 18?

Legal age of gambling in Las Vegas, Nevada

The minimum gambling age in the United States is 18, but most states, including Nevada, have a minimum gambling age of 21. In Las Vegas, Nevada, you must be over 21 years of age to play at a casino, location, or online casino.

How much does a Las Vegas dance license cost?

The total fees due on filing an application is $450 ($400 license + $50 processing). If your business is approved to operate from your home and you reside within the Las Vegas city limits, an additional $50 one-time homework permit fee is required. Make a check to CITY OF LAS VEGAS.

How old do you have to be to go to Chippendales?

Must be 18 years of age or older to attend. Men are welcome.

Is there a movie about the Chippendales?

At the height of New Regency, Bold Films and Chippendales from Permut Productions, a film that tells a crazy story full of murders, mayhem and tough guys behind an exotic male revue.

What happened to the founder of Chippendales?

But the hitman got cold feet and reported it to the FBI, which led to a break in the De Noya murder. Banerjee was arrested and in 1994 pleaded guilty to racketeering and murder and committed suicide. Before sentencing, he handed over the company to his wife, Irina, and hanged himself in a prison cell.

Who owns the Chippendales?

Somen "Steve" Banerjee (Bengali: সোমেন বন্দোপাধ্যায়; October 8, 1946 – October 23, 1994) was an Indian-born American entrepreneur and founder of Chippendales.

Somen Banerjee.

Somen "Steve" Banerjee
Other names Steve Banerjee
occupation entrepreneur, promoter
Known Founder of Chippendales

How old do you have to be to go to Chippendales?

Must be 18 or older to attend.

Chippendales closed?

Caesars Entertainment is closing Chippendales and other smaller shows. LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Caesars Entertainment has made the decision to close several of its smaller venues and shows in Las Vegas, according to a statement Friday.

Who killed the chippendale owner?

Three and a half years after their deal was written on a napkin, Banerjee hired ex-cop Ray Colon to kill Nick De Noy. Colón, in turn, hired a man named Gilberto Rivera Lopez, who at 1987 walked into De Noya's office in Manhattan and shot him in the face, killing him.

Who was the first Chip and Dale or Chippendales?

This upgraded version of the Chipmunks will make their first appearance as the main characters in the 1947 film Chip and Dale, directed by Hannah. Their names are a pun on the name "Chippendale" (a reference to furniture maker Thomas Chippendale).

Who is the oldest male stripper?

Retired nuclear engineer Bernie Barker was 60 years old when he started his new career: dancing for women. He has since been recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest male stripper. Hear his story in the Morning Edition.

What is the best age to be a stripper?

Strippers are actually between 18 and 50 years old and come in all shapes and sizes. If you've ever wanted to be a stripper but weren't sure if the profession is right for you, there are a few things you should carefully consider before making this decision.

How old are the original Chippendales?

Founded in 1979, the Chippendales were the first male striptease group to perform primarily for female audiences. Through the quality of the production and choreography, Chippendales also helped legitimize striptease as a form of popular entertainment.

What is the most exclusive club in London?

Members only: London's most exclusive clubs

  • Morton Club.
  • Home house.
  • Annabelle.
  • Ivy Club.
  • Arts Club.
  • Groucho Club.
  • 5 Hertford Street.
  • Shoreditch House.

Are children allowed in Vegas casinos?

You cannot bring children to the casino, so gambling is excluded. You cannot bring children to live performances because the shows are quite loud and your child will most likely disturb the other guests so there are none. You can't take kids to pool parties or nightclubs so that's out of the question.

Can a 20 year old go to a casino?

Depends where you are. Most US states require a minimum age of 21 to play at a land-based casino or online casino, but those aged 18 and over can play in person in more than 10 states where alcohol is illegal.

Can I use a fake ID for gambling?

If you enter the casino with a fake ID and win the jackpot, you will be checked and you will not be able to take your winnings home. Not only will you have to forfeit your winnings, but you will also run the risk of criminal prosecution, heavy fines, and even jail time.

90,000 Britney Spears and its guardianship: The history of the imprisonment and release

Illustration: PLOTRE/Peter Kozlov

The well-known American pop singer survived when the former male was fighting. for the right to custody of children. Then the father of Britney Jamie Spears received custody of his daughter. But then no one thought that the story would stretch for 13 years and acquire a criminal connotation. In June, Spears testified in court that under guardianship she was deprived of basic rights and could not protect them. They took away her phone so that she could not talk to a lawyer. And when she nevertheless hired a lawyer, she heard that she did not have enough legal capacity for this. What legal and ethical issues of guardianship raises this story, the authors of The New Yorker Ronan Farrow and Gia Tolentino told in their article.

