Post-Conservatorship, America Is Team Britney
On August 10, Britney Spears’ ex-husband, Kevin Federline leaked videos to TMZ of Spears shouting at their kids, Sean Preston, 16, and Jayden James, 15. And now Nicki Minaj has come to her defense.
While promoting her new single, “Super Freaky Girl” on a livestream, new mom Nicki Minaj ripped into Federline with the same ferocity she reserves for her verses.
“ Do you understand what kind of a clown you have to be to be a whole, grown f–king man, and as soon as you see somebody happy and getting married and moving on and being free and feeling good in their own skin, to do the very thing that you know is going to attempt to break them down?”
"Only cowards use the media against a famous person who they once loved, they procreated with, they’re being taken care of by, they once were being taken care of by, using the person’s fame as this constant ‘gotcha’ moment."
“ You wanna take your little goofy ass to do some motherf–king interview? How dare you. How dare you encourage this woman’s children to be a part of your nonsense. When they look back, they’re gonna say, ‘Why, why, why did we do this?’ They’re kids. They don’t know how detrimental this is. But you know, c–ksucker.”
Minaj finished by telling Federline to “leave [Spears] the f–k alone,” a refrain that was once mocked when the plea went viral in 2007 after Spears infamously shaved her head.
The video was reexamined in 2021, amidst the public push to “Free Britney” from her 13-year-long conservatorship. Britney famously had no access to her own considerable income or control over decisions in her personal life.
The anthem of the Free Britney Movement was that she could do whatever she wanted when free; whether that meant touring for her fans or spending time away from the spotlight with her sons.
Former back-up dancer Federline’s decision to drag her parenting under the most inscrutable microscope of all, Hollywood, is an attempt to use public opinion to sway the courts in his favor — whether that comes to custody or conservatorship. On Monday, August 8, Federline announced that the conservatorship that Spears considers abusive, “saved her.” Telling the media that her kids refuse to see her in yet another blow to her story that she's a responsible mother.
Regarding the leaked videos, the internet reacted with a spectrum of judgement of the pop star, but overwhelmingly one stood out — “that’s it?” An Australian op-ed piece imparted, “If our biggest parenting fails were broadcast to the world, people would assume we were horrible parents.” Minaj, who toured with Spears in 2011, added “She loves her kids more than life itself.”
The TMZ slice of someone’s life shouldn’t be enough to condemn them. But it worked in 2007. Federline is using the same exploitative tools at his disposal once again. However, he’s underestimating the star power of her biggest supporters like Minaj and the volatility of the American juggernaut — the tools have finally swayed in Spears’ favor.