Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, spoke publicly for the first time in more than a decade this weekend – more than a year after the singer’s custody ended.
In an interview with Sunday’s Daily Mail, spoke openly about the court order and defended his role during the 13-year custody of his daughter. He also said he did not know if he would be alive without it.
“Not everyone is 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 reservation? And I don’t know if she would be alive. I don’t.”
The father said he “won’t post any cute pictures,” but the court order protected Britney Spears in difficult times.
“To protect him, and also to protect the children, custody was a good tool. Without it, I don’t think he would have returned the children,” he added.
In November 2021, an LA judge granted a request to end the program during a trial that lasted less than 30 minutes. This came after an emotional testimony from Britney Spears this summer, where she claimed that the reservation was abusive and she wanted to end it. Following the testimony, the singer was allowed to hire a lawyer for the first time, which led to an investigation into the alleged abuse.
Then, after more than a decade of the #FreeBritney movement and years of fans speculating that Britney Spears was unhappy, the singer was released from a court order.
Now, Britney Spears lives with her husband, model Sam Asghari, in Los Angeles. In April, she announced that she was expecting her first child with Asghari; the following month, Britney Spears revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage. She also has two sons, Jayden and Preston, with ex-husband Kevin Federline.
Jamie Spears lives with his other daughter, Jamie Lynn Spears, in rural Louisiana. He told them Daily Mail that he should be careful what he says because he doesn’t want to cause the singer any heartache.
“I miss my two boys [Jayden and Preston] very bad,” Jamie Spears said. “I do. You know, we were very close. They were almost at that age where you can start having a good time with them. But they were developing their own minds. God makes things happen for a reason. I don’t know what the reason is but it has been three difficult years without them. Family is a mess. All we can do is keep praying.”
Britney Spears’ access to her two sons was also part of the preservation. Although Federline was initially given full custody, Jamie Spears said she made a deal with Federline so they could spend time with their mother.
“They did not miss time with their mother. They did not miss time with their father. Not many people knew that. The main goal was to return Britney and her children to a good relationship,” he said. “My relationship with Kevin gave them a sense of peace, and protection. Kevin will tell you this too – we’re the ones who raised the kids. I just did what I had to do or felt like I needed to do.”
Jamie Spears also claims that the savings helped build her daughter’s finances because she was “broken” and “didn’t have any money, anyway.”
“My understanding of conservation is to help a person recover his life and return to society, and be able to live normally,” he added. “I want to say that I made a difference. There were a few people behind me who really helped get it to where we could help him.”
But from an outside perspective, many did not agree. In January 2019, the singer canceled his second scheduled Vegas residency amid hiatus. A few months later, he entered a mental institution, and fans began to speculate that his father agreed to take him in against his will. The #FreeBritney movement also claimed that booking was holding the singer back.
“All I can say is that a lot of people don’t know what the truth is,” Jamie Spears said in response to the allegations. “His lawyer does not know what the truth is. The media has not heard the truth. They have heard claims from Britney. I don’t mind taking that hit because I know it’s not true, and because I don’t want to start something else. So that my daughter ends up going further down the hole than she was.”
Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Britney Spears’ rep for comment.