On September 29, the court removed Britney Spears' father Jamie from custody of his daughter. But for now, she can manage her fortune only with the consent of the new temporary controller - certified accountant John Zabel. On November 12, Judge Brenda Penny will determine whether the guardianship can be terminated altogether and Britney released. A second hearing on December 13 will consider financial matters and additional motions.

In June 2021, Spears made shocking statements at a meeting: according to her, her father completely controlled her condition and personal life, forced her to go on tour and take medication, forbade her to marry and have children. She also stated that all these years she did not know about the right to file a petition to terminate guardianship, after which her lawyer Sam Ingham, who was suspected of deception, resigned. After that, she was represented by Sam Rosengart, who called Jamie "an evil, cruel and" toxic "person."

Life under the hood

Britney Spears, 39, has spent the last 13 years under guardianship. Guardianship allows other people to manage the personal, economic and legal aspects of the life of the ward. This legal institution is designed for those who cannot take care of themselves. At the same time, Britney Spears, while under guardianship, released four albums and held a world tour that grossed $131 million. But all the while, guardians, including her father Jamie Spears, controlled her expenses, communications and personal decisions.


Every Thursday at noon, about ten people in charge of legal, business, PR, and social media gathered to discuss merchandise deals, license requests, and Spears' Instagram and Twitter posts. Spears, according to her managers, usually writes posts in CrowdSurf - a company that manages her social networks and makes publications public. In rare cases, texts that dealt with legal issues were not published. "She shouldn't be discussing custody," says a team member.

On the eve of her custody hearing scheduled for July 23, Spears called 911 to report that she was a victim of abuse. This was told by a person close to Spears. Team members began to text anxiously as they did not know what she would say at the hearing and how to prepare. In court on the 23rd, a lawyer for the guardians requested that the judge close the courtroom while Spears testified. The pop star retorted, "It should be an open hearing, everyone better listen to what I have to say." Then, for the first time in years, she spoke for herself, furiously and so quickly that the judge constantly asked her to slow down so that the minutes of the trial could be taken. And the singer went directly to the judge: "Ma'am, my father, and everyone who was involved in this guardianship, and my management, which was also involved when I was punished for refusing to do anything, they should be in prison."

"Ma'am, my father, and everyone who was involved in this guardianship, and my management, who were also involved when I was punished for refusing to do anything, they should be in prison."

For the next 20 minutes, Spears described how she was isolated, drugged, used for money. She also blamed the California laws that allowed it to happen. She said that she had previously tried to go to court, but the complaints were ignored. Spears wanted to share the story publicly because "they benefited when it was a secret." “I was told that I was not allowed to name the people who did this to me,” Spears said. She later admitted that she just "wants to own her money and have her boyfriend drive her around."

This statement sounded provocative, but not at all surprising to those who knew how her guardianship worked. Andrew Gallery, a photographer who worked with Spears in 2008, attended the hearing and looked at the lawyers' faces on monitors. “When she spoke, I wanted to shout: “What the hell is going on?” But the lawyers had no reaction. They just sat there."

"When she spoke, I wanted to shout, 'What the hell is going on?' But the lawyers had no reaction.”

Spears' family placed the guardianship in part because they were genuinely concerned about her mental health 13 years ago, people close to them say. But money and fame divided the family. A legislative gap made it possible to deprive the singer of basic rights. Jacqueline Butcher, a former family friend who attended the hearing, admitted that she was sorry that she then offered to help with the establishment of guardianship. “Then I thought I was doing a good deed. But I helped corrupt loved ones get all that control.”

Child custody battle

In the spring of 2004, Spears met dancer Kevin Federline at a nightclub, and they were married six months later. She was very happy. “I have been singing since I was 16, traveled the length and breadth of the world and even kissed Madonna,” she wrote on her website two months after the wedding. “The only thing I didn’t do was I didn’t experience what is closest to God, I didn’t give birth to a child. I can not wait!"

