Britney Spears has hit back at her younger sister, Jamie Lynn, who made allegations about the singer’s mental health and behaviour.
Speaking to Good Morning America in an interview to promote her forthcoming memoir, Jamie Lynn Spears alleged that Britney once locked them both in a room while holding a knife. She also claimed that her sister had screamed in her face during the Covid-19 lockdown, and described her behaviour over the years as “erratic, paranoid and spiralling”.
On Twitter, Britney responded that she and Jamie Lynn rarely spent time together “15 years ago” – the era in which Spears was experiencing a very public period of mental ill health – and said: “So why are they even talking about that unless she wants to sell a book at my expense?”
Jamie Lynn was also asked why Britney had objected to her sister performing a remix of her songs at the 2017 Radio Disney Awards, which Britney said in July “hurt me deeply”.
“I was doing a tribute to honour my sister and all the amazing things that she’s done,” Jamie Lynn said. “I don’t think she’s personally upset with me about that. Truthfully, I don’t know why that bothers her.”
Britney responded: “It may sound like a silly thing to most people, but I wrote a lot of my songs and my sister was the baby. She never had to work for anything. Everything was always given to her!”
She claimed that Jamie Lynn said the performance wasn’t her idea. She sarcastically wished her sister success with her memoir.
In a subsequent statement posted to Instagram, Jamie Lynn questioned the veracity of Britney’s remarks. “It’s become exhausting when conversations and texts we have in private don’t match what you post on social media,” she wrote to her sister. “I know you’re going through a lot and I never want to diminish that, but I also can’t diminish myself.”
She said it was hard to “rationalise to my oldest daughter why our family continues to get death threats, as a result of their aunt’s vague and accusatory posts, especially when we know she could tell the truth, and put an end to all of it in one second if she wanted to”.
She went on: “Sadly, after a lifetime of staying silent, I have come to realise this isn’t going to be a reality, and I may have to set the record straight myself in order to protect mine and my family’s wellbeing.”
She denied that her book was all about Britney and that she had ridden her sister’s coattails to fame. “I can’t help that I was born a Spears, too, and that some of my experiences involve my sister. I’ve worked hard since before I was even a teenager, and I’ve built my career in spite of just being someone’s little sister.”
Jamie Lynn said she was “speaking my truth” to “put an end to the unhealthy chaos that has controlled my life for so long”.
Britney concluded her original post to say that her family had “ruined my dreams 100 billion per cent and try to make me look like the crazy one … My family loves to pull me down and hurt me always so I am disgusted with them.”
She also pointed the finger at the media and the entertainment industry, saying it had “always been extremely hateful” to her. “I’ve given enough … MORE than enough … I was never given back what I want.”
In November, Britney Spears successfully terminated the conservatorship that governed her life and career for nearly 14 years. She said soon after that she believed her family “should all be in jail” for the “demoralising and degrading” treatment she experienced under the arrangement.
Jamie Lynn has made few public comments on the conservatorship and her role in its management is unclear. Posting on Instagram in June, she said: “Maybe I didn’t support [Britney the way] the public would like me to with the hashtag on a public platform, but I can assure you that I supported my sister long before there was a hashtag, and I’ll support her long after”.
Jamie Lynn’s memoir, Things I Should Have Said, is published on 18 January by Hachette’s Christian imprint, Worthy Books. In October, the US mental health charity This Is My Brave declined her offer to donate a portion of the book’s proceeds.