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Jamie Lynn Spears insists she's 'only ever loved and supported' Britney

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·6-min read
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Jamie Lynn Spears is discussing her very public rift with sister Britney Spears — and whether she tried to help #FreeBritney.

The Sweet Magnolias star appeared on Wednesday's Good Morning America to promote her new book, Things I Should Have Said. In the interview with Juju Chang, she was asked about her public falling out with her superstar sister. Britney has claimed the conservatorship, under their dad Jamie, was abusive and accused her family of living off the conservatorship for 13 years.

Jamie Lynn, who is 10 years Britney's junior, said she always felt like her sister "was another mom." She wrote in her book that things changed in the aughts and Britney began exhibiting "erratic," "paranoid" and "spiraling" behavior before being put in the conservatorship in 2008.

Jamie Lynn Spears claims she tried to help #FreeBritney from her conservatorship.
Jamie Lynn Spears claims she tried to help #FreeBritney from her conservatorship. " I did take the steps to help, but how many times can I take the steps without, um, you know, she has to walk through the door."(Photo: ABC News)

Asked how she felt about Britney being freed in November, Jamie Lynn said, "I was happy."

She continued, "First off I don't understand ... When it was put into place, I was a 17-year-old ... about to have a baby, so I didn't understand what was happening nor was I focused on that. I was focused on the fact I was a 17-year-old about to have a baby. I understand just as little," about the legal arrangement, which strips a person of almost all their rights, "then as I do now."

Without getting into specifics, Jamie Lynn claimed she tried to help Britney get out of the conservatorship by giving her the resources she needed to end it. She suggested it was Britney who somehow dropped the ball.

"I've always been my sister's biggest supporter, so when she needed help, I set up ways to do so," she said. I "went out of my way to make sure that she had the contacts she needed to possibly go ahead and end this conservatorship — and just end this all for our family. If it's going to cause this much discord, why continue it?"

Asked whether she agreed with the conservatorship, the Zoey 101 alum replied, "It wasn't about agreeing with the conservatorship. Everyone has a voice and it should be heard. If she wanted to talk to other people, then I did, I set that up." 

She said she also spoke to Britney's previous legal team, under Samuel Ingham, "and that did not end well in my favor" without saying why. "So, I did take the steps to help, but how many times can I take the steps without ... you know, she has to walk through the door."

Jamie Lynn has been heavily criticized by Britney supporters for not doing enough to help the star break free of the conservatorship. One of the things Jamie Lynn was asked about was why she was named a trustee of the trust Britney established for her sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, in 2018.

"There was a time where my sisters asked her if I would be the person who assured her boys got what they needed," she said. "Whether she is in a conservatorship or not, that was a very normal thing, I thought."

She said she then had second thoughts — though didn't say if it was because of the intense fan scrutiny.

"Once I realized that, you know what, she's in a conservatorship, I felt like I just didn't want to be a part of until maybe she was out of the conservatorship," she said — and claimed she didn't any access to Britney's fortune, which her new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, has alleged was mismanaged and depleted.

"There was no like me overseeing funds or something like that," Jamie Lynn insisted. "If it was, it was a misunderstanding but either way I took no steps to be a part of it."

(photo: ABC/Richard Harbaugh)
Everything Jamie Lynn Spears says about her estranged sister Britney in her Good Morning America interview. (Photo: ABC/Richard Harbaugh)

She was not asked about the controversy around the $1 million penthouse condo in Destin, Fla., that she publicly said was hers but was in fact owned by her sister.

Jamie Lynn did discuss the drama over her performing Britney's songs at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards. In July, Britney cited that as another example of her family profiting off of her.

"Honestly, it was somewhat confusing to me about that," Jamie Lynn said, "and I actually have spoke to her about that. I was doing a tribute to honor my sister and all the amazing things that she's done."

Asked if she cleared that up with Britney, she replied, "I have cleared up with the fact that I don't think she's personally upset with me about that. Truthfully, I don't know why that bothers her."

Britney stopped following her sister on social media, but Jamie Lynn insisted, "That love is still there — 100 percent."

Breaking down in tears she said, "I love my sister. I've only ever loved and supported her and done what's right by her and she knows that. So I don't know why we're in this position right now."

Jamie said she actually only ever protected her sister — often to her own detriment. The interview touched on her life-long anxiety, which she said stemmed from their father's alcoholism. (She has also been diagnosed with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.) In the interview, she also discussed her teen pregnancy and dealing with media attention during it, and her daughter Maddie's surviving a near-fatal ATV accident.

Britney didn't comment for the interview but has made it clear how things stand with her family in various Instagram posts. The night before Jamie Lynn's interview, she posted this — as has said several times that she's considering giving her own interview, and promised it wouldn't be flattering of her family.

More of Jamie Lynn's interview airs Wednesday on Nightline.

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