The streaming service shared the official trailer for the new doco – due out next week – on its social media, prompting a comment from Sam Asghari.
“I hope the profit from these docs go towards fighting injustice #freebritney,” he wrote on Instagram.
While the pop star hasn’t directly commented on the look at her conservatorship battle, it’s said she doesn’t endorse the film.
“This is another unauthorised documentary without her blessing or participation,” a source told Page Six.
Similarly, the singer didn’t endorse the New York Times’ Framing Britney Spears documentary, which firmly brought her case into the media spotlight.
Netflix released the trailer for its upcoming Britney Spears documentary exactly one week ahead of her next conservatorship hearing.
It will debut on September 28, a day before the pop star heads back to court.
The return marks the most significant court hearing to date in the singer’s long and drawn-out legal battle. She is fighting for her freedom from the conservatorship that she’s been under for more than a decade, with her father, Jamie Spears, largely acting as her sole conservator.
In the trailer, the pop star’s voice is heard from an audio recording from her June 23 testimony at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse, where she addressed the court for the first time publicly, telling the judge that she is traumatised.
“I just want my life back,” she pleads.
“I’ve worked my whole life,” Spears’ voiceover is heard saying in the trailer.
“I don’t owe these people anything.”
The doco’s title, Britney vs Spears, is a play on the singer’s battle against her father, who she has accused of “conservatorship abuse,” asking a judge this summer to “press charges” against him.
Just this morning, Spears’ attorney filed legal documents, urging, once again, for the “immediate suspension” of Jamie Spears, ahead of next week’s hearing, and indicating that the conservatorship will be terminated sometime this fall.
The Netflix project, directed by filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, has been in the works for over a year. The documentary will centre around Spears’ conservatorship, posing questions about the necessity of the highly unusual legal arrangement and the alleged corruption of her father’s involvement, plus, the larger issues with conservatorship laws and the overall justice system.
“What was going on inside the conservatorship? And why was she still in one if she was okay?” one subject says in the trailer.
“There was financial incentives for Jamie, for the lawyers,” a voiceover is heard saying in the trailer.
“Britney made other people a lot of money.”
Though the trailer does not reveal exactly who sat down for the documentary, the Netflix clip includes voiceovers of various people weighing in on Spears’ conservatorship saga, including Spears’ ex, paparazzo Adnan Ghalib, and a legal expert who appears to be an attorney specialising in conservatorship cases.
It also seems that the doco will reveal new information, as the trailer teases a confidential document that was leaked to the filmmakers by someone involved with the conservatorship.
A man who appears to be a medical professional appears on-camera in the trailer, saying, “I’m not going to acknowledge that I was ever brought in to evaluate Britney Spears.”
Netflix has not announced who will appear in the documentary, so it’s not clear who from Spears’ orbit — friends or family — might have participated in the project. However, in images released on Wednesday, the singer’s former assistant, Felicia Culotta, is featured.
Though she had spoken in court before, in 2019, this past June marked the first time Spears had publicly addressed a judge, which catapulted even more interest in her situation, sparking outrage from her fans around the world, who’ve been following her case since her conservatorship began in 2008.
During testimony in June, the singer detailed harrowing allegations, including being prevented from getting married and having a baby by being forced to keep in her IUD birth control device.
This month, Spears announced her engagement to Ashgari, her longtime boyfriend.
In July, Spears was granted the ability to hire her own lawyer after having worked with a court-appointed attorney, Samuel D Ingham, ever since she was placed under the conservatorship. The singer hired Mathew Rosengart as her counsel, and since bringing him on, the case has seen more movement in just a few months than it had in the past 13 years.
The star’s legal saga hit a major curveball earlier last month when her father said he would agree to work with the court on stepping down as conservator of his daughter’s estate. Then, he abruptly petitioned the court to terminate the conservatorship altogether.
Rosengart has accused the elder Spears of “dissipating” his client’s multi-million dollar fortune and claims he was trying to extort US$2 million ($2.74m) from his daughter’s estate, in exchange to step down from the conservatorship.
While that in itself is a major victory for Spears, her father’s legal strategy is complex and self-serving, according to experts who caution what steps the court may take at next week’s hearing. Spears’ attorney, Rosengart, still has not officially requested to terminate the conservatorship. But in today’s filing, he asked the court to set a hearing on terminating the conservatorship “at its soonest convenience.”
It remains to be seen what the court will determine next week at the September 29 hearing.
The Netflix documentary is not the first Spears-centric project. The New York Times produced a doc for Hulu and FX, Framing Britney Spears, which took a look at the conservatorship case, the #FreeBritney movement and the misogynistic media narrative that has followed the pop star throughout her entire career in the spotlight.
That doc has been credited with galvanising public interest in the high-profile case, and was nominated for two Emmy awards. Spears said she was “embarrassed” by that documentary, though she stated she did not watch it.