The Women Behind ‘Framing Britney Spears’ Explain the Hidden Meaning of the Roses


Liz, there’s been so much in the media about how we all need to be held accountable. Was there any talk about examining The New York Times’s own coverage of Britney throughout the years?

Liz: Yeah, obviously we don’t hold ourselves to a different standard than we hold anybody else. If you go back and look at some of the headlines, they might come off in a way that they wouldn’t be written in the same way today. Both personally and institutionally, I think there’s a lot of complicity to examine, for sure.

Sam: We boiled it down to just the tabloids because the big, glossy photo frames of the tabloids and the giant headlines is kind of in the world of the piece that we were showing you. That’s what everyone was seeing on the newsstands. But it is a good point that The New York Times is making it, and we didn’t point out our own headlines. There’s an article that Julia Jacobs wrote on The Times right now where she does talk about that and links to articles The Times wrote about Britney. But none of us were involved with that.

Have either of you ever run into Britney or had any encounters with her? Or seen her in concert?

[They both shake their heads no.]

Aside from Britney’s parents and Jamie Lynn, who else would you have liked to talk to on the record? 

Liz: So many people. Her brother, Bryan, who you see in an excerpt of an interview with, in which he talks a little about his feelings about the conservatorship. I would have loved to speak to him more about that. I think Andrew Wallet, who was the co-conservator of her estate for over a decade. I would have loved to hear from him and why he stepped down. I would have loved to hear that on the record. Kevin Federline. He was so closely involved with Britney when she was having children and having many of her public struggles. I would have loved to hear from him. So many people we would have loved to get on camera to provide their perspective.

Sam: I would have loved to talk to Jodi Montgomery, who is right now her temporary personal conservator. I’m really interested in her role.

What are the chances we get a follow-up to this documentary? I imagine there’s a lot more happening behind the scenes than we have any idea about—people reaching out to you, wanting to talk. Where do you go from here, and what do you hope comes next from an investigative perspective?

Liz: There’s so much more I think we could have included and we want to include and want to continue pursuing in Britney’s story, particularly the way in which the conservatorship has operated, both at its beginning and throughout. I think stay tuned on that front. There’s a lot we’re interested in; as journalists, we encourage anyone with any firsthand experience to reach out. We’d love to speak to anybody.

Sam: I second Liz on everything she’s said. We were all listening in on the audio of the court feed, really trying to…so, we’re still interested. And people with firsthand experience, get in touch.

Liz: I would just add to that that one thing that is expected to play out next in court, according to the filings: Britney’s court-appointed council is expected to raise more objections to the way that Jamie, her father, has managed Britney’s money. We’re particularly interested in seeing more records unsealed and getting more transparency and details about the way he’s managed her money and the way that Britney possibly objects to that.

Sam: And the way he and the people around him have managed her money.

Liz: Yes, including business manager Lou Taylor, from Tri Star Management, who has stepped down, and other people as well.

Finally, what have you heard from Felicia Culotta, Britney’s former assistant, since the documentary aired? 

Sam: She writes text messages like Britney writes Instagram posts, with tons of emojis and exclamation points. I’ve talked to her several times through text and voice since it aired, and she was very pleased with it.

Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. 


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