In rare rebuke, Britney Spears’ boyfriend says he has ‘zero respect’ for her dad

A woman in a red dress posing with a man in a white suit
Britney Spears, left, and Sam Asghari arrive at the L.A. premiere of “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” in 2019.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press)

FX and Hulu’s “Framing Britney Spears” documentary is catalyzing some real-time consequences.

Following Friday’s debut of the eye-opening doc, Britney Spears’ boyfriend, Sam Asghari, is speaking out in support of the pop star and is bluntly disparaging her father, who has long controlled Spears’ life through a court-approved conservatorship.

Asghari brought to light the apparent boyfriend-versus-overbearing-dad dynamic with James “Jamie” Spears, taking to Instagram Stories Tuesday to say that he has “zero respect” for the elder Spears.


Applying the rigor of “Frontline” to the story of her conservatorship, “Framing Britney Spears” is a pointed work of criticism aimed at celebrity culture.

Feb. 5, 2021

“Now it’s important for people to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way,” he wrote Tuesday morning, adding a “mic drop” gif.

“In my opinion James is a total d—. I won’t be going into details because I’ve always respected our privacy but at the same time I didn’t come to this country to not be able to express my opinion and freedom,” the Iranian actor added.

Lawyers for Jamie Spears did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment Tuesday.

Sam Asghari
Sam Asghari shares his thoughts on Instagram about Britney Spears’ father.
(Sam Asghari / Instagram Stories)

Spears, 39, and Asghari, 27, met in 2016 on the set of her “Slumber Party” music video and began dating later that year. The couple have been candid about their relationship via Instagram, and have posted frequently about their socially distant time apart and reunion during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve also been together through much of the twists and turns in her “voluntary” conservatorship over the past few years.

A day before the Instagram diss, the “Family Business” actor put out a rare statement in support of his girlfriend, alluding to a brighter future for them and giving credence to fans advocating for her. Her most vocal fans have long been dismissed or ridiculed as #FreeBritney “conspiracy theorists,” but, in court proceedings, the singer’s legal team said she “welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans.”

“I have always wanted nothing but the best for my better half, and will continue to support her following her dreams and creating the future she wants and deserves,” Asghari told People. “I am thankful for all of the love and support she is receiving from her fans all over the world, and I am looking forward to a normal, amazing future together.”


More than 500 Britney Spears fans and legal advocates showed up on Zoom for Wednesday’s #FreeBritney rally amid the pop star’s latest conservatorship hearing.

Dec. 16, 2020

The documentary, produced by New York Times journalists but unauthorized by the singer, paints a sympathetic portrait of the former child star and the high-profile unraveling that led to her protracted and controversial conservatorship, which has been primarily controlled by her father. In a November hearing, the singer’s lawyers intimated that she’s “afraid of her father” and that she reportedly would not perform until he no longer has control over her career.

Organizers of the #FreeBritney movement told The Times that they believe the documentary is a “fantastic” portrayal of “Britney’s surreal and totally unfair situation.”

“Framing Britney Spears” has renewed interest in the legal arrangement and the long-running #FreeBritney campaign, both of which have gained steam in the last year. It also has put past events in sharper focus, analyzing the interrogative nature of Diane Sawyer’s controversial interview with Spears about the end of her relationship with former ’N Sync frontman Justin Timberlake.

Sawyer is facing a backlash from Spears fans over the 2003 interview, and Timberlake’s Instagram is being bombarded with demands that he apologize to Spears.