Jamie Lynn Spears' Book: 9 Bombshells About Britney Spears, Her Teen Pregnancy and More
By Paige Gawley
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Jamie Lynn Spears is opening up like never before. In her new memoir, Things I Should've Said, the 30-year-old actress reflects on growing up as Britney Spears' little sister, as well as her own early stardom, teenage pregnancy, and relationship woes.
Jamie Lynn also gives fans insight into Britney's past conservatorship from her point of view, and reveals where things stand with her family, including her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, today. ET has reached out to lawyers for Britney, Jamie, and Lynne in regard to Jamie Lynn's book and the allegations contained within.
When ET spoke with Jamie Lynn, the actress revealed that she wrote the book for her daughters, Maddie, 13, and Ivey, 3, and for anyone else who has ever felt silenced.
"I wrote this book so that I could show my daughters to use their voice," she told ET. "I hope that tells other people to do the same. Even if you’re afraid, and even if you feel like it’s something that’s scary for you to do, your voice matters. You should always feel like you can control your narrative."
Keep reading for nine bombshells from Things I Should've Said, which is out now.
Jamie Spears' Drinking Gave Jamie Lynn Anxiety Throughout Her Life
During her childhood, Jamie Lynn claims that her father was "often in and out." When he was there, Jamie Lynn alleges, "he spent much of his time in a chair trying to convince everyone else he wasn’t drunk."
While Jamie "never really stopped drinking," according to Jamie Lynn, he would take breaks. Those periods "made it hard" for Jamie Lynn, as she felt that she "never knew what version" of her father would appear.
As Britney's fame exploded, Jamie Lynn writes that "it caused a lot of strain on the family." Eventually, Jamie and Lynne called it quits in 2002, but the turmoil of Jamie's presence in Jamie Lynn's life continued on.
"My dad’s long-standing habit of disappearing for weeks at a time continued despite the angst it caused, and my momma enabled his behaviors," she writes. "I was traumatized by the fallout of his alcohol abuse and developed anticipatory anxiety at the thought of him showing up drunk to any of my sporting events or performances."
Then came 2007. Britney was going through a tough time following her divorce from Kevin Federline, and Jamie Lynn found herself pregnant at age 16. She and her father stopped speaking at that time.
Things improved in 2011, when Jamie Lynn decided to go on tour with Britney, who had been placed under a conservatorship in 2008. Jamie was on the tour too.
"For a period of time, the conservatorship mandated that Britney be drug and alcohol tested on a regular basis. My father volunteered to do it with her in solidarity," Jamie Lynn writes. "This was the first time in my life where someone was holding them accountable for their behaviors, and the perpetual anxiety I lived with for so long finally subsided. I could stop worrying about their sobriety. We started to spend some time together and heal our battered relationship. He apologized to me for the years of humiliation and embarrassment he’d caused."
After that experience, Jamie Lynn "slowly let" her father back into her life. "I didn’t just forgive and forget. There were stipulations that included healthy behaviors and absolutely no drinking," she writes. "For the most part Daddy manages his end of the bargain, until he doesn’t and I have to kick him out of my life for a while."
Britney Was 'Like a Second Mother' to Jamie Lynn
From the time she was born, Jamie Lynn writes, Britney, 10 years her senior, "did everything" for her, from bathing, to feeding, to diaper changes, and even became "like a second mother."
"The sisterly bond I share with Britney was fostered by her devotion to me as a child," Jamie Lynn writes. "Being the baby sister of Britney Spears is nothing like what people assume. From the day I arrived, I became Britney’s. Momma was often working and taking care of the family. She was also dealing with the complexities of an addict husband."
"When I was a baby, she spent hours playing with me. She would dress me up and make sure I looked precious," she adds. "At first, Momma would do my hair, but then she realized that Britney was so much better at it. Britney would wake up early to attend to me before she went to school. Our relationship grew as we did."
As Jamie Lynn grew up, Britney openly "encouraged" her acting, which Jamie Lynn writes is the reason she "developed the confidence to perform in front of others."
