Saturday 6 August 2022 09:04 PM Britney Spears's ex-husband Kevin Federline says their sons have decided not to ... trends now
From the moment she was thrust into the spotlight as a teenage pop star, Britney Spears has lived most of her life in the public gaze. Marriages, motherhood, mental health issues, family breakdown and bitter legal dispute have all played out via the unforgiving glare of the camera lens.
Others have stood alongside her in that spotlight too, among them a former backing dancer by the name of Kevin Federline.
For two years, following a whirlwind romance that started in 2004, Kevin was Britney's husband, father to her two children – Sean Preston, 16, and 15-year-old Jayden. Ever since, as his former wife's life continues to dominate headlines amid family lawsuits and harsh words on social media, he has worked hard to keep their sons out of the limelight.
Now he has broken a near decade-long silence in a wide-ranging, moving TV interview in which he talks openly for the first time about the reality of life as the former 'Mr Spears', and his ongoing battle to keep the chaos that surrounds his former wife as far removed from his sons as possible.
In a series of exclusive interviews, parts of which will be aired on ITV news this week, Kevin and his family reveal that Preston and Jayden have not seen their mother for many months – at their own behest – even though his former wife, who married American-Iranian model Sam Asghari, 28, in June, has bought a £10million mansion not far from the Federline family home in Los Angeles.
Kevin Federline (pictured with Britney Spears at a Grammy afterparty) has broken a near decade-long silence in a wide-ranging, moving TV interview in which he talks openly for the first time about the reality of life as the former 'Mr Spears', and his ongoing battle to keep the chaos that surrounds his former wife as far removed from his sons as possible
Britney's last known picture with her two sons was this snap she shared on Instagram in March 2021. The Baby One More Time star wrote in the caption: 'It's so crazy how time flies... My boys are so big now! I know I know it's very hard for any mama especially a mama with boys seeing them grow up so fast! ... I haven't posted pictures of them for some time cause they're at the age where they want to express their own identities and I totally get it .... But I went out of my way to make this cool edit and guess what.... They're finally letting me post it... Now I don't feel left out anymore'
Jayden and Kevin Federline at the house they share with his wife of nine years Victoria, plus their two daughters. They have taken part in a series of exclusive interviews, parts of which will be aired on ITV news this week
Daphne Barak with Britney and Kevin's sons, who have stayed out of the media limelight for years (far left, Jayden, while right, Preston)
Kevin insisted that Britney's two boys love her mother (Pictured: Jayden with Kevin's daughter Payton)
Britney recently married Sam Asghari in a secret wedding attended by Selena Gomez, Madonna and Paris Hilton. Her sons were not present
Britney lets loose on the dancefloor during her secret wedding to long-term partner Sam Asghari, 28
Britney Spears with her sons Sean Preston and Jayden Federline at the San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game in LA on April 17 2013
All grown up: Britney's sons (Jayden left, while right, Preston) appear in an Instagram post at the end of 2021 with Kevin's pal Eddie Morales (centre)
'The boys have decided they are not seeing her right now,' Kevin reveals. 'It's been a few months since they've seen her. They made the decision not to go to her wedding.'
He also says he believes the controversial 13-year conservatorship by her father Jamie 'saved' her. Britney was finally released from the arrangement, under which many aspects of her financial and personal life were controlled, last November. But the impact her very public tribulations may be having on their teenage sons is now Kevin's driving force.
'This whole thing has been hard to watch, harder to live through, harder to watch my boys go through than anything else,' he says. 'It's been tough. It's the most challenging thing I've ever had to do in my life.'
And there have been numerous parenting challenges throughout the ongoing Britney saga. Following her release from her conservatorship last year, the 40-year-old star has remained at the centre of global attention and has taken to posting nude selfies on social media. At the time, Kevin says he felt compelled to apologise to the boys for any flak they experienced as a result.
He insists the boys love their mother, saying: 'I try to explain to them, 'Look, maybe that's just another way she tries to express herself.' But that doesn't take away from the fact of what it does to them. It's tough.' He adds: 'I can't imagine how it feels to be a teenager having to go to high school.'
While he and the boys show nothing but compassion to Britney, Kevin says he is speaking out about his estranged former wife not for retribution, but to show a hitherto untold side of this showbusiness story.
Today, the 44-year-old father's life is a world away from the frenetic chaos that accompanied his romance with a woman who went from Disney child star to global superstar. He lives quietly with his sons and wife of nine years, Victoria, an accomplished former volleyball player.
Kevin Federline pictured with Britney Spears at the Grammy's in February 2006
Federline pictured with Jayden (far left), the son he shares with Britney, and his two daughters from his later marriage to Victoria Prince, Payton (blonde hair) and Jordan
Jayden (far left) chats to Kevin Federline (centre) and Kevin's other son Kaleb (far right) during televised interview
Acclaimed interviewer Daphne Barak (centre) with Jayden (left) and Kevin Federline (far right)
Daphne Barak chats to Kevin Federline and his now wife Victoria Prince at their sprawling home
Jayden with Kevin Federline and his daughter Jordan at the home they share. Jayden is a keen piano player and is encouraged to express himself, Kevin said
Kevin said Britney's sons find it 'tough' when she posts almost nude photos of herself on social media
Sweet-natured, artistic-minded boys, Preston and Jayden have clearly inherited their parents' creative streaks: Preston has already started producing music and wants to take guitar lessons, while Jayden is a keen piano player. Kevin and Victoria have encouraged all their children to express themselves.
Theirs is a blended family: Kevin and Victoria also have daughters Jordan, 11, and Peyton, eight, while Kevin's eldest children – Kori, 20, and Kaleb, 18, from his prior relationship with actress Shar Jackson – are frequent visitors.
Daphne Barak is a filmmaker and acclaimed interviewer known for broadcasts with, among others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, Michael Jackson and Johnny Depp Her best-selling book, Saving Amy, based on her time spent filming the late Amy Winehouse and her family is currently being adapted for TV by Halcyon Studios.
All six siblings are close. Kevin jokes that they are like the famous American sitcom family, The Brady Bunch, with cameras capturing them celebrating Kaleb and Kori's birthday with cake in the garden, and the boys plunging in and out of the swimming pool.
The endless drama and controversy that Britney always appears to be at the centre of seems a world away, which is exactly how Kevin and Victoria want it.
'This is a normal home, a family…