In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Britney Spears’ father Jamie – the subject of much scorn from the #FreeBritney movement – is speaking out for the first time in a decade. The 70-year-old defended his conduct during his daughter’s long conservatorship, musing at one point on whether she’d be alive without that intervention.
Britney Spears has alarmed even her most ardent defenders recently with a spate of near-nude social media posts and erratic captions. The behavior has even led her husband to question them, although he said he would not attempt to curtail her actions.
Jamie Spears told the Mail that his conservatorship actions were done only to save his daughter during her most troubled times. He claimed that not only did he prevent her ruination, but that he kept her relationships together with songs Preston and Jayden.
Jamie Spears said of those times that he isn’t “going to paint no pretty pictures.” But he said the actions were necessary.
“Not everybody’s going to agree with me,” Jamie Spears said. “It’s been one hell of a time. But I love my daughter with all my heart and soul. Where would Britney be right now without that conservatorship? And I don’t know if she’d be alive. I don’t.
“For protecting her, and also protecting the kids, conservatorship was a great tool. Without it, I don’t think she would have gotten the kids back.” The two teenage boys live with their father, Kevin Federline, and have recently stayed away from their mother.
Jamie Spears now lives with his other daughter, Britney’s younger sister Jamie Lynn, in rural Louisiana. He has no contact with Britney, nor does Jamie, who has also been condemned on social media by her sister.
Jamie Spears said he doesn’t want to be too candid in his remarks, for fear of sending Britney “further down the hole,: as he puts it.”
“I miss my two boys really, really bad,” he said. “I do. You know, we were very, very close. They were around that age where you could start having a good time with them. But they were developing a mind of their own. God makes things happen for a reason. I don’t know what that reason is but it’s been a tough three years without them. The family’s a mess. All we can do is keep praying.”
Britney’s father and mother, Lynn, divorced in May 2002. Britney Spears divorced Federline in 2007. Her public behavior after that included shaving off her hair, hitting a photographer’s car with an umbrella and being admitted to hospital for substance abuse. That’s when what was supposed to be a temporary conservatorship was established, and made permanent later that year. It was split into two parts, one on Britney’s estate and finances, the other on entertainment decisions. Jamie was appointed to handle both, receiving $16,000 per month as compensation.
Custody of the two teens was a big part of the conservatorship. “My relationship with Kevin gave them a sense of peace, and of protection,” Jamie Spears said. “Kevin will tell you this too – it was us who raised the kids. I just did what I was supposed to do, or felt like I needed to do.
“I didn’t make any decisions on my own – the team of people were me and my associate, and Kevin. We could all take the kids to the doctor, and to school. At that time Kevin had a lot going on. And the conservatorship made sure the boys never left that house without security. They didn’t go to school one day without lunch.”
The court arrangements also helped Britney rebuild her finances, Jamie claimed, saying his daughter “was broke. She had no money whatever. The conservatorship set a resource where she could get back financially. And, you know, we worked – and she worked – and she got herself straight up financially.”
The conservatorship period saw Spears releasing four albums, doing three world tours, and staging a two-year residency in Las Vegas, which helped rebuild her fortune
“The conservatorship allowed the finances to be better,” Jamie says. “My understanding of a conservatorship is to help someone regain their life and return back to society, and to be able to live normally. I want to say that I made a difference. There were a few people behind me that really helped bring it to a point where we could help her.”
When Britney Spears canceled a second planned Vegas residency and said she was on a “work hiatus,” she entered a psychiatric facility. Jamie Spears was accused of making that move against his daughter’s wishes. The #FreeBritney campaign amplified claims of restrictions on the singer. That culminated in the 2021 documentary Framing Britney Spearsin which claims were made that the singer’s phones were tapped.
At a subsequent hearing, Britney Spears claimed she was afraid of her father, was forced to go on tour and into rehab, and to take psychiatric drugs. She was also not allowed to remove her IUD.
Jamie Spears was removed as conservator in November 2021.
“All I can say is that most people don’t have a clue what the truth is,” Spears concluded. “Her lawyer doesn’t have a clue what the truth is. The media has not heard the truth. They’ve heard the allegations from Britney. I don’t mind taking that beating because I know it’s not true, and because I don’t want to start something else. For my daughter to end up going further down the hole than she had been.”