Jamie Lynn Spears defends role in ending Britney’s conservatorship: ‘I did take the steps to help’
One week before the release of her memoir, Jamie Lynn Spears sat down for her first interview following the termination of her sister Britney Spears’ conservatorship.
“I was happy,” Jamie Lynn said, regarding the end of her sister’s conservatorship last fall, while speaking with ABC News’ “Nightline” anchor Juju Chang on “Good Morning America” Wednesday. “First off, I don’t understand– when it was put into place, I was a 17 year old, I was about to have a baby. So I didn’t understand what was happening, nor was I focused on that. I was focused on the fact that I was a 17 year old about to have a baby. I understand just as little about it then as I do now.”
Britney Spears’ conservatorship was terminated this past November, following the suspension of her and Jamie Lynn’s father, Jamie Spears, who had overseen Britney’s finances and other aspects as of her life in his role as her conservator since the legal arrangement began in 2008.
On Wednesday’s “GMA,” Jamie Lynn discussed her book and her relationship with her world-famous sister and the rest of her family, whose involvement in the pop star’s 13-year conservatorship have come into question throughout the singer’s ongoing legal battle. During the interview, Chang asked Jamie Lynn about a portion of the book in which she discusses the role she was “asked to play” in the conservatorship.
“There was a time where my sister asked me, of her trust and will, if I would be the person who assured that her boys got what they needed,” Spears said. “Whether she’s in a conservatorship or not, that was a very normal thing, I thought. Once I realized that, you know what, she’s in a conservatorship, I felt like I just didn’t want to be part of until maybe she was out of the conservatorship. So there was no, like, me overseeing funds or something like that. And if that was, then it was a misunderstanding. But either way, I took no steps to be a part of it.”
Jamie Lynn also revealed the steps she says she took to try to help her sister during that time.
“I’ve always been my sister’s biggest supporter,” Jamie Lynn told Chang Wednesday. “So when she needed help, I set up ways to do so, went out of my way to make sure that she had the contacts she needed to possibly go ahead and end this conservatorship and just end this all for our family. If it’s going to cause this much discord, why continue it?”
Chang asked Jamie Lynn, “So you didn’t always agree with the conservatorship?”
“It wasn’t about agreeing with the conservatorship, everyone has a voice and it should be heard,” she responded. “So if she wanted to talk to other people, then I did, I set that up. I even spoke to her legal team, who I– her legal team, previous legal team, and that did not end well in my favor. So I did take the steps to help, but how many times can I take the steps without, you know, she has to walk through the door.”
Throughout her court proceedings, Britney repeatedly spoke out against her family, including Jamie Lynn. When she testified in June 2021, she told the judge she believes members of her family should be in jail for the “conservatorship abuse” she says she endured over the years.
Jamie Lynn became emotional when discussing the rift that has developed between her and her older sister.
“That love is still there, 100%. Um, I love my sister,” she said while wiping her tears during the “GMA” interview. “I’ve only ever loved and supported her and done what’s right by her, and she knows that. So I don’t know why we’re in this position right now.”
Chang says that “GMA” reached out to both Britney and Jamie for comment and neither responded.
In recent days, the pop star unfollowed her sister on Instagram, which garnered notice from her fans.
Jamie Lynn — a former Nickelodeon actor who rose to teenage stardom as her older sister catapulted into one of the biggest global pop stars in music history — was part of the cast of “All That” and then her own series, “Zoey 101,” which ended shortly before her pregnancy at 16 years old became a major news scandal. After a long hiatus from acting and taking time to focus on raising her two daughters, the actor and singer is currently starring on Netflix’s “Sweet Magnolias.”
Last summer, Britney addressed the court to make claims about her family’s role in her conservatorship. “I would honestly like to sue my family, to be totally honest with you,” she testified in court. “I also would like to be able to share my story with the world, and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them. I want to be able to be heard on what they did to me by making me keep this in for so long … I’ve been so angry and I cry every day. It concerns me. I’m told I’m not allowed to expose the people who did this to me.”
After that testimony, Jamie Lynn took to Instagram to express support and explain why she did not speak up about the conservatorship earlier, saying, in part, that she is “so proud of her for using her voice.” However, the pop star’s fanbase took issue with her statement, especially as Britney has spoken out against her sister — sometimes explicitly, but mostly more covertly. Britney’s fans connected the dots on each and every word the singer seemingly says about her younger sibling in her Instagram captions.
A few months back, the star referenced Jamie Lynn’s performance of her song “Till the World Ends” from the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards, posting: “I don’t like that my sister showed up at an awards show and performed MY SONGS to remixes !!!!!”
And then in November, days after her conservatorship was terminated, the star said she would not be holding back with her claims about her family. “It still blows my mind every day I wake up how my family and the conservatorship were able to do what they did to me … It was demoralizing and degrading!!!! … I’m used to keeping peace for the family and keeping my mouth shut … but not this time … I have NOT FORGOTTEN and I hope they can look up tonight and know EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN !!!!”
Jamie Lynn has condemned negative feedback she has received on social media, sharing nasty and dangerous comments, including some that attack her own children, who are 13 and 3. She has said that she has received death threats.
“I’ve gotten beyond use to receiving the love and the hate from strangers, since before I ever even had a choice at the age of like 8,” she posted earlier this month on her Instagram stories, in response to a social media bully who wished rape on her young daughters. “You may not love me, and that’s fine, but THIS shouldn’t be tolerated under any circumstances, much less about innocent underage children.”
Given the attention on the conservatorship and timing of Jamie Lynn’s memoir, which will be released by Worthy Publishing on Jan. 18, the book has been the source of controversy.
Press leaks reported that the working title for the book was initially, “I Must Confess” — in reference to a line from her sister’s hit debut single, 1998’s “Baby One More Time.” After swift backlash, the publisher said the title was “incorrect” and “incomplete,” and then announced the official title for the book is “Things I Should Have Said.”
The book is said to cover the former Nickelodeon star’s journey as a mother, sister, daughter, actress and musician. Originally, Jamie Lynn announced she would be donating book proceeds to the mental health organization, This Is My Brave, but the nonprofit rejected the offer for the donation, bowing to criticism from fans of the pop star who said they were offended given the ongoing conservatorship saga.
Here is a clip from the interview, which aired Wednesday on “Good Morning America.” More of the interview will air tonight on “Nightline.”
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