Jamie Lynn Spears undoubtedly just had a no good, very bad week. And it certainly was not what the 30-year-old younger sister of Britney Spears had envisioned for the launch of her new book Things I Should Have Said, which hit shelves on Jan. 18.

Instead, the memoir has ignited a very public and messy falling out between the former Nickelodeon actress and Britney, with things getting so nasty between the two that Britney’s lawyer issued a cease-and-desist letter to Jamie Lynn, demanding for her to zip it.

Perhaps emboldened by Britney venting that she wishes she could have “slapped you and Mamma right across your fucking faces,” Jamie Lynn began catching heat on all fronts.

The sister of Casey Aldridge—the father of Jamie Lynn’s eldest daughter, Maddie—piped up to call the actress a “sheltered, spoiled brat” and threatened to expose the alleged lies in the book about her brother. “Get your PR team ready because I’m stepping in now and the lies are going to come to the light quick,” she wrote on Facebook.

Jamie Lynn’s former Zoey 101 co-star Alexa Nikolas also spoke out, claiming she was “lying up a storm” in the book, seemingly in reference to sections of the memoir that touched upon the show, and declared she was a “toxic” bully who she wanted nothing to do with.

Even her mother Lynne Spears was dragged into the PR train wreck when she began defending herself against critics in the trenches of her Facebook comments while promoting Jamie Lynn’s memoir. Asked directly why she was hawking the book when Britney seemed “deeply hurt” by it, Lynne responded, “I haven’t read it yet.” (The next day, Lynne said she started reading and hoped that somehow her “family finds peace.”)

Besides the public dogpile, Jamie Lynn’s book is tanking. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble slashed the hardcover’s $26 price tag only two days after its release, as pissed off Britney fans trashed the tell-all in the reviews. By Friday, the frosty reception had led to the memoir falling to No. 95 on Amazon’s best sellers list.

While Jamie Lynn has been adamant that the book is solely about her life, touching upon her own struggles because of her family’s unhealthy and toxic dynamic and being branded a “slut” by the media when she became pregnant at 16, so far Britney has been the focal point of the entire media storm surrounding the memoir.

And it’s naive that Jamie Lynn thought it could go any other way, considering it’s only been a few months since Britney was freed from her 13-year-long conservatorship in November.

The pop star was finally able to freely speak out against the restrictive legal arrangement last summer, declaring it abusive and that she believed her family should be sued for what they made her endure. Largely kept away from the public eye and controlled by her team, particularly her father Jamie Spears, Britney heartbreakingly told a judge that she felt she was suffering in silence, with her cell phone constantly monitored and her bedroom secretly bugged, later reports claimed.

With the conservatorship gone, a powerhouse attorney on her team, and a giddy engagement to her longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari, there were signs of a fresh start for Britney, and her fans were ready to wait patiently for their pop idol to decide if she ever wanted to share more about her experience.

But it was Jamie Lynn who was the first to speak with the announcement of her tell-all.

The book seemed doomed from the start, as many felt the timing was a blatant attempt to profit off the concern around Britney, which by that point had grown past being a fan-led campaign into a national movement, complete with three explosive documentaries from The New York Times and Netflix.

Even the book’s “working” name was ripped to shreds, originally titled I Must Confess—a clear nod to Britney’s hit song “…Baby One More Time.” (Following the backlash, Worthy Publishing claimed the title was “incorrect” and “incomplete,” changing it to the current title.) And while the memoir’s proceeds were supposed to be donated to This Is My Brave, the mental-health charity declined the offer.

In the months before the release, Jamie Lynn and Britney’s relationship deteriorated, as Britney seemed to point a finger at Jamie Lynn for piggybacking off her fame and being complicit in matters concerning the conservatorship. Ahead of the book’s release, Britney unfollowed Jamie Lynn on Instagram.

There had been a very limited book tour ahead of the book’s release, with Jamie Lynn only sitting down with ABC News anchor Juju Chang for a two-part interview that aired on Good Morning America and Nightline. (Jamie Lynn later spoke with Alex Cooper, who runs the popular podcast Call Her Daddy, but more on that later.)

