A 60 Minutes interview and a voice note: What we know about Britney Spears' relationship with her sons.

Content warning: This post includes discussion of pregnancy loss that may be distressing to some readers.

This week on 60 Minutes, one of Britney Spears' sons issued a direct message to his mum.

It highlighted just how strained relations are between Britney and her two sons as of late, with her ex-husband and the boys' father Kevin Federline choosing to air their family grievances on television.

But it wasn't always this way.

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

By September, Britney, 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, Britney fell pregnant and 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, Britney 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.

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

After giving birth to her son Sean, Britney's 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. 

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline while they were together. Image: Getty.

In that same interview with Matt Lauer, Britney was asked about tabloids accusing her of being "a bad mum".

"That's America for you," Britney replied, trying to laugh it off. But the scrutiny of Britney - as a popstar, as a woman, and as a mother - was no joking matter.


Following the birth of her second son Jayden, and divorce from 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.

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

As we learned in Framing Britney Spears, the former incident happened when she 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.

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

In January 2008, she 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.

She could now only ever see her kids when Federline decided. 

Britney Spears with her two sons. Image: Getty.

What Britney Spears' sons have had to say about Britney's family. 

In 2020, Jayden Federline had no kind words for his grandfather during a candid Instagram Live, calling Jamie Spears a "pretty big d***".


However, he had positive words for his dad ("My dad's literally Jesus") and Sam Asghari, Spears' now husband.

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

In September 2019, Jayden Federline accused Jamie of abusing Sean, then 13, by putting his hands on him during an altercation in August. A restraining order against Jamie was taken out in August meaning he was 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."

Where Britney Spears and her sons stand today.

Britney and Federline's sons Sean and Jayden are now 16 and 15 years old. Just last month, Federline said that his sons have been estranged "for months" from Britney.

This week, Jayden appeared on his father's 60 Minutes interview

When asked what he would like to tell his mother, Jayden said: "I love you a lot and I hope for the best for you. It's almost like she has to post something on Instagram to get some attention. This has gone on for years and years and years and there's a high chance that this will never stop, but I'm hoping for me that she will stop."


In response, Britney released a public message to her son on Instagram.

Britney Spears with her sons in 2021, and her sons in 2022. Image: Instagram @britneyspears, @kevinfederlineworld.

In a three-minute audio message, she said her life currently was in a good place. But then things took a turn.


"So, Jayden, as you undermine my behaviour, just like my whole family always has, with 'I hope she gets better' and 'I will pray for her.' Pray for what? So I keep working so I can pay off mum's legal fees and her house? Do you want me to get better so I can continue to give you dad $40k a month?

"Or is the reasoning behind you guys deciding to be hateful is because it's actually over in two years and you don't get anything?" she said, referring to the child support arrangements in place. 

Britney went on to say that she wished she could see her sons more often, but felt as though she can't do anything right in their eyes currently.

"I looked forward to seeing you guys weekly. If I didn't shower you guys with gifts and have amazing food ready and play a motherf**king saint, it was never good enough. Jayden, you were just like my other family. You secretly loved looking at me as [if] something was wrong with me."

Jayden nor Federline are yet to respond to the voice note from Britney.

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

This article was originally published in March 2020, and updated on September 6, 2022.

Feature Image: Instagram @britneyspears.

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