On Tuesday, July 6, the pop star's sibling posted on her Instagram Story a screenshot of a Daily Mail headline: "Britney Spears' sister Jamie Lynn shares photos of her home life... after it's revealed she is the ONLY family member not on singer's payroll." The Zoey 101 alum captioned the post, "Facts....now leave my broke-ass alone."
Jamie Lynn, 30, shared the post two weeks after Britney, 39, spoke at a virtual court hearing, pleading to end what the singer called her "abusive" 13-year conservatorship," which is partially controlled by the sisters' father and co-conservator, Jamie Spears, without undergoing a mental health evaluation. The pop star's comments marked her first public statement about the 2008 agreement that was put in place after a psychiatric hospitalization.
Britney's testimony has sparked renewed criticism of her entire family, with many fans accusing them of taking advantage of her financially and not helping their campaign to #FreeBritney. The backlash was fueled further after a July 3 New Yorker article, co-authored by #MeToo movement advocate and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow, stated that Jamie, his ex-wife and the sisters' mother Lynne Spears, Jamie Lynn and her and the singer's brother Bryan Spears "have all spent years on Spears' payroll, and, as friends who spoke with her at the time recalled, she was increasingly resentful of their efforts to influence her."
Jamie Lynn, Bryan and Lynne have not responded to the specific claims made in the article, although Britney's sister tweeted in 2019, "I have NEVER been paid a dime from my sister, that is HER hard earned money, and I am NOT entitled to a cent of it."
A rep for Jamie told The New Yorker that Britney's dad's behavior as that of a loving father saving his daughter from possible ruin. Jamie's attorney had said in a statement after her testimony, "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, his lawyer told CNN that "Jamie believes every single decision he has made has been in her best interest."
Jamie co-managed Britney's personal and medical affairs for the first 11 years of her conservatorship before stepping away from those responsibilities in 2019, citing reasons pertaining to his health. An outside professional, Jodi Montgomery, later took over the role as a co-conservator. Jamie currently remains in control of his daughter's estate and is responsible for approving all her expenditures.
Days after Britney's court testimony, Jamie Lynn issued a video response on Instagram, in which she addressed accusations about allegedly being paid by her sister. "I can assure you I have supported my sister long before there was a hashtag and I'll support her long after," she 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 added, "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."
On July 2, more than a week after Britney's testimony, Jamie Lynn signaled that her family has been harassed. "Hi, I respect that everyone has the right to express themselves," the mother of two daughters wrote on Instagram, "but can we please stop with the death threats, especially the death threats to children."
Britney has expressed opposition to her conservatorship before, just not in a public statement, and legal proceedings to change its terms have been ongoing for more than a year. On June 22, a day before her testimony, The New York Times reported that according to confidential legal records it had obtained, a court investigator wrote in a 2016 report that the singer "articulated she feels the conservatorship has become an oppressive and controlling tool against her" and wanted the agreement terminated as soon as possible.
"She is 'sick of being taken advantage of' and she said she is the one working and earning her money but everyone around her is on her payroll," the investigator wrote, according to the newspaper.
Earlier this week, the conservatorship battle was complicated further when Britney's court-appointed attorney Samuel D. Ingham III filed a resignation request and her longtime manager Larry Rudolph also quit his position, saying in a statement, "It has been over two and a half years since Britney and I last communicated, at which time she informed me she wanted to take an indefinite work hiatus. Earlier today, I became aware that Britney had been voicing her intention to officially retire."
The singer herself has not responded to his remarks or the resignations. In January 2019, two months after her father was hospitalized in Las Vegas, she canceled a planned concert residency in the city and announced an indefinite work hiatus. "I am dedicating my focus and energy to care for my family," she said in a statement at the time. "We have a very special relationship and I want to be with my family at this time just like they have always been there for me."
Meanwhile, while the sisters' mom has not commented on the specifics of Britney's conservatorship case, Lynne did speak vaguely about her daughter's turmoil in a rare phone interview with The New Yorker. "I got mixed feelings about everything" she told the outlet. "I don't know what to think...It's a lot of pain, a lot of worry."