The unexpected pregnancy of Jamie Lynn Spears shocked fans of the then-16-year-old Nickelodeon star in 2007.
Now almost 21, Jamie is speaking out about her struggles as a teen mom and the painful press that came along with her very public pregnancy.
“I had to make a decision that I could sleep with every night. I did feel responsible for the young girls and the mothers who I probably confused and let down. I apologize for that,” Jamie told Glamour magazine in an interview for their latest issue, of deciding to keep her baby. “But I wasn’t trying to glamorize teen pregnancy. I hated when [the tabloids] said that. Everybody is dealt a hand of cards. It was my choice to play them the way I played them. But the hateful comments hurt.”
Jamie, who split from daughter Maddie’s father Casey Aldridge in 2010, said watching the tabloids having a heyday with sister Britney Spears’ tribulations made her decide to move out of Los Angeles to escape stressful scrutiny.
“I just wanted to get away from it as much as I could, to just go away and be a mom and figure out what I wanted, and to earn a sense of respect back for myself,” she told the mag. “Move to a town in the middle of nowhere and just raise my child. All I could be was a good mother. If anybody had anything to say after that, there was nothing I could do.”
Jamie also opened up about the difficulties of being a teen mom.
“There were so many times — especially when Maddie would get sick — when I would cry to myself and think, ‘I really don’t know what to do,’” she said. “It takes bravery to be a young mom, and it does take bravery to let the world watch.”
Now an aspiring country singer, Jamie Lynn resides in Nashville, Tenn., with Maddie, 3, and finds music a helpful outlet to express everything she’s gone through in the last five years.
“I was a kid who did a kid show. Then I went away and raised my child, and the world has never met me as an adult,” she said. “This is the first time anybody is really meeting me as a grown woman and grown mother making a decision about what to do with my life… My music will speak for itself.”
For the full interview with Jamie Lynn, head over to Glamour.