For the televised interview, a tearful Jamie Lynn seemed nervous and shaky as she explained that she wasn’t sure why the two had fallen out so drastically, claiming that she had even “went out of her way” to help Britney by providing her with resources to help end the conservatorship.

But elsewhere in the interview, Jamie Lynn contradicts herself, claiming that she practically knew nothing about the conservatorship when it was put in place in early 2008, and understands just as little about it even today.

“I didn’t understand what was happening,” she said. “Nor was I focused on that. I was focused on the fact that I was a 17-year-old about to have a baby. I understand just as little about it as I do now.”

While a response from Britney seemed sure to come, it wasn’t until the second part of the interview aired later that night that Britney fired back.

Jamie Lynn had offered a vague description of Britney’s behavior over her lifetime, saying she was “erratic, paranoid, and spiraling.” She then referred to an incident mentioned in the book where Britney allegedly became “scared” and took a knife and locked herself and Jamie Lynn inside a room.

Britney went off. “Looked at my phone and I see that my sister did her interview to promote her book,” she wrote on Instagram. “The 2 things that did bother me that my sister said was how my behavior was out of control… why are they even talking about that unless she wants to sell a book at my expense ???”

“My family ruined my dreams 100 billion percent and try to make me look like the crazy one,” she continued. “My family loves to pull me down and hurt me always so I am disgusted with them… My sister was the baby. She never had to work for anything. Everything was always given to her!!!”

And in a sarcastic finish, Britney added, “Hope your book does well, Jamie Lynn !!!!”

Things quieted down until the book dropped on Tuesday, with Jamie Lynn appearing for a two-part interview on Call Her Daddy, which heavily teased a clip of Jamie Lynn reading directly from a text that she claimed to have sent Britney about helping her with the conservatorship. She also claimed that she sent the messages to Britney’s fiancé to make sure she had received the messages.

“Any time she told me she wanted help, I gave her the chances and the opportunities and the people to help her,” Jamie Lynn told Cooper. “She knows all of that. Why wouldn’t she just have clarified that and stopped all of this? That’s where I don’t understand, but I do know that these are factually true statements… I have to at some point speak for myself or what? Spend the rest of my life being bullied and there’s absolutely no truth to some of these things? I have to speak up for myself.”

By Friday, Britney and her team had enough, sending a strongly worded cease-and-desist to Jamie Lynn, claiming the memoir was “ill-timed” and had “misleading or outrageous claims,” and threatened legal action if she continued speaking about Britney.

“Although Britney has not read and does not intend to read your book, she and millions of her fans were shocked to see how you have exploited her for monetary gain,” the letter from Mathew Rosengart read. “She will not tolerate it, nor should she… Having endured a 13-year conservatorship that stripped her of civil rights and fundamental liberties, Britney will no longer be bullied by her father or anyone else.”

Although Britney has not read and does not intend to read your book, she and millions of her fans were shocked to see how you have exploited her for monetary gain…

Jamie Lynn’s lawyer shot back his own letter, insisting that his client had every right to share her experience and took issue with Britney’s Instagram posts about Jamie Lynn, calling them “vile.”

“Had you taken the time to read the Book prior to sending your Letter, you would know that the Book is not about Britney, but instead about Jamie Lynn’s own experiences growing up in the same family and describing what life for her was like as part of that family,” the letter reads. “In fact, even where Britney is referenced in the Book, she is described as a kind, supportive, and a protective sister, whom Jamie Lynn looked to as a second mother.”

Although there’s been a standstill on both fronts for now, it’s clear that this should have never spilled out into a public forum. What should have been a private dispute has turned into a spectator sport, with the sisters slinging barbs at one another through the press and social media.

It’s deeply sad to watch a clearly broken family being further fractured in real time, heightened by the fact that Britney has just regained control of her life on her terms and is being forced to defend herself against another narrative that is not her own.

For Jamie Lynn, who claimed that she has felt overlooked and disregarded her entire life because she’s always been in Britney’s shadow, this week she’s finally had her time in the limelight. And perhaps she’s learned that being front and center is also kind of shitty.





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