Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's public war of words took an even more personal turn on Wednesday night. Federline posted videos of the singer seemingly yelling at their sons — Sean Preston, 16, and Jayden James, 15 — four years ago. Yahoo Entertainment viewed the clips, which appear to be from two separate incidents, before Federline deleted the post.
"I can not sit back and let my sons be accused in this way after what they've been through," Spears's ex-husband wrote on Instagram. "As much as it hurts us, we decided as a family to post these videos the boys took when they were 11 & 12. This isn't even the worst of it. The lies have to stop. I hope our kids grow up to be better than this. #NeverFearTruth."
Spears's attorney, Mathew Rosengart, hit back at Federline in a statement, claiming he "has undermined his own children" and violated the singer's privacy. Rosengart accused Federline of "cyberbullying." (The full message can be read down below.) Yahoo reached out to a lawyer for Federline, but did not receive a response.
Federline's message came hours after the "Toxic" singer shared a lengthy Instagram talking about her relationship with the boys.
"It's hard for me to let go of things I truly love ... like my kids," Spears began in a now-deleted post. "The situation should have 100 percent been dealt with privately and definitely not online."
Spears is referring to Federline's upcoming tell-all interview, which journalist, Daphne Barak, said won't air in full as it's too "hurtful." In a preview published by the Daily Mail, the backup dancer said the boys have not seen her in months and chose not to attend her wedding to Sam Asghari. Federline claimed the boys, in part, are embarrassed by her nude Instagram photos.
Related video: Journalist behind Kevin Federline interview speaks out
Federline and Spears finalized their divorce in 2007. He's had full custody of the boys since the conservatorship was established in 2008. However, she still had visitation rights. In Wednesday's Instagram post, the singer said that when the boys would come to her house they wouldn't spend time with her, writing, "the teenage age is weird."
"Yeah, I know that teenagers are just hard to deal with at that age … but COME ON, there's being rude then there's being HATEFUL … they would visit me, walk in the door, go straight to their room and lock the door !!!" Spears wrote. "The MONITOR would tell me that he just likes to be in his room … I'm like why come visit me if they don't even visit me !!! But I never said that because I have to be kind !!!"
The singer continued: "Remember... if I speak up as a woman or say something argumentative like I did with a dance move saying no to it, I got sent to that place for 4 months."
Spears said she "tried and tried" with her sons, but they stopped coming over. "I wanted them to love me so much that I might have overdone it !!!" When they told her this summer they wouldn't be coming over as much, Spears said she called Federline about how they were being "harsh." She claims Federline initially told her he wouldn't let their children stop seeing her.
"Well after that, I haven't seen them since," she wrote, later adding: "I talk about it because my heart doesn't understand cruelty."
"I can't process how I dedicated 20 years of my life to those kids... everything was about them," she continued, adding they knocked "the breath out of me."
Spears also took a shot at Federline in the lengthy message, writing, "I can guarantee you, that house has more weed than Ludacris, 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Puff Daddy combined!!!!"
Federline's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, told TMZ his client found that part particularly bothersome. Kaplan claimed Spears hasn't seen the boys in five months as they feel uncomfortable to be around her and she allegedly sent them very upsetting texts. Kaplan emphasizes it was Jayden and Sean Preston's choice to distance themselves from the singer.
Rosengart issued the following statement to Yahoo on Thursday:
Britney Spears is a brilliantly talented, extremely hardworking icon, who is rightfully beloved and respected by millions around the world. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about Mr. Federline, who for reasons that are inexplicable, decided to give a gratuitous interview that has hurt the mother of his children.
Britney has faithfully supported her children and she loves them dearly. Whether he realizes it or not, Mr. Federline has not only violated the privacy and dignity of the mother of his children, he has undermined his own children, whose privacy he should protect. Putting aside his ITV interview, Mr. Federline’s ill-advised decision to post an old video of his 11 and 12-year-old children was cruel, bottom of the barrel stuff. It was abhorrent.
In addition to demeaning himself and violating societal norms, he has now also created various legal issues for himself, including, but not limited to, implicating cyber-harassment and cyber-bullying statutes, among other things. It has been my honor to work with Britney, to suspend her father as conservator, to help her gain her freedom and dignity, and to help protect her from the type of bullying she endured in the past — and we will not tolerate bullying in any area.
We are working with Instagram to ensure that Mr. Federline adheres to its rules and we are exploring all appropriate relief against him. In the meantime, as Britney poignantly said, whatever is occurring between her and her boys should remains private. We urge Mr. Federline to act with a measure of grace and decency and to cease from publicly discing private matters, which benefits no one.
This story was originally published on Aug. 11, 2022 at 12:58 p.m. ET and has been updated to include Mathew Rosengart's statement.