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Everything we know about Britney Spears' relationship with her two sons.

Britney Spears was pregnant with her second child when she was asked about tabloids accusing her of being "a bad mum", during a 2006 interview with Matt Lauer. 

"That's America for you," Britney replied, trying to laugh it off. 

But the scrutiny of Spears - as a popstar, as a woman and most recently, at the time, as a mother - was no joking matter.

Documentary The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears, available to view in Australia on 9Now, delves into the life and career of Britney Spears, including how she's been failed by other people and the belief that she is being held "captive" by her family and management.

Watch: The trailer for The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears. Post continues below video.


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It also aims to reveal the latest developments in Britney's legal battles and explore the increasingly loud #FreeBritney movement.

In light of the new documentary, here's everything we know about the singer's relationships with her kids, Jayden and Sean, who she shares with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Sean and Jayden Federline.

In July 2004, Britney Spears became engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, three months after the pair met.

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Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Image: Getty.
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On September 18, Spears, then 22 and Federline, then 26, wed in a surprise ceremony in California, but they were not legally married until October 6 due to a delay in finalising their prenup.

Not long after, Spears fell pregnant and she gave birth to son Sean Preston on September 14, 2005 - just four days before their first wedding anniversary.

In 2006, the couple welcomed their second child Jayden James.

Just eight weeks later, Spears filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Their divorce was finalised in July 2007, when they reached a settlement and agreed to joint custody of their sons.

The infamous umbrella paparazzi images.

More than a decade on, we know just how tough the last years of the noughties were for Britney Spears.

'If Britney can make it through 2007, I can survive this day,' is one of pop culture's most enduring memes, after all.

Read more: Britney Spears tried to talk to us for years. We didn't listen.

After giving birth to her son Sean, Spears' paparazzi presence exploded and tabloids bent over backwards to portray her as an unfit mother.

She told Matt Lauer in a 2006 interview she feared for Sean's safety as paparazzi banged on their car doors and did everything to get the shot.

Following the birth of her second son Jayden, and divorce from Kevin Federline, images of Britney partying became commonplace on magazine covers. 

Weeks after filing for divorce, Britney was photographed on an alcohol-fuelled binge with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. It was splashed across headlines as a "bimbo summit", with no empathy for the seeds of a mental breakdown that in hindsight seemed obvious.

Listen: Mamamia's daily news podcast, The Quicky, looks at the agreement that's left Britney Spears in a lifetime lockdown. Post continues below. 

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Soon after came more photos, including the infamous photo of Spears smashing a paparazzo's car with an umbrella. 

As we learned in Framing Britney Spears, the former incident happened when Spears was upset at being followed by the man after Federline denied her seeing her sons.

The paparazzi whose car it was explained in the new documentary that the images took place after she'd driven to Kevin's house hoping to see her sons, but he had not opened the gate for her to do so.

Image: Getty.

"That night was not a good night for her, and it wasn't a good night for us. But it was a good night for us, because it was a money shot," the paparazzo explained in the documentary. 

After Spears was photographed driving her sons with a suspended licence, a judge granted Federline full custody.

In January 2008, Spears refused to relinquish custody of her sons to Federline's representatives after one of her scheduled visits with them. This led to her being hospitalised after police that had arrived at her house noted she appeared to be under the influence of an unidentified substance.

Her visitation rights were suspended at an emergency court hearing, and Federline was given sole physical and legal custody of the children. She was put on involuntary psychiatric hold and placed under temporary, and later permanent, conservatorship of her father Jamie Spears.

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A complicated custody agreement.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's sons Sean and Jayden are now 15 and 14 years old.

The former couple have rarely spoken about their custody agreement for their children, but in 2017, Federline told Bravo it required compromise.

"It wasn’t always easy, but it's a lot easier now," he said. "When you are co-parenting, you have to be willing to give up some of the things you would really like to do."

In March 2018, Federline returned to court to ask that Spears' child support payments double to US$40,000 a month. At the time, he claimed to be making US$3000 a month.

In September of that year, Spears was ordered to pay Federline US$110,000 to cover his legal fees and agreed to pay thousands more a month in child support, although the exact amount was never released.

When Spears checked into a mental health facility in March 2019 after her father Jamie Spears' suffered a near-fatal colon rupture, Federline praised her for seeking help.

Spears currently has 30 per cent custody of her sons, while Federline has 70 per cent. According to People, an adult who is not her father must be present when Sean and Jayden are with their mother.

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Spears rarely shares images of her sons on her Instagram page, but in March 2021 she shared a photo and wrote about watching her sons grow up.

"My boys are so big now," Spears wrote.

"It's very hard for any mama, especially a mama with boys, seeing them grow up so fast... I'm extremely lucky because my two babies are such gentlemen and so kind that I must have done something right."

Spears said she didn't share many photos of Sean and Jayden because "they're at the age where they want to express their own identities and I totally get it... But I went out of my way to make this cool edit and guess what... They're finally letting me post it!!!"

Jayden Federline's 2020 Instagram Live.  

Jayden Federline had no kind words for his grandfather during a candid Instagram Live in March 2020. 

He called Jamie Spears a "pretty big d***".

When one follower asked Jayden if his mother was "being controlled" in her conservatorship, he said "No, I don't know," but also responded to someone who wrote "Help your mum break free" by claiming "That's what I'm trying to do."

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Every year i come back to this tree. It’s beautiful! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A post shared by  Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on


He said it was unlikely his mother would return to music anytime soon, after she announced an indefinite hiatus in early 2019.

"Actually I haven't seen her doing a lot of music at all. I don't think that… I don’t know, dude. I don't even know," he said.

"I remember one time I asked her, I said, 'What happened to your music?' and she was like, 'I don't know, honey. I think I might just quit it'."

Jayden had positive words for his dad ("My dad's literally Jesus") and Sam Asghari, Spears' partner since 2016.

"I like Sam. He’s good, he's nice. He's a really good dude."

He claimed he would share more about his mum's life if he reached 5000 followers.

Jayden's Instagram account has now been made private and all posts have been deleted.

According to Page Six, Federline "handled" the aftermath of Jayden's Instagram comments, which were made from his father's home.

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"It's the result of a 13-year-old acting like a 13-year-old," attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told the publication. "Kevin is handling it like a responsible parent."

He did not say whether Spears and Federline had communicated about the incident.

Jamie Spears and his grandchildren.

In September 2019, Jayden Federline accused Jamie of abusing Sean, then 13, by putting his hands on him during an altercation in August.

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Britney Spears and her father. Image: Getty.

A restraining order against Jamie was taken out in August meaning he is not allowed to see his grandsons for three years.

Sources told TMZ Jamie allegedly broke down a door to get to the teenager during a fight and grabbed him.

Jayden's attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told People: "There was a disagreement that occurred while Britney and the children were visiting with Jamie at his home that led to a physical altercation that was observed by [their other son] Jayden. Britney did the right thing and removed the children and took them out of there, but the trauma to the kids is nonetheless."

Jamie Spears had stepped down as Spears' conservator following his ill health, but reportedly resumed the role in January.

This article was originally published on March 2020, and was since been updated with new information. 

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