Britney Spears was on "so much medication" while working on the "The X Factor" that she could barely sit up straight, the show's judge, Louis Walsh, has revealed.
The pair worked together on the now-defunct U.S. edition of the singing competition in 2012. Britney filled in as a full-time judge for Simon Cowell, who was sick with bronchitis, during season two of the show. It was four years after Britney's highly publicized meltdown, and she was reportedly on a concoction of meds for an undisclosed mental illness, which many believe to be bipolar disorder.
Speaking with Irish Independent on Sunday, Walsh recalled how the medication affected Spears.
"I was sitting with Britney for two days, and after every few auditions, she would go…” Walsh said before imitating the pop star slumped in her chair at the judges’ table. "They would literally have to stop the show and take her out because she was on so much medication and other stuff. I felt sorry for her," he continued.
"Here she was, the biggest pop star on the planet, and she was just sitting there physically, but she wasn’t there mentally. She had a lot of problems."
Britney has long struggled with mental illness and has been checked into facilities on more than one occasion to help her manage it. In 2019 reports emerged that she had entered a clinic amid her father, Jamie Spears' waning health. At the same time, doctors were reportedly adjusting her medication, which had lost its efficacy, according to TMZ. The medication had helped stabilize Britney but grew ineffective over the years.
Meanwhile, Britney has been locked in a lengthy conservatorship battle with Jamie. The "Toxic" hitmaker was first placed under the conservatorship in 2008 after she suffered a breakdown and was forced to enter a psychiatric ward. It was initially put into place to prevent people from taking financial advantage of Britney, but the singer has been fighting to remove her father from her conservatorship.
In October 2020, Britney's lawyer, Sam Ingham, claimed that the pop star lacked the mental capacity to sign a sworn declaration that would provide a first-hand account of her feelings towards her conservatorship case. Ingham made the comment in a hearing for the conservatorship case during which a judge questioned Britney's request for a co-conservator of her estate, reported TMZ.
Jamie had filed a petition requesting that he and attorney Andrew Wallet regain power as conservators, but Britney requested Jodie Montgomery, a licensed conservator, to act as conservator of her estate. The judge asked Ingham if Britney would sign a legal document that attested to her feelings on the matter, but Ingham claimed Britney was not mentally competent to sign the declaration and likened her to a comatose patient.
Then, in February, Los Angeles judge Brenda Penny rejected Jamie's objections to a joint conservatorship order, meaning he would not have sole control over investing Britney’s money. Instead, she granted the financial institution Bessemer Trust and Jamie equal power to manage Britney's affairs, ordering that they work together on a budget and investment plan for the pop icon's estate, according to CBS News.
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