Tracing the Ongoing Feud Between Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears

Photo: ABC News

Jamie Lynn Spears is speaking out again. In a January 12 interview with ABC News anchor Juju Chang, Jamie Lynn talked about her relationship with her older sister, clarifying her involvement in Britney Spears’s conservatorship, and … promoted a new book? “It was really important to me to, first off, honor my voice,” she said, explaining why she decided to write her forthcoming book, Things I Should Have Said.

Growing up, Jamie Lynn said she “adored” Britney, saying she “felt like another mama.” However, as time went on, she remembered Britney’s behavior changing. In the book, per ABC News, she describes Britney’s behavior as “erratic,” “paranoid,” and “spiraling.” When asked how she believes Britney is doing now, Jamie Lynn said she “can’t really speak to anyone else’s state of mind. I don’t think that’s fair. But I’m allowed to say how I felt in those moments, because that matters. It matters that I was in pain.”

That “pain” seems to be in reference to her overall family dynamics. Describing her relationship with her father, Jamie Spears, Jamie Lynn said his struggle with alcohol addiction gave her “anxiety,” often leading her to wonder whether she could trust him. “It was something that no kid should have to question,” she said. Her father’s relationship with Britney has been heavily scrutinized, given the amount of control he held over his daughter’s life.

Then Jamie Lynn got into her relationship with her sister, setting off a series of back-and-forths between her and Britney on social media. Here, what they’ve said so far.

Yes, Jamie Lynn talked about Britney’s conservatorship.

When talking about her involvement with Britney’s conservatorship, Jamie Lynn painted a different picture than Britney has previously described. Saying she has never held any kind of financial control over Britney’s estate, unlike her father, Jamie Lynn added that she even tried to help dissolve the conservatorship. “I’ve always been my sister’s biggest supporter, so when she needed help, I set up ways to do so,” she said, noting, “I went out of my way to make sure that Britney had the contacts she needed to possibly end this conservatorship.” She said she even spoke to Britney’s previous legal team, but that “did not end well,” though she didn’t clarify. “Everyone has a voice and it should be heard,” she continued, saying that said did her best to open those doors for Britney, but it was up to her sister to “walk through the door.”

When asked how she felt about Britney’s conservatorship termination, she said, “I was happy. I was.” She also said she didn’t always fully understand what was going on with her sister’s legal battles: “When the conservatorship was put into place, I was 17 years 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.” Jamie Lynn, now 30, spoke about how members of her family and management team didn’t always give her the kind of support she needed when she got pregnant in 2007. “I think that the easy thing back then would have been, ‘Let’s just get this over with and, like, you go back to being the perfect little sister, because that’s your role,’” she said. “I just, like, thank God that I, like, you know, thank God I stood up for myself and said exactly what I wanted.”

Prior to the news of this recent interview, Britney appeared to call out her sister more than once and also unfollowed Jamie Lynn on Instagram. After Jamie Lynn spoke out for the first time last summer, Britney implied her sister was being hypocritical. Later, she said she “didn’t like” Jamie Lynn’s 2017 performance for the Radio Disney Music Awards, in which Jamie Lynn performed a remixed medley of some of Britney’s biggest hits. “Honestly, it was somewhat confusing to me about that, and I actually have spoken to her about that,” Jamie Lynn said in her conversation with ABC News. “I was doing a tribute to honor my sister and all the amazing things that she’s done.”

When asked about how she feels about Britney today, Jamie Lynn replied tearfully, “That love is still there. One hundred percent. I love my sister. 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.”

Then, Britney responded to Jamie Lynn’s GMA interview, which turned into a back-and-forth on Instagram.

Britney, it seems, is having none of her sister’s GMA interview. On Thursday, she took to Twitter to make a statement about the situation, expressing disgust with her family and suggesting that Jamie Lynn was using her conservatorship struggles to “sell a book at my expense.” On Instagram, Jamie Lynn responded with a lengthy statement of her own. “It’s getting harder for me to rationalize to my oldest daughter why our family continues to get death threats, as a result of their aunt’s vague and accusatory posts,” she wrote. Addressing Britney’s claim that she used her older sister’s story to sell books, Jamie Lynn added: “I hate to burst my sister’s bubble, but my book is not about her.” (Allegedly, early readers have already found Britney’s name in the manuscript multiple times.)

The feud appears to be ongoing. On January 14, Britney posted a response to Jamie Lynn’s statement, accusing her sister of being a “scum person” and stooping to a “whole new level of low,” and begging her to “stop with these crazy lies for the Hollywood books.” Britney also refuted a claim Jamie Lynn makes in her memoir, in which an “erratic, paranoid, and spiraling” Britney allegedly took a knife and locked the two of them in a room together.