"She doted on me as an infant and continued to do so as I began to sing and create my own skits. My sister showered me with attention, love, and praise well into my teens," Jamie Lynn writes. "... For many years, she was good at keeping her persona out of our sisterhood. The rest of it -- the stardom, talent, and turbulent media s**tstorm -- that’s got very little to do with the sister I love."
Jamie Lynn 'Adored' Justin Timberlake
Britney dated Justin Timberlake from 1999 to 2002, when Jamie Lynn was just a kid. In her memoir, Jamie Lynn writes that she "adored" Justin.
"He wasn’t just my sister’s boyfriend," she writes. "Justin was my first example of a kind and generous young man."
While Britney and Justin were together, Jamie Lynn was often at his family's house, swimming and having cookouts. All the while, she writes, "Justin was always so sweet to me" and he and Britney made Jamie Lynn "a part of their relationship in the best of ways."
"Justin treated me like a little sister and doted on me any chance he got," she writes. "I have so many memories of Britney, Justin, and me being together -- many of them on car rides to one place or another."
"I was never a burden to either of them," she adds. "... I appreciated Britney’s willingness to make me the third wheel in her relationship and I am eternally grateful for the memories they gave me."
Justin even gifted Jamie Lynn a video camera for Christmas one year. "My sister will probably balk at my recollection, but I know that gift was all Justin. He knew I loved to create skits and thought the camera would be another creative outlet for me," she shares.
With as much as she cared for Justin, Jamie Lynn writes that she "was deeply affected by their split."
"The constancy of their relationship provided the best example of a loving couple I had ever seen," she explains. "I was completely heartbroken when it was over and believed that it was a devastating loss in Britney’s life as well."
Jamie Lynn Told Britney Not to Marry Jason Alexander in Vegas
In 2003, Jamie Lynn writes that Britney "was looking to party away the pain of her breakup with Justin," and did so with her brother, Bryan Spears, and an old friend named Jason Alexander.
After a night out of drinking, the Spears family headed out on vacation, during which time Jamie Lynn claims Britney snapped at her for one of the first times ever.
"I was particularly pained by her shunning," Jamie Lynn writes. "After years of making me a priority and spending time together, my sister was now moving on without me."
The vacation carried on, and Britney drank and smoke through much of it, according to Jamie Lynn. The family arrived back on New Year's Eve, and Britney jetted off to spend the holiday in Las Vegas with Jason and others.
"I just knew this was a bad idea. Something was way off with her," Jamie Lynn writes. "The last thing I said before she left was, 'Now don’t go and marry Jason while you’re there, Britney!' She rolled her eyes at me and said the equivalent of 'as if.' But sure enough, within hours we got word that in a haze of substance she had married him."
After Britney and Jason's Vegas wedding, Jamie and Lynne "flew out to Vegas to minimize the disaster," while Jamie Lynn "was left behind, forced to deal with gossip and chatter from everyone all over town."
"I shadowed my embarrassment and humiliation by downplaying the whole fiasco and pretending it was blown out of proportion. Inside I was scared and unsure of how to manage," she writes. "I felt abandoned. The marriage ended within hours, but the chaos of my sister’s life was just beginning."
At that time, Jamie Lynn claims, "everyone was more concerned with the public perception than my sister’s emotional state." Jamie Lynn, however, "saw the depth of her difficulty" during a particularly scary incident.
"One time, she said to me, 'Baby, I’m scared,' and took a large knife from the kitchen, pulled me along to my room, and she locked us both inside," Jamie Lynn writes. "She put the knife in the bedside table drawer and simply repeated, 'I’m scared.' She needed me to sleep beside her."
"Within days of this episode, Britney was packing up and headed back to her life in L.A. I knew something was very wrong, and I was powerless to do anything about it," she continues. "Everyone was too invested and didn’t want to do what should have been done. Something was off, and I had a shaky feeling when she left."
Britney denied the incident in a tweet, writing that she was "never" around Jamie Lynn with a knife and would never "even think to do such." She additionally wrote that "only a scum person would make up such things about someone."
