Jamie Spears is the one man that pop icon Britney has been able to rely on.
So it comes as no surprise to those who know her that the singer plunged into a deep depression when her dad suffered a life-threatening illness.
The singer – who infamously shaved her head in front of the world’s paparazzi during a breakdown in 2007 – has always struggled with “difficult emotional and mental health issues,” sources close to the Spears family told Page Six.
And according to one source who has worked with Spears, she is extremely shy and only trusts a few people around her – and one of them is her dad.
The source told us: “Jamie was around all the time, he’s really sweet and he never overly interfered at all. They are super close.”
The source added: “At the height of her fame, Britney was taken to a place where she couldn’t be a normal person.
“It was very difficult for her to trust people – and she has always relied on her dad to help her do ‘normal’ things.
“I think it’s almost like there are two Britneys – the one who is able to go out on stage and perform to thousands of fans in Vegas – and the girl who is really quite normal with her family.”
The family source said that while Spears has not been abusing drugs, prescription meds or alcohol, she has had some recent personal complications.
The source explained, “Britney hasn’t been out partying or drinking, she’s been at home. She has very difficult emotional and mental health issues, which had been under control, but in the last few months she has been suffering and in bad shape.”
Jamie Spears is believed to have suffered a ruptured colon and a subsequent infection, and underwent another surgery a few weeks ago.
Spears seemed to point to her struggle in an Instagram post on Wednesday, writing, “We all need to take time for a little ‘me time.’ :)”
Although Spears is close to her mom, Lynne, who is divorced from Jamie, her dad is the one constant in her life.
He’s managed her business affairs and financial interests for years, and indeed, even if it was technically her decision to postpone her Vegas show to spend time with her family, he still had to sign off on her decision to halt “Britney: Domination,” as per the terms of the conservatorship that’s been in place since early 2008.
This arrangement has been rolling along for years – but at first it nearly tore the Spears family apart.
Britney was in the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation when a judge appointed Jamie, a building contractor, a temporary conservator of her estate, alongside two lawyers, Andrew M. Wallet and Samuel D. Ingham III.
The conservatorship was at first set to last through the weekend.
The “Hit Me Baby One More Time” star’s parents took that time to start clearing their daughter’s life of any bad influences and obtaining a restraining order against Britney’s friend and sometime-manager Sam Lutfi and having the locks changed at her house.
“Nobody’s taking my house!” Britney is said to have screamed in her hospital room, per TMZ. “Who is my family?!”
The judge eventually made the conservatorship permanent, with Jamie and Wallet remaining co-conservators and Ingham remaining Spears’ advocate.
And that’s how the situation has remained for almost 11 years. Spears, now worth $56 million, according to court documents, shares joint custody of sons Sean Preston, 13, and Jayden James, 11, with her ex-husband Kevin Federline.
She’s now in a happy relationship with 25-year-old trainer and model Sam Asghari.
It was reported in March 2018 that Jamie was pondering whether to end the conservatorship – although a source told E! News in August that he still felt it was the best way to protect her.
Spears told People in 2015: “I’m in a real good place in my life.
“I have a great show, and I’m able to be off every six weeks and I get to indulge in my kids. I get summers off, so we can do fun things like have barbecues. The boys are in such a good stage in their lives. They’re able to think for themselves and are becoming little people. It’s fascinating… I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. My priorities are straight: making family No. 1 and being consistent with that and having God in my life.”
Asked if she ever thought she could be so happy, she replied, “No, never. Not in my wildest dreams. He motivates me more than anyone.”
Meanwhile, Asghari told Men’sHealth.com last year, “It’s crazy how I can be humbled by a person like her. If I could be that humble when I’m that high in life, that would be the best thing. I grew up with three sisters, and my personality is just to be a supportive person for my family and she’s family. I’m always going to support her. She is another blessing that happened to me.”