“I’ve never been around you ever with a knife or would I ever even think to do such !!!” Britney wrote.

Britney’s statement ended with a note of … not-so-congratulatory congratulations: “Congrats on introducing your older sister to the concept of getting LOW … LOWER … LOWEST … because you win on that one, babe!!!!”

Jamie Lynn appeared to respond on Instagram, posting a vague message to her stories that read, “Nobody trashes your name more than someone who’s afraid you’ll tell people the truth.” Things seemed to settle down after that, but it wasn’t long before Britney once again took to Twitter to set the record straight.

“Jamie Lynn … I don’t think your book is about me at all,” she wrote in a new message on Saturday. “I said some harsh things because you obviously hurt me by the things you are making up about me.” In her statement, Britney claimed that her sister wasn’t always there for her, and seemed to push back on Jamie Lynn’s claims that she had tried to help her sister fight the conservatorship. “You guys did absolutely nothing UNTIL a year ago,” she wrote. “I said something on Instagram and you and Bryan showed up at my house … because of that Instagram post !!! THAT makes me the saddest.” Regardless, Britney concluded her statement by saying that she loved Jamie Lynn “unconditionally.”

Jamie Lynn responded on her Instagram Story, calling on her sister to get in touch with her privately. “Just call me, I have attempted many times to speak to you directly and handle this privately like sisters should, but you still choose to do everything on a public platform,” she wrote. The memoir writer then seemed to threaten to release receipts, adding, “In the meantime, please stop continuing the narrative that I haven’t been there for you or that I’m making things up. I’m happy to share how many times I’ve reached out to you, supported you and tried to help you.” She finished saying, “This is embarrassing and has to stop. I love you.”

Now, Jamie Lynn has done another interview with podcast Call Her Daddy.

Despite appearing to call a truce last week, Jamie Lynn is on the newest episode of Call Her Daddy. As in her GMA interview, Jamie Lynn talked about her new book, her relationship with Britney, and … Britney’s relationship with Justin Timberlake.

Jamie Lynn said she was “so sad” when the two broke up in 2002, adding, “I think everyone thought it was forever.” She said she’s unsure why they broke up but implied that Britney and Timberlake both released breakup anthems in the wake of their split.

I truly do not know [why they broke up] …I thought how heartbreaking it must have been for my sister when “Cry Me a River” came out. Don’t get me wrong, like that’s a way to launch your solo career right? That’s a way to do it, but I felt really sad, and my sister — she wrote that song “Everytime,” and she’s beyond brilliant with anything creative and she picked that song out on the piano and she wrote it and it still makes me cry because I think about how heartbroken she was because that was her song and that was his song. 

Timberlake has previously acknowledged that his relationship with Britney was part of the inspiration for “Cry Me a River.” Likewise, it’s been widely speculated that Britney’s “Everytime” is about Timberlake, though she’s never confirmed it.

Britney & Jamie Lynn exchange letters from their lawyers.

On January 18, the same day part one of Jamie Lynn’s Call Her Daddy episode premiered, “Page Six” obtained a cease and desist order Britney’s legal team sent to Jamie Lynn. “We write with some hesitation because the last thing Britney wants is to bring more attention to your ill-timed book and its misleading or outrageous claims about her,” the letter states. “Although Britney has not read and does not intend to read your book, she and millions of her fans were shocked to see how you have exploited her for monetary gain. She will not tolerate it, nor should she.”

The letter goes on to imply Britney has financially supported her sister in the past, accusing Jamie Lynn of “airing false or fantastical grievances” for the benefit of book sales. The letter concludes, “We, therefore, demand that you cease and desist from referencing Britney derogatorily during your promotional campaign. If you fail to do so or defame her, Britney will be forced to consider and take all appropriate legal action.”

Britney also seemingly responded to Jamie Lynn’s interview on Instagram, posting a lengthy message claiming that Jamie Lynn wasn’t actually there for her when she and Timberlake broke up. “You can paint it however you like but dear child ….. YOU shut me out when I needed you the most,” she wrote in part.