Jamie Lynn Is 'Actively Working' to Bring 'Zoey 101' Back to the Screen
One year after Britney's Vegas wedding, Jamie Lynn was starring on the Nickelodeon series Zoey 101. Landing the role was a dream come true, but everything was not always well on the set.
Rumors about Jamie Lynn were spread among her castmates, and eventually took on "a more sinister feel." It got so bad that Jamie Lynn became "an emotional wreck" and turned to Britney, now married to Kevin and pregnant with their son, "for guidance."
"A few days later, a very pregnant Britney came to the set to visit," Jamie Lynn writes, adding that her sister had a chat with Alexa Nikolas, the castmate she suspected of starting the rumors about her.
Alexa denied all of Jamie Lynn's accusations in an Instagram post, calling them "a total lie," and writing that it was a "typical move for a bully to play the victim card/gaslight others while straight up lying."
"Britney didn’t waste any time getting to the point. 'Are you making fun of my sister? Telling lies and spreading rumors? You shouldn’t do that!'" Jamie Lynn writes. "Britney told her that she wouldn’t keep jobs if she continued to treat people that way."
The bullying largely ceased after that, but Jamie Lynn, who spent her time off-set at home in Louisiana, still felt disconnected from the cast as a whole and felt like she was "a little on the friendship fringe."
It was around this time where Jamie Lynn experienced periods where she would "basically starve" herself.
"At the 2007 Kids’ Choice Awards everyone around me commented on how great I looked. My own team noticed my slim form and said, 'Jamie Lynn, you’ve never looked better!' They gushed about my beauty and slimness," Jamie Lynn recalls "... Although I never struggled with my size, I did experience periods of self-doubt, no different than most girls. But in that orange-carpet moment, with all of the cameras focused on me, I was confronted with my insecurities. The battle between loving the way I felt and the concern that I had been too big all along was raging."
Shortly thereafter, both Jamie Lynn and Nickelodeon agreed that "Zoey had matured to a point where ending the show felt right." It aired its series finale in 2008, but it won't be the last time you see Zoey onscreen if Jamie Lynn has anything to say about it.
"Zoey connected with fans in such a powerful way that it’s as if they have to know how she turns out as an adult. I am actively working to bring Zoey back to the screen," she writes. "... I am excited at the prospect of working on another Zoey 101 project, whether that be a long-format movie or series."
"The cast is eager to reunite and bring the characters into the present," Jamie Lynn adds. "We have been in talks to reinvent the series. Producers and writers have shared some concepts that sound intriguing. Hopefully a modern-day version will go into production soon."
She Nearly Got Emancipated When She Got Pregnant at 16
Jamie Lynn met Casey "Casper" Aldridge at a church youth group event as a young teen, and she was quickly "infatuated with him."
As Zoey 101 wrapped, when they had been together nearly two years, Jamie Lynn and Casper "were struggling to stay together," and rumors about his possible infidelity swirled.
Soon, the pair reunited for a weekend, and Casper got Jamie Lynn to consider getting back together. She quickly ended things again, but everything changed when she began feeling "out of sorts." As Jamie Lynn thought back on their one weekend together and realized she could be pregnant, she began to "feel the stirrings of panic."
Jamie Lynn enlisted an older friend to buy her a pregnancy test, and ended up taking the test in a gas station bathroom. When she shared the positive test result with Casper, he "insinuated I slept around and even if I was pregnant, maybe the baby wasn’t his."
She got a sonogram and left it on his doorstep as proof, and eventually he accepted the news. While Casper's parents "took the news well," the same can't be said for Jamie Lynn's, who were then focused on Britney's ongoing struggles.
"The entire Spears team was already caught up in my sister’s PR difficulties, and everyone around me just wanted to make this 'issue' disappear," Jamie Lynn writes.
Jamie Lynn fought to keep her child, and her team eventually agreed. However, she claims, they hid her pregnancy from Britney because it was "too risky" to tell her about the baby.
Then, Lynne and Jamie Lynn went to hide out in an undisclosed location in an "insufferable" cabin in the Northeast until the pregnancy news became public.
