The 39-year-old pop star – whose loyal legion of fans created the #FreeBritney movement to raise concern over Spears' wellbeing in her conservatorship – apologized to her millions of followers for "pretending like I’ve been ok."
"I don’t want people to think my life is perfect because IT’S DEFINITELY NOT AT ALL," she wrote Thursday on Instagram, marking her first post since addressing the court. "I apologize for pretending like I’ve been ok the past two years … I did it because of my pride and I was embarrassed to share what happened to me."
During Wednesday's conservatorship hearing, Spears revealed that she's "traumatized," "depressed" and "demoralized" by the "scary" conservatorship that has controlled her life and body since 2008. She asked for her conservatorship to end without evaluation.
"I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I'm happy. It's a lie," Spears told Judge Brenda Penny. "I've been in denial. I’ve been in shock… I’m so angry it’s insane."
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On Thursday, Spears said she led her followers to believe her life looked "pretty amazing" on her Instagram account because "we all want the fairy tale life."
But "if you have read anything about me in the news this week," she added, "you obviously really know now it’s not."
Spears explained that "pretending that I’m ok has actually helped" her cope with the trauma she's experienced, a mechanism she learned from her mother, Lynne Spears.
"That was one of my mother’s best traits," Spears wrote. "No matter how (expletive) a day was when I was younger… for the sake of me and my siblings she always pretended like everything was ok." (Lynne Spears and James Spears, who were married from 1976- 2002, also share son Bryan, 44, and daughter Jamie Lynn, 30.)
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Spears said her Instagram account has also served as a "light" for her in dark times, silencing fan speculation that her Instagram account is run by someone other than her.
"I feel like Instagram has helped me have a cool outlet to share my presence … existence," she wrote, "and to simply feel like I matter despite what I was going through and hey it worked."
Spears isn't letting her circumstances crush her spirit or love of fairy tales, which she vowed to "start reading more." Her message was accompanied by a quote attributed to Albert Einstein that read, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."
Spears, who shares sons Sean, 15, and Jayden, 14, with ex-husband Kevin Federline, expressed a desire to have more children during her speech in court Wednesday.
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby," she said, adding that her conservators won't allow her to remove an intrauterine device (IUD) to have more kids.
Following Spears' shocking revelations, Asghari shared several videos of himself and Spears having fun with Instagram filters on a private jet. It's not clear when the videos were taken.
Spears and Asghari have been dating since 2016 after meeting on set of Spears' music video for "Slumber Party." The couple made their red carpet debut together in 2019 at the premiere for Quentin Tarantino's “Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Britney Spears apologizes to fans for 'pretending like I’ve been ok'