‘Whole World Came Down On Me’: Jamie Lynn Spears Talks Stepping Away From Spotlight At 16

Singer-songwriter Jamie Lynn Spears attends the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Britney Spears’ sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, said the “whole world came down on” her when she made the decision to step away from the spotlight at the age of 16 after she got pregnant.

During the 32-year-old singer/actress’ Wednesday appearance on the Hannah Brown’s SiriusXM podcast “Better Tomorrow,” Jamie Lynn said that despite the backlash she got for walking away from her hit Nickelodeon show “Zoey 101,” it was the best thing she could do for herself.

“When I was not much older than my daughter is now … I became pregnant, and yes, that was something that I took responsibility for the way that made sense for me,” Jamie Lynn said.

“That doesn’t make sense for everyone else, but it made sense for me and the whole world came down and told me I was the worst human alive for doing so and that every young girl who ever watched my show was going to be ruined because of me and my personal decision,” she added.

The singer said she made her pregnancy a chance at a new life and decided to take that step in a small Mississippi town in the “middle of nowhere.”

Spears left behind her Nickelodeon show, which ran from 2005 to 2008, ditched her cell phone, and encouraged people to not contact her.

“I was like, ‘No one call me,’ [and] I put myself on a budget,” the actress said. “I had a budget for, like, 10 years that I lived very strictly by and I just wanted to be normal and I just really wanted to be away.”

She said the escape from the spotlight and paparazzi taught her what matters most, calling the interaction with folks in the small town meaningful.


“I think being in a small town and going into a store [where the clerk] who’s checking you out doesn’t care about who you are, what you’re doing, or who’s taking your picture, she’s trying to get home to her kids,” Spears said.

“Interacting with people like that on a daily basis makes you have a much different outlook whenever a newspaper writes a bad headline about you that’s not true,” she added. “Like, you know what, that doesn’t matter. These are the people that matter.”

Spears went on to welcome her first child, daughter Maddie, with ex-boyfriend Casey Aldridge. She would later tie the knot in 2014 with Jamie Watson. The couple welcomed daughter Ivey Joan in 2018.

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