When the news did break, "harsh" headlines followed and led to a "painful time" for Jamie Lynn.
"At sixteen, I struggled to make sense of everything, let alone the changes to my body and circumstance," she writes. "No one on the team listened to me and I was stymied each time I wanted to speak up. This environment felt oppressive, and I started to think about doing something drastic."
That drastic option was to "determine steps to emancipate myself and take ownership over my life and finances." When presented with the emancipation papers, though, her parents and team backed down and granted her the freedom she craved. With it, she went to live with Casper and his family, but things weren't great there either.
Jamie Lynn felt as if Casper's "past indiscretions undermined my faith in him," and claims she soon found drugs in his home. But, she writes, "I didn’t appreciate the paparazzi spinning salacious stories about my relationship, and I didn’t want to hear 'I told you so' from my parents. It was simply easier to pretend everything was good."
She eventually bought a house, but claims she was left handling everything alone as Casper "never picked up a broom or vacuum but nabbed any chance to spend money."
Though his "infidelity became harder to ignore," Jamie Lynn writes that she was "genuinely happy when he proposed to me in March 2008."
"The engagement proved our legitimacy to the world. I was doing the right thing for my baby," she writes. "This entire scenario was damage control for my sinking public reputation... In reality, my fiancé was gone more than he was home and his whereabouts remained unknown to me most of the time."
Things didn't change when Jamie Lynn gave birth to Maddie. "A few days after Maddie and I had returned home, my family went back to living their own lives, and my fiancé was back partying and disappearing for hours," she writes.
"He was just blatant in his actions, not even trying to deceive me or keep his activities hidden," Jamie Lynn claims. "I realized that I was a new mom, and I had changed too. But his disinterest, lack of fatherly attention, and disregard for our needs was evident in most of his decisions."
Eventually, Jamie Lynn realized she "was living in an emotionally abusive home and my vivacity was slowly draining away," and decided to leave Casper. Her exit was put on hold when he got in a bad car accident and needed someone to take care of him. She did just that, and officially left Casper by the end of 2009.
Jamie Lynn Was Unaware of the Details of Britney's Conservatorship
Amid Jamie Lynn's ups and downs, Britney was placed under a conservatorship in 2008.
Jamie Lynn writes that she believes the conservatorship was initially put into place because Britney "became a target for unsavory and duplicitous people" amid a challenging period following her divorce.
"My sister didn’t seem well, and those closest to her at the time, especially my parents, believed the conservatorship was the best way to protect her and the fortune she had amassed throughout her career," Jamie Lynn writes. "I think their only intent was to keep her safe at a time when she couldn’t do that for herself."
"I was sixteen years old and getting ready to deliver my first child. I knew things were difficult for Britney, but I was wrapped up in my own life," she adds. "At the time, I supported her by remaining loyal to her, by listening to her and protecting her in whatever manner I could."
A couple of years into the conservatorship, Jamie Lynn claims Britney asked her to serve as the trustee for her sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, who are now 16 and 15 respectively, "in the event that she would not be able to do so herself."
"After several months and careful consideration, I decided to remove myself from that role, citing that the developing issues could potentially create a conflict," Jamie Lynn writes. "My role was to remain impartial and simply be a sister and aunt. I have never participated in the conservatorship as my sister’s personal representative or her financial conservator. In essence, I have never made decisions for my sister."
Years passed and Jamie Lynn writes that she continued to support her sister. Then, in June 2021, Britney testified in court about her conservatorship for the first time. During her testimony, Britney spoke out against her family as a whole, even saying, "I want to sue my family, to be totally honest with you." The comments, Jamie Lynn writes, instigated an "onslaught of hate" against her and her family.
"At no point did my sister lift the veil on what or who is truly responsible for her challenges," Jamie Lynn writes. "By excluding this, she allowed an onslaught of hate that put me and my family at risk. Her references to me left me reeling. I have only ever had her back.... I continued to protect her until just recently, when she decided I didn’t need protecting and threw me to the proverbial media wolves."
Britney's statement in court left Jamie Lynn feeling that the years she "spent protecting [Britney] and being the loyal sister have been in vain."
