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Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean backs Britney Spears, calls her conservatorship 'insane'

·11 min read

AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys has joined a growing list of celebrities, including Madonna, Iggy Azalea, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott, who are showing support for Britney Spears amid her ongoing conservatorship battle.

"My thoughts and my prayers are with her. I am 100% team Britney," McLean, 43, said in a Wednesday interview on "Andy Cohen Live," calling the conservatorship "asinine," "insane" and "completely brutal."

During Spears' 20-minute speech in court on June 24, she made a series of shocking revelations – including that she's forced to use an intrauterine device (IUD) – and condemned her conservatorship and those in control of her life and finances.

"That, to me, is physical abuse," McLean said of Spears' IUD revelation. "Just the whole thing to me is just, it's grotesque. I really feel in my heart that she's going to break free of all of this, and I really hope that she does. She's a sweetheart."

Celebrities are weighing in and showing support for the 39-year-old pop star's request for the conservatorship to end. Here's what they've had to say.

The latest: Britney Spears says '#FreeBritney' after winning right to hire lawyer in conservatorship case

Britney Spears court speech: Here are the biggest revelations

Nick Carter, from left, Lance Bass, AJ McLean and Joey Fatone perform at Bingo Under the Stars on Friday, June 18, 2021, at The Grove in Los Angeles.
Nick Carter, from left, Lance Bass, AJ McLean and Joey Fatone perform at Bingo Under the Stars on Friday, June 18, 2021, at The Grove in Los Angeles.

Madonna calls to 'give this woman her life back'

"Give this woman her life back," Madonna shared to her Instagram Stories last Friday alongside a picture of herself wearing a "Britney Spears" T-shirt. Spears and Madonna famously locked lips during their 2003 VMAs performance with Aguilera.

Madonna and Britney Spears performed together during Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour at Dodger Stadium on November 6, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Madonna and Britney Spears performed together during Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour at Dodger Stadium on November 6, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

"Slavery was abolished so long ago! Death to the greedy patriarchy that has been doing this to women for centuries. This is a violation of human rights!"

She added: "Britney we coming to get you out of jail!"

Iggy Azalea says Spears is 'not exaggerating or lying'

"It's basic human decency to at the very least remove a person Britney has identified as abusive from her life. This should be illegal," Azalea tweeted June 30, while detailing an encounter with Spears' father during a 2015 Billboard Music Awards performance for their collaboration on the song "Pretty Girls."

"I personally witnessed the same behavior Britney detailed in regards to her father last week and I just want to back up her up & tell the world that: she is not exaggerating or lying," Azalea wrote in a tweet. "I saw her restricted from even the most bizarre and trivial things: like how many sodas she was allowed to drink. Is that even necessary?"

The "Fancy" artist said Jamie Spears "conveniently" waited until she was about to perform with Britney Spears, and made her sign a non disclosure agreement and was told if she didn't sign, he wouldn't let her onstage.

“Jamie Spears has a habit of making people sign documents while under duress it seems, and Britney Spears should not be forced to co-exists with that man when she’s made it clear it is negatively impacting her mental health," Azalea wrote.

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Christina Aguilera speaks on 'unacceptable' conservatorship battle

Spears' former "Mickey Mouse Club" co-star shared a series of thoughts on Twitter, calling Spears' situation "unacceptable."

"To be silenced, ignored, bullied or denied support by those “close” to you is the most depleting, devastating and demeaning thing imaginable," Aguilera wrote. "The harmful mental and emotional damage this can take on a human spirit is nothing to be taken lightly."

Christina Aguilera wrote messages supporting Britney Spears in ongoing conservatorship battle.
Christina Aguilera wrote messages supporting Britney Spears in ongoing conservatorship battle.

She added that she doesn't have any inside knowledge of what Britney is going through, but wanted to share from her heart on what she's heard from the media.

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"The conviction and desperation of this plea for freedom leads me to believe that this person I once knew has been living without compassion or decency from those in control," she added.

"My heart goes out to Britney. She deserves all the TRUE love and support in the world," Aguilera ended her tweets.

More: Britney Spears forced IUD sparks important conversations about disability, reproductive rights

Justin Timberlake says courts should 'make this right'

Timberlake said "we should all be supporting Britney at this time," before alluding to their tumultuous courtship in the early 2000s. "Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was… what’s happening to her is just not right."

The singer also addressed Spears' comments about the IUD in his tweet, saying: "No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body."

In another tweet, he wrote: "No one should EVER be held against their will… or ever have to ask permission to access everything they’ve worked so hard for."

Justin Timberlake is showing his support for Britney Spears following her chilling statements at Wednesday's hearing in the ongoing battle over her conservatorship.
Justin Timberlake is showing his support for Britney Spears following her chilling statements at Wednesday's hearing in the ongoing battle over her conservatorship.

Timberlake added that he and wife Jessica Biel send "love" and "absolute support" to Spears. "We hope the courts, and her family make this right and let her live however she wants to live."

Timberlake recently faced backlash for his treatment of Spears following the release of the "Framing Britney Spears" documentary in February.

More: Britney Spears' #FreeBritney fans feel validated by her speech. But can they make a difference?

