The 43-year-old Backstreet Boys member called Spears’ conservatorship “grotesque” and claimed that the last time he saw her “she just didn’t know who was there.”
In an interview this week with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM alongside fellow BSB member Nick Carter, McLean called the conservatorship that’s been controlling Spears’ life and finances since 2008 “asinine,” “insane” and “completely brutal.”
Spears recently spoke out on her own behalf for the first time since 2019, telling a court during a hearing last month that the conservatorship was doing her more harm than good and asked that it end. During an emotional 20-minute speech, Spears explained how the conservatorship had such a grip on her life that her conservators wouldn’t allow her to remove her IUD so she could have a child with boyfriend Sam Asghari.
Addressing that specific issue, McLean says that “really irks him.”
“That, to me, is physical abuse. Just the whole thing to me is just, it’s grotesque. I pray for her. 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,” he said, before adding that the pop sensation is “pretty much” his neighbor.
The 43-year-old went on to say that he sees Spears out and about often because they go to the same shopping center in Los Angeles.
“There’s this amazing cupcake shop that she goes to that I go to,” he said. “The last time I saw her, it broke my heart. Last time I saw her, she was with a gentleman. I’m assuming it was security and/or maybe a driver.”
McLean explained that he was buying cupcakes for a birthday party for one of his daughter’s friends when he spotted Spears: “I went in, she was there, she looked right at me and I was like, ‘Hey, it’s AJ.’ And she just kind of had this glass face. Like, she just didn’t know who was there. It took her a minute. And then she realized it was me, and we hugged and we talked for a brief moment, but I could just see that this wasn’t her. Like, I’m not looking at the person I knew from years and years ago.”
He added that he doesn’t think the conservatorship is “fair” or “right,” and added: “Free Britney!”
Previously, McLean has been vocal about backing Spears and showing support for her on various forms of social media. On TikTok, McLean told fans, “This shit has gone on long enough! Let my girl live her life And be free to be who she is!”
This shit has gone on long enough! Let my girl live her life And be free to be who she is! Hearing this yesterday made me sick! #freebritney let’s go!
As of this week, Spears has been permitted to choose a new attorney for her conservatorship. While her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, had already formally requested to step down in a court filing, the decision required approval from a California judge, which has now been granted.
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