Questions of Truth and Falsehood in Things I Should Have Said

by John Downey '23 on January 29, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

Questions of Truth and Falsehood in Things I Should Have Said

A Look at Jamie Lynn Spears’ Controversial New Book

Although much recent media attention has centered on Britney Spears’ conservatorship, another member of the Spears family is now making waves. Britney Spears’ sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, recently released a memoir entitled Things I Should Have Said. The book is proving to be quite controversial.

According to the BBC, many, including Britney Spears, believe that “the ill-timed memoir contains several misleading or outrageous claims.” The book was released on Jan. 18, and centers around Jamie Lynn Spears’ life. As the BBC explains, the book also details “her young daughter’s near-fatal accident in 2017, her relationship with Britney, and the role she played in the singer’s controversial conservatorship.” In an interview with ABC, Jamie Lynn Spears said that she was her “sister’s biggest supporter” throughout her conservatorship. Evidently, Jamie Lynn Spears believes that she and her sister have always had a close relationship, while Britney does not feel the same. 

In Things I Should Have Said, Jamie Lynn Spears also claims that Britney’s behavior slowly became “erratic, paranoid, and spiraling.” When the younger Spears appeared on the podcast Call Her Daddy to discuss and promote the book, she discussed at length an alleged experience where “Britney supposedly locked herself in a room with a knife and told me she was ‘scared.’” The elder Spears responded to her sister’s claims in a Good Morning America interview, clarifying that her sister was hardly ever around her when she began to experience personal difficulties and would not have seen her exhibit such behavior. According to BuzzFeed, Britney took to Twitter to more specifically deny the claim that she had locked herself and Jamie Lynn in a room with a knife. In a post seemingly directed at her younger sister, she wrote: “I’ve never been around you ever with a knife or even would I ever even think to do such.” 

Many fans of Britney Spears and advocates of the #FreeBritney movement, which came about in support of the singer and her struggles with the conservatorship that governed her life for over a decade, have accused Jamie Lynn Spears of releasing her memoir and fabricating various claims in it to gain attention. Jamie Lynn, however, is trying to shut down such accusations. According to the BBC, she has responded to these rumors by saying, “I can’t help that I was born a Spears too, and that some of my experiences involve my sister.” Jamie Lynn has also insisted that her book is about so much more than Britney. 

Throughout Britney Spears’ fight for freedom from her conservatorship, she has openly discussed the emotional abuse that she has faced from her father for years, as well as his alcoholism. Jamie Lynn has now done the same in her book. According to BuzzFeed, she writes, “His bouts of drinking always caused me periods of torment and sorrow.” Such revelations help to show how the alcoholism her and Britney’s father, James Parnell Spears, experienced had a significant impact on both sisters’ lives. 

In her memoir, Jamie Lynn Spears also opens up about her parents’ lack of support when she became pregnant at a young age. According to BuzzFeed, “She felt pressured to make the ‘issue’ disappear.” After she chose to keep the baby in spite of her parents’ lack of support for her decision, they placed her in an “insufferable remote cabin in the Northeast while she was pregnant to keep the news from leaking.” Such treatment made Jamie Lynn feel completely alone and “alienated.”

Those interested in learning more about Jamie Lynn Spears’ life story can purchase Things I Should Have Said through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or a local bookstore.