Britney Spears' relationship with her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, over the years

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Britney Spearsmemoir, “The Woman in Me," is the story many fans have been waiting to tell — the story, she says, she had been unable to tell, after her father placed her in a 13-year-long conservatorship.

“I’m Britney Spears now,” Britney Spears recalls her father, Jamie Spears, saying while she was under his conservatorship in the memoir. During that time, others had final say over her finances, movements and reproductive capabilities. has gone out to Jamie Spears for comment.

A judge ended Britney Spears’ conservatorship in June 2021, following an emotional testimony delivered over the phone. Ever since, the public has been hearing more about Spears’ interior life and the family life that shaped her.

Britney Spears’ parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, were present for their daughter’s rise to fame (her younger sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, also went into show business), but have hit rocky periods since.

Below, find out what Britney Spears has shared about her childhood, and what her parents have shared about her.

Jamie and Lynne Spears eloped

Lynne Spears opened up about her early relationship with Jamie Spears in her 2008 memoir “Through the Storm.” She was engaged at 20 to Jamie Spears, who had already been married. She described him as a “local boy who was always around,” a “quintessential small-town jock hero, good-looking and popular.”

She can’t remember meeting him; he was just “always around.” They did connect one day by the pool. He invited her to an Elton John concert, and they “had a ball.” (Britney Spears would later release a song with Elton John).

She met some resistance from her family. “My parents weren’t crazy about him at first, which made it a bit sticky. They were not impressed that Jamie had been married before, and they seemed to think I could do better for myself,” she writes.

Instead of winning her parents over, Lynne Spears visited Jamie Spears in New York, where he was working as a welder — and they eloped.

Lynne Spears ran a daycare; Jamie Spears worked in construction, per her memoir.

Britney Spears grew up in Kentwood, Louisiana with 2 siblings and a ‘cold’ father

Britney Spears was born in Kentwood, Louisiana in December 1981, the second of three children.

When Britney Spears was born, Jamie and Lynne Spears had just reunited after Lynne Spears filed for divorce and a temporary restraining order, per the New York Times. The divorce papers were withdrawn.

Britney Spears says her childhood home environment was tense. “When I was growing up, my mother and father fought constantly. He was an alcoholic. I was usually scared in my home. Outside wasn’t necessarily heaven, either, but it was my world. Call it heaven or hell, it was mine,” she says.

Lynne Spears corroborates this account in her own memoir, writing she spent time trying to “maintain Jamie’s drinking at a reasonable level.” She writes, “We worked harder at controlling his alcohol consumption than we did maintaining our marriage.”

Britney Spears’ younger sister Jamie-Lynn Spears writes about her father’s alcohol usage in her own memoir “Things I Should Have Said,” writing, “His bouts of drinking always caused me periods of torment and sorrow.”

Britney Spears  (KMazur / WireImage)
Britney Spears (KMazur / WireImage)

Britney Spears says her father was hard on all of his kids, but especially on her older brother, Bryan.

“My dad was reckless, cold, and mean with me, but he was even harder on Bryan (her older brother). He pushed him so hard to do well in sports that it was cruel. Bryan’s life in those years was much rougher than mine because our father put him through the same brutal regimen (his father) had pushed on him,” he says. Have we reached out to Bryan about this? has reached out to Bryan Spears for comment.

Starting when Spears was in eighth grade, she writes that she and her mom would drink together for fun.

“I loved that I was able to drink with my mom every now and then. The way we drank was nothing like how my father did it. When he drank, he grew more depressed and shut down. We became happier, more alive and adventurous,” she writes in the memoir.

Spears’ parents were intermittently present after she got famous

Spears, as she rose to fame, said her parents were supportive of her interest in music. She told Variety in 1999, “They just know that I love to sing and this is what I’ve always wanted to do, so they’ve been behind me 100% from the very beginning.”

Lynne and Britney Spears, along with Britney Spears’ younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears, moved to New York City in 1991 so the soon-to-be-award winner could go to a special performing arts high school. She would travel with Britney Spears, and the two even wrote books together, such as “Britney Spears’s Heart to Heart” in the year 2000.

Britney Spears & mom Lynne (Barry King / WireImage)
Britney Spears & mom Lynne (Barry King / WireImage)

Britney Spears dated Justin Timberlake from 1999 to 2002, before he broke up with her over text, per the memoir. has reached out to Timberlake for comment.

Britney Spears says part of the difficulty with the breakup involved losing the warmth of Timberlake’s family, especially as it compared to her.

