“I know at some point she will tell her story,” says Culotta in a very rare interview.
Britney Spears’ conservatorship was at the center of a new documentary from The New York Times, “Framing Britney Spears,” which dropped Friday on both FX and Hulu.
While the special included interviews with many people in the singer’s inner circle over the years, reporters and even some fans, the most surprising person to pop up in the 75-minute doc was Felicia Culotta, Spears’ longtime friend and former assistant.
As someone who was right there with Britney from her early years through her Vegas residency — and for all her personal issues in between — Culotta’s insight definitely added something new to the conversation around Spears’ conservatorship.
“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,” Culotta explained near the top of the special.
“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 and then at one point they wanted to call me her partner and we didn’t think that sounded right,” she said of her role in Spears’ orbit. “I definitely wasn’t her mother or her big sister, so we settled on assistant.”
Footage showed Culotta proudly showing off the Britney record and ticket sale memorabilia she had framed on the walls of her home, as she talked about the “tiny, sleepy” town of Kentwood, Louisiana from which they hailed. “We are who we are, we’re not wealthy, but we’re wealthy in other ways,” she added, saying Spears was a church-goer from a young age and someone she’s known since Britney was just five years old.
Culotta explained that she was working as a nanny in New York City when Spears landed her record deal. That’s when she first became a member of the Britney team, after a call from the singer’s mother, Lynne Spears.
“She said, ‘Felicia I had an ulterior motive for inviting you to dinner. She got a record deal today and I can’t travel with her, Jamie Lynn’s in the first grade, can you travel with her?'” Culotta recalled, saying she initially only agreed to be her so-called chaperone for just three months. Of course, their working relationship lasted much longer than that.
She detailed how, as Britney’s popularity started to climb during those early “…Baby One More Time Days,” fans started to seek her out at mall performances instead of simply coming across them while they shopped. She also revealed how Spears used some of her early earnings to give back to those in her hometown.
“We still were those people from Mississippi, Louisiana, we were fresh, everything was…