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Did Britney Spears’ grandfather murder his wife? Family members suspect foul play in suicide case

The claims that Britney Spears’ grandma might have been killed by her husband casts a terrifying light on how women are treated in the Spears family
Britney Spears' (left) grandfather, June Austin (right) is suspected to have killed his wife according to members of the Spears family (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
Britney Spears' (left) grandfather, June Austin (right) is suspected to have killed his wife according to members of the Spears family (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Rumors surrounding the death of Britney Spears’ grandmother, Emma Jean Spears, have taken a turn for the worse. According to some of her family members, Emma was assaulted by Britney’s violent grandfather, June Austin, who might have had a hand in the death of his wife.

In the Deep South of the United States, on a muggy spring day in 1966, a distraught mother, Emma, carried a 12-gauge shotgun as she walked to the burial of her little son. She reportedly took off her shoe and pulled the trigger with her toe before falling to the ground and staying there until she was found the following morning. She had reportedly angled the gun's butt in the dirt with the barrel pointed upwards toward herself. She had already made three suicide attempts, her husband Austin told the coroners. A judge ruled that this was her last successful effort. This appears to have been the unfortunate outcome for Emma, sometimes known as Jean, the grandmother of pop diva Britney Jean Spears, after whom she is named.


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Britney Spears attends the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City.
Britney Spears was left traumatized after the conservatorship under her father (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

This week's shocking disclosures, however, claim that Emma might not have actually committed suicide. Instead, it's implied that her murderer was none other than her husband Austin, Britney's grandfather. Members of Britney's family are quoted in an edition of the New York Magazine as stating they have doubts about Emma's suicide. The inquiry seems to cast a terrifying light on how women have been treated in the Spears family and presents a bleak picture of the Spears family tree. Additionally, it implies that this cycle of violence did not end with Austin as his son, Jamie Spears, is accused of tyrannising his daughter, Britney. As the world is now aware, Jamie, 70, effectively imprisoned Britney for 13 years while holding her in a "conservatorship," one of the harshest and most peculiar legal guardianships in the United States.

The story began in 1930 when Austin, Britney's grandfather, was born close to Kentwood in the heart of redneck country in Louisiana. There, he met Britney's grandma, and when she was just 16, they got married. Her family said she endured constant bullying from Austin and that on the day of her death, she was grieving the loss of Jamie's younger brother, a newborn who was just three days old. Austin remarried, this time to Jo Ann Blackwell, a respected member of the Kentwood community, only eight months after Emma died. 

Leigh Ann, Britney's aunt, has also asserted that Austin assaulted her physically and sexually and that she fled her house at the age of 16, having endured violence since she was 11 years old. She claimed that Austin was the deacon of the church so they would go there. He would force himself on her, as per Ann’s statement. “I hope he’s burning in hell,” she said according to Daily Mail. When asked if Emma actually killed herself and, if not, what had actually happened to her, Ann replied: “No one knows what happened because no one was there. But you can bet my daddy pulled the trigger one way or the other even if he wasn’t there.”

Little Jamie himself was an outstanding athlete, excelling particularly in American football. He managed to win Louisiana's quarterback of the year award. Five years after Jamie and Lynne Bridges first met, their child Britney Spears was born in 1981. Financially unstable, Britney's parents decided she would become a celebrity, and instead of paying their taxes, they invested their money in her singing classes and competitions in show business. They announced their bankruptcy in March 1998. But only three months later, their 16-year-old daughter's first single, 'Baby One More Time', hit number one in 22 different countries and went on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time.