Jamie Lynn Spears says she wasn’t allowed to tell her sister, Britney Spears, when she became pregnant at 16, because the pop star was deemed ‘untrustworthy’.
“My team believed that anyone outside the inner circle was a potential threat,” said de Zoey 101 star, 30, wrote in her renamed memoir, Things I should have said. “They went so far as to hide my pregnancy from my sister, claiming, ‘It’s too risky to tell Britney about the baby.’ I needed [Britney] more than ever and she couldn’t help me in my most vulnerable time. Britney’s condition escalated into something more worrying. They were concerned that her instability at the time made her unreliable. I agreed with what my team told me to do because I was underage and didn’t want to create any more problems.”
Jamie Lynn, who had Maddie with ex Casey Aldridge, announced the pregnancy in a… OKAY! magazine cover story in December 2007.
“Britney learned of the pregnancy when the article was released,” says the… Sweet Magnolias star wrote. “To this day, the pain of not being able to tell my sister lingers.”
To put the period in perspective, Britney had back-to-back babies with Kevin Federline in September 2005 and September 2006, and the couple broke up in November 2006. In early 2007, Britney, who reportedly suffered from postpartum depression, shaved her head and battled her ex over custody of their babies. In October 2007, she lost custody of the boys, leading to two involuntary hospitalizations in January 2008. She was forced into a conservatory the following month, where she has remained to this day, despite quickly turning things around. and worked non-stop.
Jamie Lynn recalled telling her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, about the pregnancy. She said things immediately went into crisis mode.
“When Mom and Dad told my team, things got out of hand pretty quickly,” she wrote. “When I came in, Daddy, [my brother] Bryan and Mom were in the house and… [a member of] my financial management team was on the phone. There was quite a battle going on between everyone involved. The whole Spears team was already caught up in my sister’s PR problems and everyone around me just wanted this ‘problem’ to go away.”
Jamie Lynn wrote that her father – a controversial figure today for his management of Britney’s conservatory – “stopped talking and the tension was terrible.” She was taken out of school while her family and management decided what to do next. They also took her phone to prevent her from spreading the news.
Jamie Lynn recalled her church-going family being told that “discontinuation would be the best course of action”.
The list of why she should abort was long, she noted. “It will kill your career. You’re just too young. You don’t know what you’re doing. There are pills you can take. We can help you solve this problem. Think about what you’re doing to your family. Does the family not enough to deal with I know a doctor There are procedures that will fix this kind of mistake You don’t have to do this He’s a louse He’ll never take care of the baby or you Jamie Lynn don’t make a mistake you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.’
It was also suggested that she be sent to Mercy Ministries, a home for unwed mothers in Tennessee, where she would secretly give birth and give the baby up for adoption. She said Jamie was especially furious when she declined the option.
“He grabbed me by the shoulders and held me tight, hoping to bend me to his will,” she wrote. I got in his face and yelled, ‘NO! I’m not going.’ I couldn’t deal with any of them. I ran away from them.”
The youngest of the Spears siblings said she hoped to prove everyone wrong by showing that she and Casey — her now-ex whom she calls “Casper” in the book — “could raise our baby and prove that we can be happy’. So she hatched a plan to “get out from under my parents’ roof and be alone,” despite their resistance. (Lynne and Jamie divorced in 2002, but were on and off before breaking up for good in the early years.)
“My mom and dad thought I was a fool, and my brother, Bryan, was sorry to have to make such weighty decisions at my age. Britney was in the midst of her own crisis and because we were isolated from each other, our communication didn’t exist,” wrote Jamie Lynn. “My family denied my attempts to be independent and left me no choice but to threaten emancipation in the courts.”
She had her lawyers draft papers and served Lynne, noting that Jamie was “gone at the time.” A meeting was arranged with her team, and they expressed “real concern that I would marry my boyfriend and give him access to all my earnings”, noting that “at the same time, my sister was having her own breakdown and speculation in the media about her well-being and our family already had the paparazzi. Everyone involved in my saga grudgingly agreed that we had to do what was best to avoid further negative media attention.”
The memoir is out on January 18 and has been in the headlines for months now. The originally announced name of the book (I have to admit) came off a Britney song, which the “Toxic” singer — from whom Jamie Lynn is currently estranged amid the conservatorship battle — was calling, and it was quickly changed.
Jamie Lynn also promised a donation, with book profits, to a mental health organization. The organization then publicly declined the money after Britney fans pointed out that the singing superstar has struggled with her mental health under the conservatory for 13 years without support from her own family.
Over the summer, Britney gave a passionate testimony to the judge about conservatory abuse under her father. Britney said her family did nothing to help her break free from the restrictive arrangement spawning the fan-driven #FreeBritney movement, instead taking advantage of it. Britney said she wants to sue her entire family.
Britney’s next court hearing is Nov. 12 – and the judge will hear arguments about ending the conservatory.