Spears gave birth to two children, and shortly after the birth of the second filed for divorce. At a nightclub, Federline scribbled on the toilet wall: “Today I am a free man – to hell with my wife, give me my children, you bastard!” During the divorce, he requested sole custody. Preston was over a year old, and Jayden was still nursing. Spears wanted to be with them undivided, but the court ruled to divide the time between the two parents. Spears hated it when children were taken away and "didn't know what to do with herself then." In her free days, she became a target for the paparazzi. In February 2007, she shaved her head, and five days later she attacked a paparazzi car with an umbrella. These antics cemented the image of Spears as crazy. But she did all this after repeated refusals to see her children.


Some people close to Spears believe that she then had postpartum depression, someone talks about alcohol and drugs. The mother of the singer Lynn Spears and the father of her children insisted that she go to the clinic if she wants to spend more time with her children. She did so, but was discharged the very next day. As a result, the court gave the children to Federline, and Spears was allowed to visit them four times a week under the supervision of a court-appointed warden.

In early January 2008, when the time for contact with the boys came to an end again, Spears closed herself with the youngest child and the bathroom and refused to give it to the security guard who was supposed to take the children to their father. It was a desperate move, because the violation of the terms of the child custody agreement jeopardized the ability to see them at all. According to former Spears manager Sam Lutfi, Federline's lawyer called the police and firefighters, who called an ambulance. Reporters surrounded the house and broadcast live, with four helicopters flying over it. There were cops and firemen inside. “It was like a crime scene,” Lutfi recalls. I squeezed my way to the bathroom and opened the door, which wasn't even locked. Britney stood there rocking the sleeping baby to the sound of running water. I said that it should be given. She was just about to do it when firefighters rushed in, took the child away, and strapped her to a gurney.” It was an emergency psychiatric care that came for involuntary hospitalization. The singer was taken to the hospital, and the photos were scattered all over the media. As a result, Federline received sole custody of the children. Spears was thought to have put them in danger, but those close to her disagree. They believe that she was a good mother and simply did not want to part with them.

Britney Spears' three lawyers

After the mental health episode, Jamie consulted with his lawyers about Britney's custody. Her parents were seriously worried about her, in particular, they were afraid that the then management would rob her or impulsive decisions would lead her into debt. Three psychiatrists were asked to confirm the singer's mental illness. The third, James Spar, did it. [ Earlier this year, Spar said of Spears on a podcast, "I don't know why she's still in custody." — Approx. ed. ].

The legal process went quickly, Judge Reva Goetz announced that she was establishing custody. But, according to a Butcher family friend, no one testified, no questions were asked, and no one even spoke to Spears. Judge Goetz herself does not confirm this: according to her, lengthy consultations were held about Spears's health and she herself was given the opportunity to influence the decision [ in what way, it does not say. — Approx. ed. ].

California law requires wards to be given five days' notice before the guardianship takes effect. But the guardians petitioned not to do this, and Judge Goetz went forward.

Since the early days of the restrictions, Spears has protested against them. While she was in the hospital, she entered into a contract with a lawyer named Adam Streisand. He represented her at court hearings, where he directly stated that Spears did not want to have a father as his guardian. But the judge, based on the testimony and the report, decided that Spears did not have sufficient legal capacity to hire her own lawyer.

Spears' lawyer stated that she did not want to have her father as her guardian. But the court decided that she did not have sufficient legal capacity to hire her own lawyer.

Spears spoke to another lawyer, John Eardley, who attempted to move the case to federal court. But the lawyers who defended the custody argued that Spears could not have hired Eardley. At the same time, he had a recording of a telephone conversation with Spears, who said: "I want my life back."

Eardley filed a motion to take his client to court. He insisted: she "will give an honest testimony that she really authorized him to speak on her behalf." Eardley also wrote: “It is clear that the guardianship was planned long before it was established. It has been used as a weapon in the legal battle for children and for other illegal purposes." In yet another document, he claimed that the last time Spears tried to call him, her phone was taken away from her and the number was turned off the next day.

According to Jonathan Martinis of the Center for Disability Rights at Syracuse University, one of the most dangerous aspects of guardianship is that it prevents people from getting legal help on their own. “According to the outcome of a custody case, the same rights can be limited as in the outcome of a criminal case,” says Martinis. “But if Britney were found with an ax in one hand and a severed head in the other, she would have a right to a lawyer. In a custody case, she doesn't have the rights that an ax killer has."

Guardianship prevents people from obtaining legal assistance on their own. They are disadvantaged in comparison with murderers, who have the right to have a lawyer.

