Two months after the pop star was freed from her highly publicized conservatorship, Jamie Lynn Spears had her first televised interview for her press tour while promoting her upcoming memoir, “Things I Should Have Said,” saying she tried to help her big sister out of the situation.
“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,” Jamie Lynn Spears, 30, told ABC’s Juju Chang during a conversation split between “Good Morning America” and “Nightline” that aired Thursday.
Britney Spears fired back at her younger sister in a series of tweets hours after the interview aired, writing Jamie Lynn “never had to work for anything” and “everything was always given to her.”
“She was never around me much 15 years ago at that time…. so why are they even talking about that unless she wants to sell a book at my expense,” Britney Spears added.
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Friday morning Jamie Lynn Spears pushed back against Britney’s tweets.
“Quite frankly, the things being said are absolutely not the truth,” Jamie Lynn Spears wrote in her Instagram post. “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, especially when we know she could tell the truth and put an end to all of it in on second if she wanted to.”
She continued: “That being said, I hate to burst my sister’s bubble, but my book is not about her. I can’t help that I was born a Spears too, and that some of my experiences involve my sister.”
Jamie Lynn Spears said she “worked hard” and built her acting and singing career “in spite of being someone’s little sister.”
Sister Britney Spears responded Friday, claiming Jamie Lynn is lying and that she’s never threatened her before.
“Jamie Lynn … congrats babe ‘! You’ve stooped to a whole new level of LOW.. I’ve never been around you ever with a knife or would I ever even think to do such !!! The only knife l ever saw you with at home was cutting the biggest pieces of squash I ever saw in my life and it was way too big for me to cut …,” Britney Spears tweeted.
She continued: “So please please stop with these crazy lies for the Hollywood books !!! NOW and only NOW I do know only a scum person would make up such things about someone I’m actually very confused about you making that up because it’s honestly not like you at all!!!! Around the kids ???? Jamie Lynn, seriously ??? Come on !!! Congrats on introducing your older sister the concept of getting LOW … LOWER … LOWEST … because you win on that one, babe.”
Before the conservatorship ended in November, Britney Spears, 40, made it clear she was unhappy with members of her family – specifically her father, Jamie Spears, who at one point co-ran the conservatorship; as well as unnamed family members who the singer wrote vaguely online about not showing her support when she needed it.
USA TODAY has reached out to Britney Spear’s lawyer for further comment.
Jamie Lynn Spears’ “Things I Should Have Said” promises to dive into stories from her childhood stardom, teen pregnancy, the accident that nearly killed her daughter, and, yes, her older sister.
“It was really important to me to first off, honor my voice,” she added. “I have to do it or how else can I expect my daughters to stand up for themselves?”
In one passage shared during the interview, Jamie Lynn Spears writes about a fight with her sister during quarantine that was her “wake-up call” about who her family’s priorities were with.
“Britney became enraged about something trivial,” she wrote in the excerpt shared by ABC, and “came at me screaming and getting up in my face while I was holding (toddler) Ivey. Despite my best efforts, Britney continued on the attack, and (daughter) Maddie had to get in between us to protect her little sister until my parents could finally get Britney.”
Jamie Lynn Spears recalled their parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, telling her she “shouldn’t get upset – that I can’t upset Britney.”
“You just saw me and my children get upset,” she recalled replying. “When will I matter?”
Asked if she thought “speaking (her) truth” might harm her relationships, the younger Spears daughter said “nobody ever really considered me.”
Chang mentioned a passage in the book that describes “an incident where Britney takes a knife, says she’s scared and locks you and herself into a room.” At other points, Jamie Lynn Spears describes her sister’s behavior over the years as “erratic,” “paranoid” and “spiraling.” She said she chose to include those details because it felt important to note her own feelings at the time.
“I was a kid and in that moment I was scared. That was an experience I had,” she said. “I also was really fearful to say anything because I didn’t want to upset anybody, but I also was so upset that she didn’t feel safe.”
Jamie Lynn Spears said she “can’t really speak to anyone else’s state of mind” when asked how her sister’s mental state is now – she’s focusing on her own emotions.
“I don’t think that’s fair,” she said. “But I’m allowed to say how I felt… because that matters. It matters that I was in pain.”
A California judge ruled Nov. 12 that Britney Spears was officially free of her conservatorship, which had been put into place nearly 14 years prior after she suffered a public breakdown that played out before the paparazzi. Jamie Lynn Spears said she was “happy” after the conservatorship ended.
“If that’s what makes Britney and everyone else happy, that’s what should happen and that’s all it is,” she said. “It has so very little to actually do with me, except for the well-being of my family members.”
“Everyone has a voice and it should be heard,” Jamie Lynn Spears added, noting that she at one point spoke to her sister’s “previous legal team” but it “didn’t end well.”
“I did take the steps to help, but how many times can I take the steps?” she added. “You know, she has to walk through the door.”
Despite a rift in the family dynamic, Jamie Lynn Spears says “that love is still there” for her sister, “100%.”
“I love my sister,” she said. “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.”
Contributing: Charles Trepany and Maria Puente