Kevin Federline needs to keep Britney Spears’ name out of his mouth and get a real job

Last November, Britney Spears scored a landmark victory when Los Angeles Superior Court Justice Brenda Penny decided to end her conservatorship. After years of work by Spears herself, demonstrations by her most loyal fans, a harrowing documentary has emerged That New York Timesand finally, the singer’s heartbreaking testimony in court, it seemed like Spears had finally won her freedom.

When Spears left her conservatory, the public and media responded with an avalanche of mea culpas. Documentary after documentary had shown how relentless professional pressure, combined with an unsympathetic tabloid, had gradually but systematically broken the singer’s spirit. Viewers saw Spears’ 2008 public collapse in a new light — not as a personal failure to be cruelly ridiculed, as was the case at the time, but as a cry for help from someone who’d been exploited for most of their lives to ours Entertainment.

Less than a year later, however, this well-known atrocity has crept back into Spears discourse. Consider, for example, the conversation that has developed about her following the recent insidious “revelations” by her ex-husband Kevin Federline.

On Monday, ITV began teasing its three-part interview with the former Mr Spears. Federline said he believes the conservatory “saved” his ex-wife, despite Spear’s own claims that she was forced into years of “therapy” with practitioners she never chose (which isn’t therapy at all ); that her medication was forcibly changed as “punishment” for canceling her Las Vegas domination Residence; and that her conservators would not allow her to remove her IUD so she could have a child. (This last claim represents reproductive coercionsaid Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Alexis McGill Johnson.)

Still, Federline persisted: “Jamie Spears came to me and pretty much said I don’t know what to do, I want to help,” he told ITV. “I saw a man who really cared about his family and genuinely cares about his family and wants everything to be okay.” (Regardless, Jamie Spears reportedly lived off his daughter’s fortune for years, even before she became a conservator, further draining her finances to not only her own attorneys but also to pay his.)

Even more insidious, however, was Federline’s decision to open up about Spears’ relationship with her two sons, Sean and Jayden, both of whom are still teenagers in high school. Federline hinted that Spears’ Instagram posts — in which she occasionally poses nude, censored with emojis — embarrassed her sons.

“I apologize for her, for her, for her, because I can’t imagine what it feels like to be a teenager who has to go to high school,” Federline said. “Who knows how many people will ask you about it or talk to you about it? … I try to explain them maybe [it’s] just another way she’s trying to express herself, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that what it’s doing to them is hard.”

Spears’ husband Sam Asghari responded to Federline’s comments with a statement, noting, “Even if it were true that their children were ashamed of their mother’s choices and positive body image, they wouldn’t be the first teenagers to express themselves their ashamed parents.”

Even if their children are ashamed of their mother’s choices and positive body image, they wouldn’t be the first teenagers to feel embarrassed by their parents.”

— Sam Asgari

Then came the most explosive comments: Federline mentioned that Sean and Jayden “don’t see [Spears] right now” and not for “months” since they skipped their wedding this summer. “There were a lot of things that they just weren’t comfortable with,” he said. “They made sure I knew what was going on … they started sending me videos and certain things as they were, look I’m telling you this is happening.”

Exactly what “that” is remains unclear.

In a now-expired statement posted to her Instagram story, Spears wrote, “I am saddened to hear that my ex-husband has decided to discuss the relationship between me and my children… As we all know is raising teenagers is never easy for anyone. It concerns me, the reason is based on my Instagram. It was LONG before Instagram. I gave them everything… Just one word: VULNERABLE.” In a subsequent post, Spears called her sons “hateful” and claimed they never wanted to spend time with her during their visits.

That was all it took for Federline to double up. “I can’t sit back and allow my sons to be blamed like that after what they went through,” Federline said. (Apparently he forgot that it was his own interview about their children that prompted Spears to comment.) “The lies have to stop,” Federline said. “I hope our kids get better than that.”

And so Federline shared a handful of supposedly disturbing videos on Instagram.

“It saddens me to hear that my ex-husband decided to talk about the relationship between me and my children… As we all know, raising teenagers is not easy for anyone.”

