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Britney Spears’ younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears has broken her silence about her sister’s conservatorship with an emotional, and, for some, controversial, video statement.
“Hey everybody, I just want to take a second to address a few things,” the younger sibling said in a series of Instagram Stories published on Monday. “The only reason I haven’t before is because I felt like until my sister was able to speak for herself and say what she felt she needed to say publicly, that it wasn’t my place and it wasn’t the right thing to do. But now that she’s very clearly spoken and said what she needed to say, I feel like I can follow her lead and say what I feel I need to say.”
Britney Spears didn’t mince words during an eye-opening hearing last week, in which the pop icon spoke out publicly for the first time on her conservatorship. The 39-year-old claimed that since the conservatorship was put into place 13 years ago, she has been forced to work and perform against her will while ill, pushed into a mental health facility as punishment for not wanting to do a specific dance move, and forced to take lithium. She said she is not allowed to marry her partner or have another child, claiming her conservators won’t allow her to have her IUD removed. Furthermore, she said she doesn’t have access to her own money.
"All I want is to own my money and for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car,” she said, making it clear she wants the conservatorship to end. “I want to sue my family."
She mentioned several incidents, including the mental health facility stay, in which she felt her entire family was unsupportive of her. Britney said that her father, Jamie Spears, and others responsible for mistreating her should be in jail. Jamie has had the most power over the conservatorship over the years.
“It’s not fair that they are telling lies about me openly. Even my family,” Britney said in her testimony. “They do interviews to anyone they want on news stations. My own family doing interviews, and talking about the situation and making me feel so stupid.”
However, Jamie Lynn maintains in her series of stories that she has always supported her big sis. She said she feels “it’s extremely clear” that she has “only loved, adored and supported” Britney her whole life.
“I’m so proud of her for using her voice. I am so proud of her for requesting new counsel, like I told her to do many years ago,” Jamie Lynn said. “Oh, not on a big public platform, but just in a personal conversation between two sisters.”
The former “Zoey 101” star defended herself from social media accusations, mostly coming from #FreeBritney followers, that she took advantage of her sister’s legal situation.
“I mean, I’ve worked to pay my own frickin’ bills since I was 10 years old,” she said. “My sister knows I love and support her, and that’s the only person I owe anything to.”
She went on to say, “Maybe I didn’t support her the way the public would like me to, with a hashtag on a public platform, but I can assure you that I’ve supported my sister long before there was a hashtag, and I’ll support her long after. I have nothing to gain or lose [from the conservatorship] either way.”
She says she supports the dissolution of the conservatorship if that’s what Britney wants.
“Ending the conservatorship, flying to Mars or whatever the hell else she wants to do to be happy, I support that 100 percent,” she said. “Because I support my sister. I love my sister.”
At one point, she appeared to wipe away a possible tear.
Many #FreeBritney fans didn’t feel the sibling was being authentic as by Monday evening “Jamie Lynn” was trending on Twitter. The younger Spears’ Twitter had become besieged with angry comments, many of which accused her of not helping her big sister.
Several fans were tweeting at Netflix to remove Jamie Lynn from “Sweet Magnolias,” a show she has a steady role on. Some even started a petition to get her removed.
Jamie Lynn wrote in an Instagram post last year, "If you deal with mental illness or care for someone dealing with mental illness, then you know how important it is to respect the situation with privacy for the person, and the family trying to protect their loved ones," Vulture reported. A commenter asking why she hadn’t spoken out about her sister’s “OBVIOUS mental illness" and the younger Spears responded, “You have no right to assume anything about my sister. And I have no right to speak about HER health and personal matters. She is a strong, badass, unstoppable woman, and that’s the only thing that is OBVIOUS.”
Britney’s conservatorship was instituted by a court in 2008 not long after she endured what appeared to be a public mental health crisis. Under it, Jamie Spears plays a key role in Britney's finances, business dealings and other legal matters. Court documents obtained by the New York Times last week showed that Britney raised questions about the arrangement, and her father's fitness to oversee it, for years.
Conservatorships are typically employed for people who are deemed unable to make key decisions for themselves, yet the fact that Britney has never really stopped working, including spearheading an enormously successful multi-year Las Vegas residency, had fans crying foul at the constraints she's been placed under for years. Spears compared her seven-day work schedule with no days off to “sex trafficking” last week.
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