There was a time -- not all that long ago -- when the mistreatment and exploitation of Britney Spears was the stuff of social media rumors.
Fans strongly suspected that Spears was suffering under the oppressive terms of her conservatorship, but it was difficult to prove anything.
These days, however, Britney has confirmed many of her fans' worst fears.
Spears' testimony during a recent conservatorship hearing galvanized the activists who had been following her case closely, and shocked those who were unaware of how much the singer has suffered.
Unfortunately, all that attention has not yet resulted in a change in her circumstances.
But if the folks who are responsible for her situation thought that one legal setback would cause Britney to give up the fight, they've got another thing coming.
At a hearing held on Wednesday afternoon, Britney cried in court and opened up about how much pain the conservatorship has caused her.
"I'm traumatized. I’m not happy," the singer said.
"I can’t sleep, I’m depressed, I cry every day."
She also addressed the question of why she didn't try to end the conservatorship sooner.
“I’m sorry for my ignorance, but I didn’t know that,” she said.
“It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through, and that’s the main reason I didn’t say it openly. I didn’t think anybody would believe me.”
It may be quite some time before Britney is released from her conservatorship, but on the bright side, she did score a minor legal victory yesterday.
Following the departure of her longtime attorney Sam Ingham, Britney was given permission from the court to hire her own lawyer.
(As she remains under her conservatorship, Brit has to ask permission for just about everything.)
Britney was granted the right to hire the attorney of her choice, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart.
Fans are optimistic of the move, as Rosengart's credentials and history show him to be quite the indefatigable litigator.
As for Britney's mental state, it seems that the day's developments left her in very high spirits.
She posted a video of herself horseback riding and doing cartwheels.
"Coming along, folks ... coming along [middle finger emoji] !!!!! New with real representation today ... I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED !!!! " Spears wrote in the caption.
"Thank you to my fans who are supporting me ... You have no idea what it means to me be supported by such awesome fans !!!! God bless you all !!!!!" she added.
"Pssss this is me celebrating by horseback riding and doing cartwheels today!!!! #FreeBritney"
Not only are fans happy to see the pop icon in such an optimistic mood, it's believed that this is the first time that Spears has used the "#FreeBritney" hashtag that's so often associated with activists' efforts to bring an end to the conservatorship.
We think it's safe to say that the only person controlling Britney's Instagram these days it Britney herself.
And while she may have a long and nasty legal battle ahead of her, at least she knows she has the support of an army of devoted fans.