"The ambiguity of her conservatorship testimonies and social media postings have left me wondering what it was all for. I miss my sister, but I can’t take the blame for things I haven’t done," she writes. "... My relationship with Britney and our struggles has nothing to do with the conservatorship, but rather the boundaries I put in place to maintain the welfare of me and my immediate family."
While Jamie Lynn admits to wondering if "maybe I should have done more" when the conservatorship began, she was a pregnant teenager at the time, and "Britney was the adult, and she had promised me she was fine." Even Britney, Jamie Lynn claims, does not blame her for the situation, at least in private.
"In a recent text from my sister, she stated herself: 'I know it’s not your fault and I’m sorry for being so angry at you. Although I’m your big sister, I need you more than you need me and always have,'" Jamie Lynn writes. "I pray for the day she shares these words with the world."
At the end of the day, Jamie Lynn still wants the best for her sister.
"For me, this has only ever been about the girl who gave so much in pursuit of her dream to sing for millions. The flip side was everything Britney sacrificed along the way: her privacy, dignity, and overall health," Jamie Lynn writes. "When the cameras turn away and everyone’s moved on to the next headline, I will still be here for my sister, no matter what is said or done between us."
Jamie Watson Won Over Jamie Lynn by Showing His Love for Her Daughter
Amid her tumultuous relationship with Casper, Jamie Lynn was introduced to Jamie Watson at a family member's baby shower, and she "appreciated that Jamie was an adult who had his s**t together at a time when my fiancé was focused on getting his next fix."
The pair became friends, often hanging out in groups, until they "really saw each other for the first time" during a night out in New Orleans, which came before Jamie Lynn and Casper had officially split.
Then they saw each other at a party, and Jamie Lynn realized she had "a bit of a crush." They started texting from there, and then Jamie developed a quick bond with Maddie.
"Our romantic feelings, the ones we worked to keep contained, came second to the relationship Jamie, Maddie, and I shared," she writes. "He was incredibly patient, which only made his appeal stronger. The slow burn of our relationship gave me time to get comfortable with the idea of us."
When she officially left Casper, Jamie became "a staple" in her life. As he continued to put "Maddie’s needs in front of his own," he did snag a kiss while on their first official double date.
Their "nontraditional courtship stopped and started a couple of times over the first year and a half," though, as things were "starting to get messy" with Casper.
Jamie Lynn eventually decided that she needed to move to Nashville to pursue a music career, and a long-distance, on-and-off romance with Jamie commenced. Eventually, Casper talked Jamie Lynn into giving their relationship another chance.
"The second I shared the news [with Jamie], the tone of his words changed in a way I had never experienced. Jamie’s opinion meant everything to me. Anger and disappointment suffused every word," Jamie Lynn recalls. "'Do you realize the mistake you are making for yourself and Maddie? He’s trash. He’s proved it time and time again. He’s not reliable. Being with him, Jamie Lynn, is just bad! He’s trash and you being with him makes you trash too. It makes me question everything I know about you.'"
While his comments caused Jamie Lynn "a lot of pain," she writes that it was ultimately "just what I needed to hear." After Casper "slid right back into his destructive behaviors" during a trip home to Mississippi, Jamie Lynn ended things for good.
She and Jamie didn't immediately get back together, and went on to date other people. When her music career wasn't going as she'd hoped, Jamie Lynn returned to Louisiana. While there, she broke a bone in her heel, and Jamie was quick to tend to her.
"Our feelings for each other grew over time, and Jamie’s genuine concern and support of my well-being was the catalyst that expanded my love for him," she writes. "... I think I fell more in love with him because of his love for Maddie. He said that the kind of mother I was made him love me more."
She went back to Nashville for a time, but eventually made her way back to Louisiana, where Jamie popped the question.
"Without any preamble, he pulled out a ring and asked, 'Will you marry me?' And then he pulled out another ring and asked Maddie, 'Will you let me marry you and your momma?'" Jamie Lynn recalls. "She said, 'Yeah!' and I did too."
They tied the knot in 2014.
