Jamie Lynn Spears has signaled that she and her children received death threats, days after she broke her silence about her sister Britney Spears's plea in court to end what the singer called her "abusive" 13-year conservatorship" and amid renewed criticism of the pop star's family.
In a statement made to a judge last week by phone, Britney, 39, slammed their father Jamie Spears, the co-conservator of her finances who also oversaw her personal and medical care for the first 11 years of her conservatorship, and others involved in her life, including her family. She did not name her sister, who spoke out in support of Britney and her court battle days after her testimony amid criticism from fans. In an Instagram Story post shared on Friday, July 2, Jamie Lynn said some supporters took their anger too far.
"Hi, I respect that everyone has the right to express themselves, but can we please stop with the death threats, especially the death threats to children. -JLS," read the statement by the Zoey 101 alum, a mother of two daughters.
Britney was first placed under a court-mandated conservatorship in 2008, months following a psychiatric hospitalization. In her testimony, the "Toxic" singer, who has undergone therapy for years, said she wanted the conservatorship to end without her having to undergo an evaluation by a mental health professional.
"I've done a lot of research and there's a lot of judges who are in conservatorship for people without them having to be evaluated all the time," the star said in her testimony. "The only time they don't is that the conservator's family member says something's wrong with in person and considered otherwise. And considering my family has adopted my conservatorship for 13 years, I won't be surprised if one of them has something to say, go forward and say, 'We don't think this should be asked to help her.' Especially if I get my fair serve and trying to get something like they did to me."
After Britney spoke, her father's attorney said in a statement, "Mr. Spears is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much." In March, Jamie's lawyer told CNN that "Jamie believes every single decision he has made has been in her best interest." Earlier this week, Britney's father petitioned the court to investigate the claims the pop star made in her testimony.
Many of Britney's fans have accused Jamie Lynn and other members of their family of taking advantage of the singer's success, ignoring or enabling her alleged mistreatment and not speaking out more in support of her or endorsing their #FreeBritney campaign. Following the star's testimony, which marked her first public comments about her court battle to end her conservatorship, Jamie-Lynn came under renewed criticism for not immediately making a statement to back up her sister. She broke her silence five days later.
"The only reason I hadn'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," Jamie Lynn said in an Instagram video posted on Monday, June 28. "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."
She continued, "I think it is extremely clear since the day I was born, I've only loved, adored, and supported my sister. I mean this is my freaking big sister, before any of this bulls--t. I don't care if she wants to run away to a rainforest and have a zillion babies in the middle of nowhere, or if she wants to come back and dominate the world the way she has done so many times before, because I have nothing to gain or lose either way. This situation does not affect me either way because I'm only her sister who's only concerned about her happiness."
The country star added that she "made a very conscience choice" to only participate in Britney's life as her sister and aunt to the singer's two sons, Sean Preston Federline, 15, and Jayden James Federline, 14.
"Maybe I didn't support the way the public may have liked me to, with a hashtag on a public platform, but I can assure you I have supported my sister long before there was a hashtag and I'll support her long after," Jamie said "I mean I've worked since I was 9 and paid my own bills since I was 10 years old, not that I owe the public anything because my sister knows I love and support her and that's the only person I owe anything to. I am not my family. I am my own person I am speaking for myself."
Jamie Lynn continued, "I am 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. Oh, not on big public platform, but just in a personal conversation between two sisters. So, I am very proud she has taken that step. If ending the conservatorship or whatever hell else she wants to do to be happy. I support that 100 percent because I support my sister, I love my sister, always have and always will as long as she's happy. So let's keep praying. That's all."
In addition to Jamie Lynn, her husband Jamie Watson also spoke out about Britney's testimony, telling The New York Post three days after the court hearing, "I can assure you her family loves her and wants the best for her. I wouldn't be around people who weren't. Who wouldn't want to be in support of Britney?"