"I have seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right," Timberlake wrote in a statement posted on Instagram. "I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed."

'I know I failed': Justin Timberlake issues an apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson

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Paris Hilton's mom says she supports Spears, who shot down Paris' abuse claims

Kathy and Nicky Hilton, the mother and sister of Paris Hilton, said they fully support Spears during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen" Wednesday night following Spears' conservatorship hearing, where the pop star admitted to not initially believing Paris Hilton's abuse claims.

During her speech in court, Spears said, "I didn’t want to say it openly, because I honestly don’t think anyone would believe me. To be honest with you, the Paris Hilton story on what they did to her to that school, I didn’t believe any of it."

Paris Hilton testifies about abuse she says she suffered at a Utah boarding school

'We're all survivors': Paris Hilton alleges widespread abuse at her former school in new documentary

In February, Paris Hilton testified she was abused mentally and physically at a Utah boarding school as a teen, where she said staff members would beat her, force her to take unknown pills, watch her shower and send her to solitary confinement without clothes as punishment. The socialite and reality TV star also spoke about the abuse in a 2020 documentary titled “This Is Paris."

Despite shooting down Paris Hilton's claims, Nicky Hilton said Spears "should know that we believe her. Free Britney." Kathy Hilton added that Spears is a "sweet" and "good girl."

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Cohen sounded off on James Spears, the singer's father and one of her conservators: "How about we all start listening to Britney Spears? Britney Spears is not a girl. She is a woman. She certainly deserves a hell of a lot more than a low-rent mommy dearest in a boxy suit. Britney, after the courage you showed today, you are 100% stronger than yesterday."

Meghan McCain says Britney's dad 'should be in jail'

Meghan McCain asked: "How is what has been done to Britney Spears not a human rights crime?"

"Isolation, controlling her capacity to reproduce without her consent, forcing her to work under inhumane conditions. If she were any other person the people who did this to her would be in jail," she tweeted.

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McCain added that she felt "physically sick" about the revelations made during Wednesday's court hearing.

"I think because it's about so much more… Women not being heard, not being trusted, accused of being crazy at any slight deviation from a perfect veneer," she went on. "We as a society have utterly failed her and her dad should be in jail."

Rose McGowan calls the hearing 'a cultural landmark moment'

Rose McGowan, who has in the past been vocal about Spears' conservatorship case, appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday to rally behind her.

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"Well, in my opinion and in many others,' (Britney's conservatorship) is bad," she began. "Her father put her under a conservatorship at age 25. Many in the media laughed and scorned her when she shaved her head.."

McGowan added that the court hearing "is a cultural landmark moment."

"She got to speak for the first time I believe, in her life, honestly and openly," she said. "And what has been done to her, it's horrific."

Perez Hilton expresses 'regret' over past treatment of Spears

Gossip writer Perez Hilton, who previously criticized Spears, says he carries "deep shame and regret" after hearing Spears' testimony on Wednesday.

"I take full accountability for how I behaved in the past," he told Sky News, noting that initially many, including himself, were especially "concerned for her young children" following Spears' mental health spiral.

"I know I didn't express myself as well as I could have. I didn't lead with empathy and compassion," he said. "I absolutely apologize."

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Other celebrities show support, slam forced IUD

More than half a million Twitter users shared the hashtag #FreeBritney Wednesday, including Andy Cohen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Keke Palmer, Vera Wang, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

"We love you Britney!! Stay strong," Mariah Carey tweeted.

Khloé Kardashian tweeted: "No one should be treated like this. Stay strong Queen!! You deserve better … #FreeBritney."

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"We love you SO MUCH @britneyspears," Tinashe tweeted with a heart emoji.

Singer Halsey tweeted she "admire(s) her courage speaking up for herself today."

"Bless Britney and I hope with my whole heart she is awarded freedom from this abusive system. She deserves it more than anything," she wrote.

In a follow-up tweet, Halsey wrote: "Additionally, (expletive) anyone who thinks they have the authority as an institution or individual to control a person’s reproductive health. #FreeBritney."

"I pray that you get CONTROL over your life again and find PEACE and regain STRENGTH," Missy Elliott wrote. "With all that you have endured Britney just know that YOU ARE LOVED."

"Honestly if Britney’s situation isn’t (expletive) up enough… the fact they force an IUD inside her when she wants more children… What’s next? Permanently sterilise her? It’s as shocking as that," wrote Nathalie Emmanuel.

Brandy also took to Twitter to show her support of the pop singer, writing: "Sending all my love and support to Britney Spears and her fans."

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"Been saying it for years. FREE BRITNEY. I can’t believe this legal hostage situation. Poor kid was just talented. Two decades of punishment from tabloids and her own team, are not survivable. She’s so strong for withstanding this. We love you Britney!" wrote Jameela Jamil.

Mia Farrow wrote about how Britney "was still a kid when we/ the press hunted her like an animal."

Farrow continued, "When temporarily she crumbled under that pressure (who wouldn’t) her father, for 13 years now, has had control of her freedom, all decisions personal & professional, her money & even her body."

Contributing: Elise Brisco, Bill Keveney, Amy Haneline

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Britney Spears conservatorship: AJ McLean calls it 'asinine,' 'brutal'

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