Britney has been one of the most prolific and iconic pop stars of all time. Audiences watched her grow up from a young talented girl into a beautiful woman. Unfortunately, we also saw all the dark parts of her life play out very publicly, with all of her dirty laundry and issues hung out to dry. But if someone has made a comeback, it is Britney Spears. She has been killing it with her Las Vegas residency and seems happier and healthier than ever. Her life has had many pitfalls though, and even though these days her parents are still active in both of their daughters lives there is a dark history within the Spears family. Jamie-Lynn seems to have escaped a lot of the what Britney had to go through growing up, but both girls have been impacted. From substance abuse, neglectful parenting, toxic relationships, mental illness, and having a crazy stage mom these two girls have been through a lot.
These days, Jamie Spears seems to have changed into a totally different man from the one he was when his girls were young, and a lot of people credit him with Britney's comeback and the path back to health and happiness. And her Mother is close with both daughters even though their relationships have hit big speed bumps. Just because the family is intact and healthy these days, does not mean they want you to know every dark aspect of their childhoods. These are some of the darkest skeletons in the Spears family closet.
15 Britney Was Not Born Into A Stable Home
Britney's image when she up and coming in the pop game was that of a wholesome southern girl with family values. She came from a good Christian family. And while these days the Spears seem to embody that role more than ever, Britney was born into a very chaotic and unstable home. Just the year before Britney was born, in 1979 her Mother Lynne filed for divorce from her father Jamie. The divorce filing revealed that her father had cheated on her Mother. Her Mother also sought a restraining order fearing her Fathers anger when served the divorce papers. But by the time March 1980 rolled around, the divorce was called off. By December 1981 the couple and the world welcomed Britney Jean Spears, joining her older brother Bryan as part of the Spears brood.
14 Their Dad Jamie, Was An Angry Alcoholic
Just because her parents called off their divorce does not mean that their relationship took a much-needed turn for the better. Jamie was still a heavy drinker, described by friends as 'a man with a big heart, a good soul but a stronger liver.' When he would drink he became very mean, with Lynne bearing the brunt of his anger. Britney grew up with her parents constantly fighting. Her Uncle told a story about a 5-year-old Britney being taken by an intoxicated Jamie and put in the car. He intervened to try and get her out and the two men ended up getting into a physical fight. Her Uncle added 'We Spears men are known for fighting, If Britney happened to be there, so be it.'
13 Britney Was Born Into Stark Poverty - Her Dad Even Resorted To Hunting So He Could Feed The Family
Before Britney hit it big, the family was struggling to make ends meet in Kentwood, Louisiana. Their kitchen would often be empty of food. Jamie had to resort to hunting squirrel and rabbit in the woods surrounding them to get something for the family eat. It was difficult for him to work consistently because of his alcohol issues. He also developed a gambling problem which obviously did not help their financial issues. Lynne was determined to get out of poverty though, and she was going to use her kids to help her do it. Britney has been quoted as saying 'people don't realize how broke we were.' Britney is a rag to riches story if there ever was one. And thanks to her talent, the whole family would be lifted out of poverty.
12 Britney Was Put On Prozac At 18-Years-Old
When Britney went through her public meltdown, there was no question the pop princess was struggling with some serious mental health issues on top of abusing drugs. But it will probably shock people to know that she has been struggling with her mental health from the age of 18 and to be fair probably even younger. She was the perfect, smiling girl in public at the age but when she was not on stage things were very different. She was struggling with depression and panic attacks. She was surrounded by people all day long and then when she would be alone at night, she would fall apart. People probably did not realize how true to life her song Lucky really is. Thankfully, these days it seems that Britney has a reign on her issues and is hopefully happier than ever.
11 Their Parents Were Angry And Devastated, Especially Jamie, When Jamie-Lynn Revealed Her Teenage Pregnancy
In Jamie-Lynn's (yes her name is her parent's names combined) documentary When The Lights Go Out she opens up truly for the first time about being a teen mother and what she went through with the public and her family as a result. She was 16 when she got pregnant with then-boyfriend Casey Aldridge. She was also starring on the successful Nickelodeon show at the time Zoey 101. Not only was she going to fall off the angelic teen idol pedestal, she was also probably going to lose her career. Her parents were shocked and angry, especially her Father. As for Lynne, she was probably very worried about the loss of Jamie-Lynn's TV Show. As you will see later in this article, Lynne was very financially motivated.
10 Lynne Was Determined To Use Her Kids For A Better Life As A Way Out Of Kentwood, Louisiana
We could never fault someone for dreaming of a better life, and it is great when they are able to make their dreams come true and achieve what they want. Lynne dreamt of a better life. She wanted out from the poverty trap they were in, and she wanted out of Kentwood, Louisiana. And she definitely succeeded in that endeavor, even though some people might argue that she exploited Britney pretty ruthlessly to do it and then turned a blind eye when others did the same to her young daughter. She groomed Britney from a very young age to do what was necessary to get the spotlight and to stay in it. She was presenting her daughter to the public in a totally different way from how she was telling her to act behind the scenes.
9 The Kids Would Go To Their Aunt Chanda's Trailer To Get Away From Their Toxic Parents
It is clear by now that Britney and her older Brother grew up in a very chaotic environment. One that hardly an adult should be exposed too, hardly a couple of kids. Thankfully, they did have a place to go when things got too crazy, which they often did. Their Aunt Chanda's trailer which was close by. In one story from their childhood, Jamie came home intoxicated once again and saw Lynne in the kitchen drinking a glass of water. He began to verbally attack his wife and eventually took the glass from her and smashed it. Imagine being a young child that sees this kind of thing happen between their parents on a regular basis. Thank goodness the kids had their Aunt close by so they could get away, even for a little while.
