| 19.1°C Dublin

A BRIT MAD 'Britney wasn't there mentally -She looked fantastic, but she was definitely on meds...', says Louis Walsh

X Factor judge reveals truth behind days he spent working beside troubled superstar


Despite her troubles, Britney puts on a great show.

Despite her troubles, Britney puts on a great show.

Despite her troubles, Britney puts on a great show.

Irish pop impresario Louis Walsh yesterday hailed superstar Britney Spears as "a survivor" who now has the love of the world supporting her.

And he predicts that the Baby One More Time hitmaker will be back "bigger and better" when she is released from a court order that has given her father, Jaimie Spears, total control over her life for the last 13 years.

The Mayo man, who worked with Britney on the US version of The X Factor in 2012, said he was shocked by the singer's harrowing court revelations this week.

They included claims that the 39-year-old is being forced to take medication, bullied, gagged from speaking out and banned from marrying and having children.

People in the Los Angeles Superior Court were in tears as Britney told how she was being treated like a slave, with her passport, phone and credit cards confiscated.

She said her boyfriend, Iranian actor and model Sam Asghari (27,) is not allowed to drive her in his car.

And she revealed that she's prohibited from having a contraceptive device removed to have a baby. "I want to be able to get married and have a baby," Britney told the court. "I was told right now in the conservatorship I am not able to get married or have a baby."


Britney and Louis with the X Factor team.

Britney and Louis with the X Factor team.

Britney and Louis with the X Factor team.

Britney said she is also banned from seeing friends who live minutes away from her in Los Angeles.

Jaimie Spears (68) was appointed her "conservator" in 2008 after Britney suffered a series of mental health and drug struggles.

A conservatorship is a court-approved arrangement where a person or organisation is appointed by a judge to take care of the finances and well-being of a person deemed unable to manage their own life.

Britney has been trying to free herself from the arrangement since at least 2014. The singer told this week's court that she was "angry" about her life and €50 million fortune being controlled by her father and she now wants him jailed. In recent years fans backed her by running a #FreeBritney movement.

Music mogul Walsh, who launched the careers of Boyzone and Westlife, said he was delighted that Britney finally got a platform to tell her story.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"Now everybody is going to back her even more because everybody knows the real story…and the real Britney is going to do amazing," Louis told the Sunday World.

The band manager and TV personality said he didn't know what was going on in Britney's life when he spent two days working with her as a judge on The X Factor.

But he said it was "very obvious" that she was on medication at the time. "I sat beside her for two days at The X Factor in America back in 2012 and she was just there physically," Louis tells me.

"I wasn't aware of what was going on in her personal life with the father and all of that. I knew nothing at all. I just knew she wasn't well. I just thought it was pressure and she was taking meds.

"She wasn't there mentally. She looked fantastic, but she was definitely on meds. After every five auditions they took her out, and we'd have to pause the whole thing. But she still got through it.

"I was trying to communicate with her and I got a really good reaction when I mentioned Colin Farrell because they had been an 'item', and I knew that.

"The thing about Britney is that she's a great survivor. She has made some brilliant pop records. I've been to see her loads of times here in Ireland. I always go and see her shows. You are willing her to get through it and you're wanting her to get through it…and she always does."

When Britney imploded in 2008, Walsh says he wasn't shocked. "She was the biggest pop star in the world," Louis explains. "Everybody was following her and she had no private life. Everywhere she went there were photographers, there were people. She was touring and doing promo. The pressure on her was terrible.

"This is what the pop business does to somebody when they make it that big. When you make it big your life goes. You have no private life and you cannot trust anybody because everybody is on the payroll. They just wanted her to get out there do the work, do the gigs, do the touring, do everything. It's like she's a machine.

"Britney is not a machine. She's a person. But she has got through it. She got through the worst of it. She is going to come back bigger and better. There is an awful lot of love and understanding now for her. It's great that she has come out on the other side of it."

Following her testimony, Judge Brenda Penny commended Britney on her courage for speaking out and said she wanted to schedule a hearing to finalise a way forward.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Top Videos