Entertainment Britney Spears' former assistant confused by singer's conservatorship
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The recently released documentary -- Framing Britney Spears -- explored the singer's dramatic celebrity journey, from her meteoric rise to pop superstardom to her controversial 13-year conservatorship.
And family friend and former assistant, Felicia Culotta, appeared several times throughout the two-hour special to weigh in on some of the most pivotal moments of Spears' life and career.
Culotta also addressed the 39-year-old's ongoing legal battle against father Jamie Spears over who should control her estate.
In the documentary, which premiered Friday night, Culotta claimed to have the distinction of being the first person to be hired to 'Team Brit.'
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Working as a nanny in New York City in 1998, Culotta sais she was asked to meet with Britney and her mother Lynne Spears at a restaurant on the same weekend she signed her first record deal at the age of 15.
Lynne allegedly explained how she couldn't meet the travel demands of the budding pop star's schedule and needed Culotta to travel with her at all times.
'I don't know that I ever really had any definition on what I was supposed to do with Britney. For a long time they called me her chaperone,' the Louisiana native said in the interview.
Eventually, Culotta said they all agreed that she would take on the title of assistant: 'I definitely wasn't her mother or her big sister, so we settled on assistant.'
Culotta maintains she initially agreed to be Britney's 'chaperone' for only three months. But she would stay on board as part of her inner circle, leading to her 2007 breakdown amid mental health concerns, and a subsequent conservatorship the following year.
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As part of the conservatorship, a judge put her father, Jamie Spears, in control of her money and assets, which has been contested by Britney over the years.
The legal battle has been played out against the backdrop of the #FreeBritney movement, led by fans who believe Spears is being controlled against her will. Just this past November, she lost another legal attempt to remove his control over her estate.
'To be honest, I didn't then nor do I now understand what a conservatorship is. Especially for somebody's Britneys age and somebody capable of so much I know, firsthand, she's capable of,' Culotta said of the court arrangement.
It turns out once the conservatorship became legal Culotta was shifted from an 'assistant' role to a job giving backstage tours during Britney's Circus Tour in 2009.
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'When I went back, it was a different business management and her dad was involved. They did not hire me, the touring company hired me,' she explained.
'I don't know why the Britney company didn't hire me. All I know is, maybe, they didn’t know the role I had played earlier. So I took a backseat and simply did what I was hired to do. I don’t really know what went on, I just don't know that they knew her well enough to realize her capabilities in making the decisions. Just me looking in, that’s what I saw.'
Culotta made a point of sharing why she went forward and detailed her experience with Britney for the documentary.
'The one reason I agreed to do the interview is so we can remind people why they fell in love with her in the first place,' she confessed.
Framing Britney Spears premiered on Friday on both Hulu and FX.
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