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Jamie Lynn Spears has no regrets when it comes to the way she grew up. ET's Lauren Zima spoke with the 30-year-old actress about her new memoir, Things I Should Have Said, and she talked about her father, Jamie Spears, and about the pressure she felt growing up.
In her book, out Jan. 18, Jamie Lynn says the Spears family was concerned with keeping up appearances and wanting to put on a front for the world due to them being in the spotlight. Aside from her sister, Britney Spears, being a pop superstar, Jamie Lynn also rose to fame as a teen thanks to her starring role on Nickelodeon's Zoey 101.
"Well, I think to an extent, every family has a certain degree of wanting to appear a certain way, whether it's in a small town or a big city, you know, you all want to kind of to an extent keep things private or keep up appearances," she says. "And so I think that it was just becoming so personal and to where I was taking that into my own life and my own personality. I had to be perfect all the time, and that's a pressure no one should feel -- much less when you're still a young girl -- and I just think that it was important for me to really speak about this openly and honestly so that my daughters could hear from my perspective about all the flaws and all the messiness."
"I never want them to feel the pressure to be perfect," she continues. "The mistakes that I make or they make, being open and honest about that is probably healing for them, but also for other people."
In her memoir, Jamie Lynn writes about trauma she says she's experienced due to her father's alleged drinking and also her mother, Lynne Spears, "pretending." ET has reached out to lawyers for Jamie, Lynne and Britney for comments regarding Jamie Lynn's book allegations in her memoir. Still, Jamie Lynn says she doesn't wish her parents did anything differently when it comes to raising her and her siblings, which includes her brother, Bryan Spears.
"You know, that's hard to say especially because I am a parent," she notes. "I'm sure there's things that my children will tell me I did wrong, in the future, but I just think that -- obviously, I wish my father never would've drank -- but again, he is a human and he has made mistakes. The whole family does. I think that I have to not think so much about what I would change, and more so about how I can change my life going forward and what I can take from it, as well as using my pain or using my experiences to hopefully help others. I think that’s really the only thing I can focus on. You can 'couldawouldashoulda' your whole life. I'm only responsible for me and my actions moving forward. I can't worry about anything that happened in the past."
Meanwhile, Britney has openly slammed their father. During the 40-year-old pop star's shocking testimony in June during her fight to end her conservatorship, she claimed that her father "loved the control to hurt his own daughter" and that he as well as others involved in her conservatorship should be put in jail. In a statement at the time, Jamie's lawyer said that he was sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain and that he loved Britney very much. As for where the Spears family's relationship stands today now that Britney's conservatorship was terminated in November, Jamie Lynn says it's a work in progress.
"I think that it's a healing process that I'm working through," she shares. "I can't speak for anyone else because each of us are in the family and we are dealing with things individually and from our own point of views, so I think we have to respect each other's process as we go through it, but it's all in real time. I don't have all the answers. I'm just trying do the best I can every day with everything that is going on, just like many other families in this world."
Of course, Jamie Lynn made her own headlines in December 2007, when she was 16 years old and announced she was pregnant with her now 13-year-old daughter, Maddie. She is now a mom of two, after giving birth to her second daughter, 3-year-old Ivey, in 2018. In her memoir, Jamie Lynn notes that looking back, Maddie actually saved her.
"I think she has, numerous times in my life, but I think the main thing is that from a very young age, I was again, born into a family and an industry where a lot of decisions were made for me, my narrative was controlled by other people," she explains. "I was not allowed to use my voice unless it was something that made sense for the overall narrative of the greater good. And for the first time when I was pregnant with Maddie was the first time I stood up for myself and said what I wanted, and that's the first time I heard my voice and I used it."
In her memoir, Jamie Lynn claims her parents separated her from her siblings when she was pregnant.
"That time was just such a chaotic time," she reflects. "There were a lot of things going on, which, I was a young girl, again, I didn't understand much of it."
With her memoir, Jamie is proud to use her own voice, even though she understands that her family will inevitably get upset at certain parts of it.
"At the end of the day, this is the truth, this is my story, and I think they're more supportive of me healing than they are of their feelings getting hurt," she notes. "The overall reason I wrote this book is so that I could show my daughters to use their voice and I hope that tells other people to do the same, even if they're afraid, and even if you feel like it's something that's scary to do. Your voice matters."
"You should always feel like you can control your narrative and I want to make sure I do that and I hope that others can do the same," she continues. "And also, to have understanding for other people's stories. We don't all know everyone's full story and what they've been through, what they're going through. If we can create a safer space for other people to share what their voice is, then I think that maybe we'll have a lot more healing in this world and a lot less judgment."
Britney took to Twitter on Thursday night to respond to some of the remarks and allegations made by her sister.
She explained that she watched Jamie Lynn's interview with a "104 [degree] fever," adding, "[I] looked at my phone and I see that my sister did her interview to promote her book... I watched it with a 104 degree fever lol and it was actually kind of nice having a fever so high cause I had to surrender to not caring," she wrote. "I just couldn't give a f**k but my head hurt so bad."
"The 2 things that did bother me that my sister said was how my behavior was out of control," Britney continued. "She was never around me much 15 years ago at that time... so why are they even talking about that unless she wants to sell a book at my expense?"
For more on Jamie Lynn and Britney's differences, see below.