Jamie Lynn Thought Her Daughter Was Dead After a Terrifying ATV Accident
In February 2017, Jamie Lynn's world as she "understood and lived it changed," when her then-8-year-old daughter was involved in a terrifying accident, in which she flipped an ATV into a pond.
"One moment we were sharing in Maddie’s fun, and in the next, life as we knew it came to a screeching halt," she writes. "We saw the side-by-side make a hard left turn, which caused it to flip off the embankment, and then we saw Maddie disappear beneath the water."
Jamie and Jamie Lynn were quick to rush to rescue Maddie, but she was stuck in the water, tangled in the ATV's netting. They worked to get the ATV out of the water, but, "after several minutes of effort, debilitating fatigue started to set in and my hopes we could free her began to fade."
An EMT arrived and was able to pull Maddie out of the water. "She was unconscious, her body distended, face swollen and eerily blue," Jamie Lynn recalls.
CPR did not work and the EMT took off running with Maddie while beating on her chest.
"I began clawing my way up the embankment and threw up," Jamie Lynn writes. "I tried to crawl toward the ambulance, but the shock was setting in. I knew what I had just witnessed. My daughter’s lifeless body."
Jamie and Jamie Lynn soon got word that the EMTs had been able to get a pulse, though, and rushed to the hospital. When they arrived, they found out that Maddie had been transferred elsewhere and set off to get to her.
"Jamie and I just sat and held on to each other as we cried. His tears streamed down his face as he whispered, 'You should have never met me. We wouldn’t be here,'" Jamie Lynn writes. "I had no words to give him, so I held him tighter to convey my love and support."
When they arrived, they brought in a priest to perform last rites on Maddie. "He anointed her head with oil and when he said, 'Holy Spirit,' Maddie began to thrash. Her arms and legs were flailing vigorously. I started to scream," Jamie Lynn writes. "... The staff bustled in and tied Maddie down. They administered a sedative to place her in a medically induced coma to keep her from hurting herself and to allow for further healing."
A slow recovery ensued from there, and throughout it all Jamie Lynn's dad "took the necessary steps to keep the press at bay, including telling Britney and Bryan, who desperately wanted to be with us, to stay away."
At some point, Jamie realized that, when he dropped his phone at the site of the accident, it had recorded their recovery efforts. The video showed that Maddie had been underwater for "minimally, six and a half minutes."
Maddie slowly improved, but struggled with her memory. At one point, she even mistook Jamie Lynn for Carrie Underwood. Eventually, "Jamie's calm soothed" Maddie, and her memory began to improve.
Maddie was discharged from the hospital five days after the accident, which Jamie Lynn credits with miracles being "around her from start to finish."
The accident strengthened Jamie Lynn's faith and inspired her to convert to Catholicism.
"What Maddie’s accident helped me learn pretty quickly was that professional acceptance and esteem were superficial pursuits," she writes. "I was reminded that our lives are truly a fragile gift, and I needed to flip my priorities... In the years since Maddie’s miracle, I have truly experienced an awakening of sorts."
Maddie had her own awakening too, as her father once again "vanished for long periods of time." It was then that she "started to talk about changing her last name to Watson," and to have Jamie officially adopt her.
"Once we considered all the factors, Jamie and I chose to push for adoption," Jamie Lynn writes. "We spoke several times with Casper, who at first felt like we were pushing him out of her life. Eventually, I was able to convince him I was speaking for Maddie. She wanted to share our family name and feel connected to us."
He eventually agreed. While Jamie Lynn "encouraged Casper to remain in all our lives" even after the name change was done, she writes that, "as months passed, he found himself in legal trouble again and again, and he disappeared once more."
With Maddie's name change official, Jamie Lynn's family once again "experienced overwhelming joy" when they welcomed another child, a daughter named Ivey.
"After the adoption and Ivey’s birth, our family felt whole, like the pieces of a puzzle fit together," Jamie Lynn writes. "Don’t get me wrong, there may be a few more pieces added down the road, but for now things just feel right... Jamie’s my steadfast Louisiana man, and together with our girls, we built a beautiful family."