Spears tried to hire another lawyer - John Anderson. The singer's former manager Lutfi and Eardley's lawyer helped organize the secret meeting. On it, Spears signed papers on the provision of legal services. On January 27, 2009, Anderson notified Jamie's lawyers that he would seek recognition for Spears' right to hire an independent consultant, and wrote a statement about this. Then he spoke to them. On January 28, he sent a letter to Lutfi and Eardley: “I will not do anything or speak to anyone about this anymore. This is the end for me."

The Spears case didn't help Eardley's career either. In a later hearing, Jamie's lawyers stated that the audio recording of the conversation with the singer was forged. He was sued by the bar for attempting to represent Spears without being properly authorized to do so. He was later accused of writing the wrong bills to a client's trust account and was stripped of his status.

Custodial abuse

At first, Galleri says, no one seemed to think the guardianship would take that long, but in October 2008 it was extended indefinitely. As photographer Spears Gallery recalls, she once asked him to find him another lawyer and handed over a letter that outlined her story. But Jamie's team took the letter and squeezed Gallery out of Spears' entourage. Another story was recalled by the sister of the former manager of the pop star Latfi. In the shower of the fitness club, she secretly gave the singer a phone, covering it with a towel. Spears tried to contact a lawyer, but the housekeeper informed her father about this, and the phone was taken away.

In those years when his daughter depended on him, Jamie behaved cruelly: he allowed her to communicate with children only when she fulfilled his conditions, excluded from his social circle those who became close to her and could help, did not allow her to marry and have another child. According to Spears, she was forced to put in an intrauterine device to prevent her from becoming pregnant and was not allowed to see a doctor. The woman was forced to go on tour under pain of a lawsuit. [ Members of the care team deny this: according to them, she gladly agreed. — Approx. ed. ]. She had to take pills from the doctors that Jamie controlled. Many of those who saw Britney then said that she was aloof, depressed, did not joke or laugh. She, in her own words, was given $2,000 a week, regardless of how much she earned. Although only participation in the X-Factor brought $ 5 million. At the same time, Jamie paid from her own income for the services of lawyers who kept Britney under control.

Spears was given $2,000 a week, although only participation in the X-Factor brought in $5 million. At the same time, Jamie paid from her income for the services of lawyers who kept Britney under control.

In December 2020, despite everything, guardianship was extended until September 2021. Then the fans, who by that time had already launched the #FreeBritney movement ("Free Britney"), staged a thirty-day campaign to draw attention to this story. They called for support for legislation in California that would give wards the right to legal representation. Britney's fans have played a huge role in her release in general: the #FreeBritney movement has helped bring the issue into the public eye.

Guardianship issues and risks

Guardianship can protect the elderly or those with severe physical or mental disabilities. But there are various less strict types of it, one of which was installed over Spears. Formally, when extending, the court should check whether the guardianship remains necessary, and the guardian must prove that he has tried less restrictive measures. If not, then the restrictions are lifted. “But in practice, I have never heard a judge be interested in this,” says Zoe Brennan-Krohn, a disability rights lawyer.

People from Jamie's team claim that Spears is being manipulated by her men to get to her multi-million dollar fortune (now this is the singer's fiancé Sam Asgari, who supports her in her quest to become independent). Also, Jamie's people say she has a serious medical diagnosis that they can't talk about. "It's irresponsible to give her the freedom to do whatever she wants," says a team member.

The idea that the ward needs guardianship for a normal life, to some extent, reinforces itself, and it turns out a vicious circle. In this sense, experts say, her case is typical. Martinis, a disability rights lawyer, says it's impossible to escape in many cases, so there's room for abuse. In the worst cases, he says, "the strategy is to isolate, medicate and gain access to property." According to Martinis, if a person lives under care normally, this is considered proof that it is necessary. If there is a disorder with him under guardianship, they also conclude from this that guardianship is needed.

If a person lives under care normally, this is considered proof that care is needed. If there is something wrong with him, they also conclude from this that guardianship is needed.

Finally, freed, a person may face manipulation or a life crisis. And this is all the more likely, the more time he spent without the ability to manage his life. If such a misfortune occurs, it may again raise the issue of legal restrictions. “Our mistakes shape our personality and teach us, and bad decisions are part of human nature,” says Martinis. “Although we can promise the disabled that we will keep them from making mistakes, with the best of intentions.”

“There is a concept of the dignity of risk,” says lawyer Brennan-Krohn. “Most of us have a fairly large selection of bad decisions that are not socially stigmatized. But guardianship implies that everything is done in the best possible way in the interests of the ward.

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