Jamie Lynn Spears talks to ET about supporting the end of Britney's conservatorship and explains why she was never involved.
Jamie Lynn Spears is opening up about her complex relationship with her older sister, Britney Spears. ET's Lauren Zima spoke with the 30-year-old actress about her upcoming memoir, Things I Should Have Said, which airs on Entertainment Tonight on Thursday. Jamie Lynn candidly discussed Britney ending her 13-year conservatorship, the backlash she's received from the pop star's fans and where their relationship stands today.
Jamie Lynn said a big reason why she wrote her memoir, which is out on Jan. 18, is so that she can use her voice. While she did take her sister into consideration when it comes to what she shares in her book, she points out that this is her story.
"I think when you grow up your whole life, really, with the motto of protecting others and that became 'I wanted to protect everyone else first besides myself,' I think it’s important that I was truly open and honest and used my voice," she says. "We do have the same parents and that very much makes us sisters and I love and support my sister and I respect her healing process and however she has to work through things, and all I ask is that I, you know, have that same space because it's important. Everyone's process looks different."
"This book isn’t about me trying to clear up anything," she adds. "It’s about me using my voice and showing my daughters that your voice is important -- that is what this book is about. But I hope that I guess what is happening in the recent climate, that people would understand that this is a situation that has affected many people. This is my reality that I've grown up in and it’s the only reality I know, and I’m allowed to speak about that."
Jamie Lynn said she supports the end of Britney's conservatorship, which happened in November after a long legal battle between the 40-year-old pop star and their father, Jamie Spears. Jamie had controlled Britney's career and finances since 2008 after she purportedly struggled with mental health issues and was hospitalized, which she had been fighting against for years.
"I wanted for everyone to be happy and everyone has that right at the end of the day, so I think that ending the conservatorship was what my sister wanted, so that's what happened and I support that," Jamie Lynn says. "I never had any involvement with it. I just simply wanted to be a good sister and since I was a very little girl, just wanted my family to be a family and I want what's best for everyone. So, I think that's all I could ever ask for in this family that is mine."
Jamie Lynn points out that she had plenty going on in her own life when Britney's conservatorship was put into place in 2008. The former Zoey 101 star made headlines of her own 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.
"I think you have to remember, when this conservatorship came into place I was a 17-year-old about to have a baby, so I think I was pretty occupied and also I was still just a young girl," she notes. "I didn't understand a lot of things. There's still a lot of things I don't understand, perhaps that is something I could have educated myself more on. But I have two children I'm caring for and when this came into conception, I was a teen mom all alone, trying to figure it out."
"So, I just think people have to understand that I very much have always done what I think is the right thing to do in each situation, but I can only do so much with the information that I have," she continues. "And also, I do have my own life and I'm dealing with things sometimes that I have to put first, but at the end of the day, I've always done what was the right thing in each moment with what I have going on."
Jamie Lynn did address the backlash she's received from some of Britney's fans, who have accused her of not helping her sister during her conservatorship fight.
"I think what people forget is that this is real, these are people that I really love and care about," she stresses. "I'm processing it and working through it. I don't maybe do that in a public way, but, it truly affects me. I'm dealing with these things in a way in real time that I'm trying to work through and sometimes that's not always what you share with the rest of the world as you go through that."
She admitted that she does at times want to respond to negative comments, though she notes that it wouldn't accomplish anything.
"I need to focus on me and my family and my healing process and I think that getting into a conversation with someone that knows absolutely nothing factual or truthful is a waste of time for them and for myself," she says.
In July, Britney called out Jamie Lynn in an Instagram post, expressing that she didn't appreciate her sister performing a remix of her song during a tribute when Britney was honored with the Icon Award at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards. She wrote at the time in part, "My so-called support system hurt me deeply!" As for where her and Britney's relationship stands today, Jamie Lynn says she will always support her big sister.
"I love and support my sister in each and every way and I will continue to do that, I just think we're all in a process of healing," Jamie Lynn shares. "This has been a very up-and-down year for everyone, so, I just think right now, that's what we're focusing on and you know, that's where I'm at with it."
Jamie Lynn said her family hasn't fully read her entire memoir but is excited for them to do so -- even though she knows that some parts will inevitably upset them.
"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."
To watch ET's full interview with Jamie Lynn, tune in to Entertainment Tonight on Thursday. Check your local listings here.