Britney Spears' mother Lynne Spears has spoken out about her daughter's recent turmoil. With a whisper.
Lynne, 66, spoke to The New Yorker by phone about her daughter in comments published more than a week after the 39-year-old singer said in a June 23 court testimony that she wanted to end what she called her "abusive" 13-year conservatorship, largely controlled by the star's father and Lynne's ex-husband, Jamie Spears.
"I got mixed feelings about everything," Britney's mother was quoted as saying in a phone interview. "I don't know what to think...It's a lot of pain, a lot of worry."
She added, "I'm good. I'm good at deflecting."
The article was published on Saturday, July 3, and penned by journalists Ronan Farrow, who in 2018 won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the #MeToo movement, and Jia Tolentino. They wrote that Lynne made her comments in June, was "fastidiously polite as she declined to answer detailed questions about the case" and "spoke in a whisper and apologized that she might have to hang up abruptly if other family members walked in and discovered her speaking to a reporter." The date of the phone call was not disclosed.
This marked the most detailed public comments Lynne has made in response to her daughter's legal battle, although she has voiced support for the singer's well-being over the years.
Many of Britney's fans have accused her entire family of taking advantage of the singer's success, ignoring or even enabling her alleged mistreatment and not speaking out more in support of her or endorsing their #FreeBritney campaign to end her conservatorship, first put in place in 2008 following her psychiatric hospitalization. Lynne has never commented publicly about Britney's bid to regain her independence, which began as a push to remove Jamie, 68, as a conservator in 2019.
However, in April of that year, as the fans' campaign launched following renewed personal and legal turmoil for the singer, Lynne did like social media posts from people who voiced concern for her daughter. A month later, Britney's mother filed court documents requesting to be informed of all matters pertaining to her daughter's conservatorship.
Britney's turmoil, past and present, and the #FreeBritney campaign are the focus of a recent New York Times-produced Hulu documentary Framing Britney Spears. In February, paparazzi asked Lynne at Los Angeles International Airport about what she thought about the film. She did not respond to the question but did give a non-verbal response when asked about her daughter's well-being.
"She never talks," an eyewitness told E! News at the time. "She is very kind and very polite. She looked and nodded when asked how Britney was doing."
A family source also told E! News in February that Lynne, who still lives in the family's hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, "comes out every few months and spends a good amount of time with Britney" in Los Angeles. The insider added, "When she isn't here, they talk all the time. Lynne wants to help Britney and make sure she has the freedom that she deserves."
This past March, Britney shared on Instagram a throwback clip of her performing, writing in the caption, "Geez … My mom sent this to me and reminded me that I can sing!!!! She said 'You never sing anymore … you need to again !!!!' I've actually never watched this performance … it's definitely from a while ago !!!! It's from one of the first trips I took alone ... mostly I just remember saying 'WOW Singapore'!!!!!"
Britney has not performed since canceling a Las Vegas concert residency in January 2019, citing her father's health issues. Jamie co-managed Britney's personal and medical affairs for the first 11 years of her conservatorship before stepping away from those responsibilities in September 2019, citing his undisclosed illness. An outside professional, Jodi Montgomery, later took over the role as a co-conservator. However, Jamie remains in control of his daughter's estate and is responsible for approving all her expenditures.
In her testimony, which marked her first comments about her conservatorship, Britney slammed her "dad and anyone involved in the conservatorship and my management" and called for it to end without having to undergo an evaluation by a therapist.
"My precious body has worked for my dad for the past f--king 13 years, trying to be so good and pretty," she said. "So perfect because he works me so hard when I do everything I'm told. And the state of California, my father, ignorant father to take his own daughter, who only has a role with me if I work with him, they get back the whole course and allow him to do that to me? That's given these people I've worked for way too much control."
Following Britney's testimony, Jamie'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, the singer's lawyer told CNN that "Jamie believes every single decision he has made has been in her best interest."
Earlier this week, a judge denied the request from Britney's court-appointed lawyer to have her father dropped as her co-conservator.
Meanwhile, Britney's father has petitioned the court to investigate the claims the pop star made in her testimony. And the issue over control of her finances remains up in the air. Also following Britney's testimony, a financial company that the singer's lawyer formally requested to co-manage her estate filed to withdraw from the role. A judge has yet to approve that request.