Hours before Part 2 of Jamie Lynn’s Call Her Daddy interview premiered on Thursday, January 20, her lawyers responded to Britney’s cease and desist letter. The letter, written by attorney Bryan Freedman, firmly rejected the idea that Jamie Lynn’s book and promotional tour was all about Britney. “Your claim that Jamie Lynn has no right to tell her story is not only insensitive but not supported by the law. Jamie Lynn is a member of the Spears family,” the letter reads in part. Freedman also wrote that, as neither Britney nor her lawyer Mathew Rosengart had read the book, they failed to point to any supposed falsehoods in the book. (On Instagram, Britney refuted the incident about the knife, but that was not explicitly referenced in the original letter.) Rosengart has yet to respond publicly.

Part 2 of Jamie Lynn’s interview is released.

Part 2 of Jamie Lynn’s podcast interview was released as planned on Thursday, January 20. In the episode, Jamie Lynn directly pushed back against Britney’s claims that she had never tried to help her sister get out of the conservatorship. According to Jamie Lynn, she began contacting Britney’s lawyer as well as “judges” she knew personally after Britney told her she didn’t want to be in a conservatorship during a family trip to Hawaii. It’s unclear when this trip took place, though Jamie Lynn said fans could find pictures on Instagram, and Britney did post photos of the sisters together in Hawaii back in 2016.

After this heart to heart, Jamie Lynn claims she “gave her the numbers of judges, I talked to her lawyer on the phone which blew up in my face and everybody turned on me.” She continued, saying that she had spoken to Britney’s then lawyer, Samuel Ingham, and that she suspected that, instead of looking out for Britney’s best interests, Ingham went straight to Jamie Spears and told him everything.

Jamie Lynn further claimed that she spoke to judges who told her that if Britney simply moved out of state and declared residency somewhere other than California, the conservatorship would cease. (I am not a lawyer, but this seems dubious, especially considering Britney’s claims that she was medicated against her will and not even allowed to carry cash.)

Jamie Lynn releases alleged texts she wrote to her sister in 2020 to help her end the conservatorship.

Arguably the most explosive part of the interview came when Jamie Lynn shared texts she claimed to have sent to Britney in November of 2020, offering her help in ending the conservatorship. According to the texts, Jamie Lynn told Britney that she believed that their mother, Lynn Spears, was working with Britney’s lawyer, and that they were not acting in her best interest. “I think she has your lawyer fighting more for HER agenda than yours and it’s only delayed your progress, and cost you more money,” she wrote in part.

Jamie Lynn further claimed at the time that their father, Jamie, wanted to resign from the conservatorship. “He would like to quit wasting time and money on all of the lying lawyers, and be able to directly speak with you to assure no one is speaking for you, and that will make his resignation process go a lot faster,” she wrote. Jamie Lynn also claimed that she had personally be in contact with their father, and, “If you’re willing to speak with him and start the actual legal process of getting what you want, then dad is on board with that as well.”

Jamie Lynn provided screenshots of the alleged texts, which appear to have been written to someone identified in her contacts as “My Sister,” but they have not been corroborated by Britney or her team.

Speaking on the state of their relationship today, Jamie Lynn said that she didn’t think Britney “cared” that she was getting death threats and threats online from fans who see Jamie Lynn as complicit. She also explained that she had chosen to take a step back from reaching out to Britney every time there was any Instagram drama. “I can’t at this point engage in something that has become so unhealthy for me,” she said, adding that she felt she had “no other option” than to “lay out the facts.” However, at the end of her interview, she said that she hopes that eventually she and Britney can reunite and resolve their issues in private. “When headlines go away and everything is done… you’re still going to be my sister,” she said. “We need to separate it all and just be a family again.”

Britney says she wants Jamie Lynn to take a lie detector test.

On Saturday, January 29, after the release of Jamie Lynn’s book Britney shared a clip from The Real in which the talk show hosts discussed the sisters’ ongoing feud. In her caption, Britney questioned the timing of Jamie Lynn’s book launch, and continued to accuse her of knowing exactly what was going on in the conservatorship behind closed doors. “My whole family including you saying YOU DIDN’T KNOW ….. Bullshit!!!” Britney continued, congratulating her sister on her “best seller” while also accusing her of lying in the book. “The nerve of you to sell a book now and talk shit but your fucking lying just like you lied about Alexa Nikolas!!!!” (Nikolas was a co-star of Jamie Lynn’s on Zoey 101 who Jamie Lynn accused of bullying her in her book. However, Nikolas responded, claiming that it was actually Jamie Lynn who did most of the bullying on set.)

“I wish you would take a lie detector test so all these masses of people see you’re lying through your teeth about me,” Britney continued, adding that Jamie Lynn was “lying and making money off of me.”

This post has been updated.

Tracing the Feud Between Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears