Jamie Lynn Spears
While it’s Nigel Farage that’s currently dominating the conversation around this year’s series of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!, he isn’t the only campmate who raised eyebrows when the line-up was first announced.
During Sunday night’s launch show, viewers saw Jamie Lynn Spears settling into the Australian jungle, and many had a rather lukewarm response when they heard she was taking part in the long-running reality show.
While Jamie Lynn is also a singer and actor, who appeared in the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101 in the mid-2000s, she’s best known as the younger sister of pop superstar Britney Spears.
In recent history, Britney has called out her sister on a number of occasions since the conservatorship she was under for 13 years was terminated in 2021.
More specifically, Britney has taken issue with interviews her sister has given to the press about her, as well as speaking out against Jamie Lynn’s 2022 book Things I Should Have Said: Family, Fame And Figuring It Out.
Britney and Jamie Lynn in 2017
Jamie Lynn’s involvement in I’m A Celebrity comes shortly after Britney published her own memoir, The Woman In Me, in which the younger Spears sibling is mentioned on a number of occasion (Jamie Lynn also competed on the current series of Dancing With The Stars, which is still ongoing in the US, although she was the second contestant to be eliminated).
Reflecting on the end of the conservatorship in the book’s penultimate chapter, Britney wrote: “I felt betrayed by my father and, sadly, by the rest of my family, too. My sister and I should have found comfort in each other, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.
“As I was fighting the conservatorship and receiving a lot of press attention, she was writing a book capitalising on it. She rushed out salacious stories about me, many of them hurtful and outrageous. I was really let down.
“Shouldn’t sisters be able to confess their fears or vulnerabilities to each other without that later being used as evidence of instability?
“I couldn’t help but feel that she wasn’t aware of what I’d been through. It appeared that she thought it had been easy for me because so much fame had come to me so young, and that she blamed me for my success and everything that came with it.”
Britney at the 2016 VMAs
However, Britney went on to express empathy for Jamie Lynn, particularly growing up in the circumstances that she did.
“Jamie Lynn clearly suffered in our family home, too,” Britney said. “She grew up a child of divorce, which I did not.
“It seems that she didn’t get a lot of parenting, and I know it was hard to try and sing and act and make her own way in nthe world in the shadow of a sibling who got not only most of the family’s attention but a lot of the world’s. My heart goes out to her for all those reasons.”
Britney concluded: “She will always be my sister, and I love her and her beautiful family. I wish the absolute best for them.
“She’s been through a lot, including teen pregnancy, divorce, and her daughter’s near-fatal accident. She’s spoken about the pain of growing up in my shadow. I’m working to feel more compassion than anger toward her, and toward everyone who I feel has wronged me. It’s not easy.”
When the new batch of I’m A Celebrity contestants first introduced themselves in a video montage before the new series launched, many viewers noticed that Jamie Lynn did not mention her famous family connection.
Similarly, during Sunday’s launch show, Josie Gibson was heard asking Jamie Lynn who “got her into music”, with the US performer responding: “I’ve always kind of been into music, you know what I mean?”
Josie then pointed out that Jamie Lynn is from a “musical family”, to which she responded: “My mum played the piano a lot.”
— I'm A Celebrity... (@imacelebrity) November 19, 2023
I’m A Celebrity continues on Monday night at 9pm on ITV1.