— Britney Spears

The videos do not project accurately The Waltons energy, but they are far from scathing. In perhaps the most glaring scene, one of the singer’s sons appears to be complaining that she indefinitely confiscated his phone for going to an ice cream parlor in Alaska. The moment immediately reminded me of the days leading up to Spears’ collapse, when an entire tabloid saga ignited around photos of her walking barefoot into a public restroom. The anecdote played into the media’s already-stubborn narrative that Spears, who had once been our favorite rags-to-riches story, was now irrevocably “white trash.”

Federline removed the videos. Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, issued a statement on behalf of his client.

“Britney has been a faithful supporter of her children and she loves them very much,” the statement said, in part. “Whether he realizes it or not, Mr. Federline has not only violated the privacy and dignity of his children’s mothers, he has also undermined his own children, whose privacy he should protect.”

Rosengart added: “Apart from his ITV interview, cruel, Mr Federline’s unwise decision to release an old video of his children aged 11 and 12 was the bottom of the barrel. It was hideous. Not only has he demeaned himself and violated societal norms, he has also created various legal problems for himself, including but not limited to being involved in cyber harassment and cyberbullying laws.”

What’s really striking, though, is how easily Federline threw us all back to 2009 — when Mom-Police Spears was a mainstay of entertainment media.

Kevin Federline celebrates his birthday at Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club on March 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bryan Steffy/Getty

It’s hard to imagine the positive motivation Federline and his family could have had for sharing these moments. If Sean and Jayden are embarrassed, releasing these videos — even with the consent of the kids, Federline seems to claim — will surely only increase control over the family and further humiliate everyone. And when it comes to Spears’ parenting skills… I mean, can anyone really believe that? This will help?

ITV’s interviewer Daphne Barak, meanwhile, has said some of Federline’s interviews are not being broadcast in full because they are “too hurtful”.

Barak said ITV’s story, which appears to focus on Federline but reportedly includes other family members, is about “fatherhood in the eye of the storm”.

“It’s this story about the dad and the boys and how he managed to successfully bring them against the odds despite all this drama as you can see on Instagram. So basically it wasn’t about Kevin versus Britney, it wasn’t about her, it was about his paternity and the whole family wanted it.”

Somehow I assume that “all the family” doesn’t include Spears – the only reason viewers would even know the names of the individuals. (Nothing against Federline’s short-lived rap career.)

Meanwhile, Spears’ family and previous connections – most of whom are said to have been involved in her submission – continue to find media platforms to tell her story before she has had a chance herself. Lest we forget, her little sister Jamie Lynn has already written a telltale memoir. Even some documentaries allegedly championing the singer, like those from Netflix Britney vs. Spears, cite sources including the attorney who helped remove Sean and Jayden from Spears’ custody. In the absence of Spears’ voice, and especially given what we know about how the singer has been silenced so far, these decisions feel beyond outrageous; they are careless and cruel.

It also seems no coincidence that so many of the criticisms leveled at Spears, from her public nudity to her alleged suitability as a mother, are specifically gendered. Spears’ conservatorship, then as now, is both a disability rights issue and a chilling display of misogyny. This forcibly held spiral, like the relentless conservative fight against abortion and the historic forced sterilization of women of color, was an attempt to override a woman’s autonomy by controlling what she can do with her body.

Federline couldn’t have picked a better time to publicly humiliate Spears once more. Even after horrific unsealed documents from the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp trial, Dior has signed a seven-figure deal with Depp to launch its Sauvage perfume. And Brian Warner, aka Marilyn Manson, has sued Evan Rachel Wood for defamation after she made a strong statement about his alleged abuse.

These situations aren’t identical, but they do share an underlying dynamic: women who speak out about their alleged abuse are still reliably met with retaliation. In the case of Spears, the pain is compounded by the story: this behavior by Federline and online critics is pretty much an exact iteration of the bullying the singer faced as a young mother under a burning spotlight.

The endless chatter and psychoanalysis surrounding Spears is obviously not intended to help the recovering pop idol become a “better” parent, but to entertain an uncaring audience and enrich everyone around them – everyone who is a to swap bits of gossip for another 15 minutes has television. Just as Spears fans suggested a few years ago when Federline tried to increase Spears’ child support payments to a whopping $60,000 a month (up from the $20,000 he was already raising), now seems like a good time for K-Fed his “Get a real job.” Kevin Federline needs to keep Britney Spears’ name out of his mouth and get a real job


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