8 Lynne Pushed A 14-Year-Old Britney To Date An 18-Year-Old Because It Would Get Her Attention
Britney seemed so innocent when she exploded onto the pop scene at the age of 17. She was definitely being objectified by her record label, but her innocent southern girl persona was part of that allure. Turn a good girl bad and all that, we know. Gross. Somehow her V-card also became the subject of national discussion with Britney promising that her's was intact. It was all about her public image. In reality, Britney had been living a wild life for years by that point. When she left the Mickey Mouse Club her Mother pushed her to join the cheerleading team and date an 18-year-old because it would make her more popular. And if you would believe, she slept with him at that young age and she basically had her Mother's blessing to do it.
7 Underage Britney Was Allowed And Encouraged To Go To Bars In Louisiana
When Britney on was her Hollywood hiatus around 14 when she was out of the Mickey Mouse Club she kept busy in her hometown. The Spears kids were exposed to drinking at very young ages, so it is no surprise that they started drinking very young. After all, it was totally normal to them. And the Spears parents had a very hands-off parenting philosophy. Except for when it came to Britney's career, in which Lynne was very hands on. Her Father was too busy dealing with his own substance abuse issues to pay attention to Britney's. She was allowed to go to bars while still underage with her older brother. She had a wild time in her teens, something they hid well when she got more famous down the line.
6 Some Very Adult Things Were Going On In The Mickey Mouse Club And Lynne Did Not Care As Long As Britney Was Making Money
The Mickey Mouse Club was a wholesome kid's show back in the early 90's that spawned a number of stars. Other than Britney, we also got Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling from it. And while they were great at acting like a bunch of innocent kids when the cameras were rolling, what was happening backstage was a totally different situation. Britney joined The Mickey Mouse Club when she was 12-years-old. Partying and Hollywood goes hand in hand, but you sort want to believe that it is only the adults doing it. Well her Mother came out with a tell-all that claims that she started drinking while in the club by the age of 13. The kids were also talking about very adult things, with Ryan Gosling allegedly giving Britney bedroom tips. Where were the adults in all of this?
5 The Kids Were Allowed To Walk Around The House Totally Undressed
A security guard of Britney's sued her a couple of years ago for a number of things. She was allegedly harassing him and doing a number of things that were basically creating a hostile work environment. One of them was that she would walk around her house without any clothes on, without a care in the world. Well, it turns out that this is a learned behavior which makes it less creepy. For Britney, she was not trying to hit on anyone by doing it. It's normal to her! Her parents let their kids run wild, and clothes were not mandatory in their household. So it makes sense that Britney feels the same way as she got older, but hopefully, homegirl has learned to only do it when she is by herself these days.
4 Lynne Left Britney In The Hands Of Sketchy Managers In Order To Groom Jamie-Lynn For Stardom
When Jamie-Lynn was turning into a teenager, her Mother left Britney's side and her booming career to go back and help Jamie-Lynn launch hers officially. And Jamie-Lynn did some acting and singing, but she was never able to achieve the success that her older sister did. When Lynne left Britney, Britney was still a young girl who was only 18-years-old and very vulnerable. Something that managers and agents in Hollywood took advantage of. There are many rumors about her team at the time using drugs to subdue her and keep her under their control. It would only be a couple years later that things really began to unravel for Britney. Even if her Mother was toxic, perhaps if she had stayed by Britney's side while she was huge in the industry things could have been different.
3 There Is A Lot Of Mental Illness In Their Genes
Mental illness like many other things is hereditary, and Britney really had the odds stacked against her when it came to her genes. Her Father obviously struggled with substance abuse issues, but it goes back even further than him to his Mother. Britney's paternal Grandmother committed suicide when her Father was still very young, and she was only 31-years-old. Apparently, she used a shotgun to do it. So it is clear that the depression and anxiety issues began in the family way before Britney. Of course, talking about this publicly especially when Britney was just starting out would not be a good look for the family, and it would be years until this information came out. Thankfully, Britney and her Father were able to overcome what her Grandmother was not.
2 Lynne Pushed Britney's Angelic And Pure Public Persona While Letting Her Have Overnight Sleepovers With Boys While She Was Underage
When she was the public Britney Spears, she was a good, Christian Southern girl that had the kind of family values that middle America would just eat up. And they did! When her album Hit Me Baby One More Time came out if someone tried to tell you that the innocent smiling girl on the cover had already been sleeping with guys and drinking for years you would probably clock them in the face. But that was the reality. Her parents were cool with her having her 18-year-old boyfriend at the time sleepover in her room and when she began to date Justin he was allowed the same privilege. While we think her v-card is no one's business, why her team even made it part of her public image is questionable. And maybe it was her parents business just a little while she was still 14-years-old!
1 Lynne Forced Britney Out To Auditions Until Something Stuck - And She Tries To Deny That She Was The One Pushing Britney
With the Kardashians, it was obvious from the first moment they showed up on our TV screens that Kris Jenner was the pushing force behind their brand. Kris Jenner has basically become the poster child for exploiting your children for a buck, but the reality is parents had been doing it long before her. They were just more discreet about it, like Lynne Spears who is arguably one of the worst momagers in Hollywood. She let a young Britney get into all kinds of adult situations, and pushed her to do some questionable things in the pursuit of attention and fame. She also turned a blind eye when her daughter was being exploited and taken advantage of by others. But you wouldn't know it! These days, Lynne is just Britney's mom and her Father actually has conservatorship (aka control) over Brit Brit. The family all seems to be in a good place, and Jamie has been sober for years. Britney is a great example of how much is hidden beneath the Hollywood persona.
SOURCES: Mirror.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, globalgrind.cassiuslife.com, popcrunch.com