More than a week after Britney delivered a bombshell testimony, the New Yorker published an exposé detailing how the court-appointed guardianship came to be, as well as Britney’s years-long efforts to regain autonomy. Journalists Jia Tolentino and Pulitzer Prize winner Ronan Farrow spoke to a number of sources who shed light on the situation, including a former housekeeper, family friends, and Britney’s mom, Lynne Spears.
“I got mixed feelings about everything,” Lynne said. “I don’t know what to think … It’s a lot of pain, a lot of worry.”
Lynne spoke about her daughter’s court dispute in a phone interview sometime in June; though it’s unclear if the conversation took place before or after Britney’s highly publicized court testimony. The 66-year-old mother declined to answer detailed questions about the dispute, and reportedly told the writers she may “hang up abruptly” if a family member unexpectedly walked into the room.
“I’m good. I’m good at deflecting,” she added.
Just days after Britney formally asked the court to terminate her conservatorship, Lynne’s attorney, Gladstone Jones, described his client as a “very concerned mother.”
“I first want to say that was very courageous of Ms. [Britney] Spears,” Jones said during last month’s court hearing, as reported by E! News. “One thing I want to raise with the court … is when she was there in May 2019 that she didn’t feel like she was heard. I feel we need to make sure today that she was heard.”
During her testimony, Britney made a number of shocking claims about the abuse she endured throughout her conservatorship, which was imposed in 2008. She told the court she was forced to work against her will, was drugged with lithium, and was prohibited from removing her IUD.
“I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough,” she told the court. “It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end. I deserve to have a life. I’ve worked my whole life.”
Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, is the co-conservator of the artist’s estate alongside Bessemer Trust. Lynne, who divorced Jamie in 2002, previously supported her daughter’s efforts to remove Jamie as conservator. According to the New York Times, Lynne made her case through her lawyer at a 2020 court hearing, describing Britney and Jamie’s relationship as “toxic” and that it was “time to start fresh.” Lynne also claimed her ex-husband referred to their daughter as “a racehorse who has to be handled like one.”
On Wednesday, a judge denied Britney’s motion to have her father removed from her conservatorship. The next hearing for the case is scheduled for July 14.