Rimes, 41, spoke out against people “making money” off Spears, 41, in a new interview in which she discussed the singer’s difficult career journey being all-too similar to her own.
“I saw the Britney Spears documentary and was thinking, like, all these people that make money out of her and she has nothing to do with it,” Rimes told The Times. “It’s just soul-sucking. That poor girl. That poor woman, really.”
Like Spears, Rimes became a successful artist in her mid-teens and found herself battling for control of her career against her father, Wilbur C. Rimes, in the years that followed after her parents’ divorce.
Spears’ best-selling memoir, The Woman in Me, released in October, sheds light on the highs and brutal lows of the icon’s life, detailing her incredible journey from teen superstar to one of the bestselling female artists of all time, her past relationships and her fight to escape a conservatorship controlled by her father that she called “soul-crushing.”
In 1998, the singer and actress filed a lawsuit against her father and Lyle Walker, who were her co-managers at the time, alleging that the pair had stolen $7 million of her earnings.
Reflecting on her legal battle with her dad, Rimes said, “Looking back, I think my dad did the best that he could. Parents managing a child is always a recipe for disaster. For me it became a business and I ended up not having parents.”
Rimes was also involved in a legal battle at the time over her contract with Curb Records, after signing with the Nashville label at age 12. The singer sued to be released from the label after she was bound in a 21 album deal, according to The Times.
“I was very gutsy, but I was in a contract that was really quite unfair and insane. I just wanted fairness,” Rimes told the outlet
The Coyote Ugly star — who is performing in London for the first time in six years next May — discussed the frustrations she had in her career outside of her legal battles after entering the spotlight as young teen.
“I was America’s sweetheart. People didn’t want to see me grow up and explore my sexuality,” Rimes explained.
The singer also spoke about how overworked she was as a young artist as she performed around the world while juggling homeschool.
“Good thing I was a teenager and had so much energy. Now I’d be curled up on the bed, not moving for days,” Rimes told The Times. “Sometimes when I have busy days I get so triggered. It takes me right back to not being able to say no, not having control.”
The singer added, “I don’t feel like I stepped into my womanhood till the last five years. Learning to say no was probably the best thing in the world. I started to realise how disappointed I felt in myself when I did things that I just didn’t want to do.”