“Part of what made that period of time so difficult is that Justin’s family had been the only real, loving family I had … My mom would come out and visit us every once in a while but she’s not who I went home to, ever. My mom was trying to recover from her divorce from my dad, which she’d finally gone through with; depressed and self-medicating, she could barely get up off the couch. My dad was nowhere to be found.”

Spears’ parents divorced

Lynne Spears writes in her memoir that the “foundation” of their marriage had “cracked” before Britney Spears became a famous singer. By the time she did, she had “made up her mind” to divorce Jamie Spears.

“In 2000, 18-year-old Britney sat me down. ‘Mama,’ she said, ‘do you want to live like this for the rest of your life?’ She meant, of course, did I want to live out my days with a husband who was barely present, never mind supportive or loving?”

Britney Spears  (Chris Farina / Corbis via Getty Images)
Britney Spears (Chris Farina / Corbis via Getty Images)

She continues, “Britney knew that sometimes, Jamie and I were golden, the sweetest, most loving, most connected couple there was. Only sometimes, though. She also knew that years of verbal abuse, abandonment, erratic behavior and his simply not being there for me had taken its toll.”

Lynne Spears writes that Jamie Spears was “irate” that she was divorcing him. “Jamie knew in his heart that this was the toll of his actions over the years. He was angry, but not surprised.”

She put her ‘family first’ when her dad suffered health issues in 2018, going on indefinite hiatus

Britney Spears paused her Las Vegas residency “Britney: Domination” after her father suffered a ruptured colon.

“I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say,” Britney Spears tweeted in 2019. “I will not be performing my new show ‘Domination’. I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart.”

She continued, “However, it’s important to always put your family first … and that’s the decision I had to make ... A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him.”

Jamie Spears and Britney Spears  (Bauer-Griffin / GC Images)
Jamie Spears and Britney Spears (Bauer-Griffin / GC Images)

She never put on the show. In her memoir, she says she’s not interested in returning to music for the time being.

Britney Spears and her father went head-to-head over a conservatorship

Spears was placed under a conservatorship in 2008 following a mental health crisis, some of which played out in the public eye.

As defined by a California court, a conservatorship is a  “a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the ‘conservator’) to care for another adult (called the ‘conservatee’) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances.”

Jamie Spears was the conservator of his daughter’s personal life, as well as her estate. He stepped down as her personal conservatorship in 2019, and a court-appointed professor, Jodi Montgomery, acted as her temporary conservator.

“My father presented the conservatorship as a great stepping stone on the road to my ‘comeback.’ Just months after I had released the best album of my career, but fine,” Britney Spears writes in the memoir.

The conservatorship governed all aspects of her life, from whether she could have a child to her finances.

At one point, during a 2008 interview with the Daily Star, per’s prior reporting, Spears said her father “saved (her) life with the conservatorship. Her tune changed after 13 years under its control. Calling in to a courtroom hearing in June 2021, Britney Spears stated her intentions: “I am here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservator abuse.”

A lawyer for Jamie Spears said, at the hearing, said, “Mr. Spears loves his daughter, and misses her very much.”  In an August filing Jamie Spears said he was “willing to step down when the time is right, but the transition needs to be orderly and include a resolution of matters pending before the Court.”

Britney Spears reflects on the conservatorship and her loss of control in the book, writing: “I think back now on my father and his associates having control over my body and my money for that long and it makes me feel sick… Think of how many male artists gambled all their money away; how many had substance abuse or mental health issues. No one tried to take away their control over their bodies and money. I didn’t deserve what my family did to me.”

Jamie Spears (Nick Ut / AP)
Jamie Spears (Nick Ut / AP)

The conservatorship ended in November 2021. She addressed her family in an October 2021 Instagram post: “This message is to my family ... for hurting me deeper than you’ll ever know !!!” she wrote. “I know the conservatorship is about to be over but I still want justice !!! I’m only 5’4” and I’ve played the bigger person my entire life ... do you know how hard that is ???”

Where does she stand with her parents now?

Britney Spears and her mother began the path to reconciliation in May 2023, according to the singer’s Instagram.

“My sweet mama showed up at my door step yesterday after 3 years … it’s been such a long time … with family there’s always things that need to be worked out … but time heals all wounds !!! And after being able to communicate what I’ve held in for an extremely long time, I feel so blessed we were able to try to make things RIGHT !!! I love 💕 you so much !!!,” wrote Britney.

Lynne Spears & Britney Spears  (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic)
Lynne Spears & Britney Spears (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic)

Britney Spears does not say whether she is speaking to her father in the memoir. Jamie Spears said in an interview with the Daily Mail, following the conservatorship’s end, “Where would Britney be right now without that conservatorship? And I don’t know if she’d be alive. I don’t.”

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