Jamie Spears Says He Doesn't Think Britney Would 'Be Alive' Without Conservatorship: 'A Great Tool'
It's been more than a year since Britney Spears' longtime conservatorship ended — and now, her dad Jamie Spears is speaking out on the ways in which he believes the court order kept his daughter alive.
Jamie, 70, said in a new interview with The Daily Mail that while he knows his opinion on the conservatorship is divisive (Britney has repeatedly called it "abusive"), he still thinks it was the right move.
"Not everybody's going to agree with me. It's been one hell of a time," he said. "But I love my daughter with all my heart and soul. Where would Britney be right now without that conservatorship? And I don't know if she'd be alive. I don't… For protecting her, and also protecting [her two teenage sons], conservatorship was a great tool."
Britney, 41, was placed under the conservatorship in 2008, when her erratic behavior culminated in two involuntary 5150 holds in a psychiatric hospital. Jamie was removed as the conservator of her estate in September 2021, and the entire conservatorship was terminated two months later.
The decade Britney spent under her father's thumb has continued to face scrutiny, as she has claimed it was a traumatic, controlling period, while Jamie maintains that he was acting in his daughter's best interest.
getty; Alex Berliner/Shutterstock Britney Spears, Jamie Spears
In a Hulu and FX documentary The New York Times Presents: Controlling Britney Spears — which was released days before Jamie was suspended as conservator of Britney's estate — a former employee of the security firm that Jamie had hired, Black Box, claimed the company had monitored Britney's communications, including audio recordings of conversations between the singer, her now-husband Sam Asghari, her sons, and her attorneys made in her bedroom, as well as text messages, phone calls and voicemails on her cell phone.
A former employee, Alex Vlasov, alleged the digital trail was then mirrored onto an iPad, encrypted and sent to Jamie, and Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group's Robin Greenhill, who was Britney's manager at the time and an employee of Tri Star. Both Vlasov's boss, Black Box founder Edan Yemini, and Greenhill have previously denied the allegations.
Court documents filed in January 2022 also accused Jamie of misusing Britney's money, and included a declaration by Sherine Ebadi, an investigator at Kroll and former F.B.I. agent retained by Britney's legal team to investigate Jamie's management, that Jamie "engaged in self-dealing with his daughter's assets," allegedly to pay personal expenses for himself and his associates.
In the filing, Ebadi also corroborated the claims made by Vlasov both in the documentary and in The New York Times that Jamie had Black Box monitor Britney's phone, and was sent "specific items from Ms. Spears' iCloud, such as therapy notes or text messages," despite being "aware that he was expressly prohibited" from doing so without Britney's permission.
"My understanding of a conservatorship is to help someone regain their life and return back to society, and to be able to live normally. I want to say that I made a difference," Jamie told the Mail. "There were a few people behind me that really helped bring it to a point where we could help her."
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Jamie, who currently lives with youngest daughter Jamie Lynn Spears, 31, in rural Louisiana, also claimed that Britney "had no money" when the conservatorship began, and that the order gave her resources that "allowed the finances to be better."
Since the conservatorship ended, Britney has married longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari and bought a new house. The singer regularly uses social media as an outlet, and has accused Jamie, as well as her mother Lynne and sister Jamie Lynn, of abuse.
In August, the star shared a 22-minute video to YouTube and Twitter that reflected on the "trauma" of allegedly being forced to work and spend time in a mental health facility under Jamie's watch.
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The "Hold Me Closer" singer claimed, in part, that after refusing to do a dance move during rehearsals for her Las Vegas residency, Jamie had her placed in a "facility."
"The next day I was told that I had to be sent away to a facility and that I was supposed to say on my Instagram the reason why was because my dad is sick and I need treatment," she recalled. "I remember my dad calling me on the phone and I was crying and I was like, 'Why are you guys doing this?' And I just remember him saying, 'You have to listen to the doctors, the doctors are going to tell you what to do. I can't help you now.'"
Lester Cohen/BBMA2016/Getty Britney Spears
She continued: "And I remember his last words were, 'Now, you don't have to go, but if you don't go, we're going to go to court and there'll be a big trial and you're going to lose. I have way more people on my side than you, you don't even have a lawyer. So don't even think about it.'"
The pop star also said she felt as though "my family threw me away."
During his interview with the Mail, Jamie said Britney's lawyer and the media "don't have a clue what the truth is."
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"They've heard the allegations from Britney. I don't mind taking that beating because I know it's not true, and because I don't want to start something else," Jamie said. "For my daughter to end up going further down the hole than she had been."