jamie lynn spears

Jamie Lynn Spears on Why She Decided to ‘Hide Away' After Announcing Pregnancy at 16

"There's a human being growing inside of me, and I'm so young, I'm almost a baby myself," Spears recalled thinking at the time

Jamie Lynn Spears appears on NBC News' "TODAY" show.
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Jamie Lynn Spears is opening up to Nylon about her decision to avoid the spotlight after announcing she was pregnant at 16.

The former child star, 29, went public with her pregnancy news in 2007 shortly after wrapping filming on the wholesome Nickelodeon series "Zoey 101."

"You have your first love, or what you call love in high school. You think it's forever, and then oh my gosh, I'm pregnant," Spears recalled thinking at the time.

"I am mortified to have to tell my parents this and my family this. I do not care what TMZ thinks about it. That was all I was thinking about: 'These are the people I love that I have to tell, and also, I'm pregnant. There's a human being growing inside of me, and I'm so young, I'm almost a baby myself,'" she continued.

"I didn't really care about any of that nonsense, but when we did announce that I was pregnant, I did hide away for a little bit during that time and I didn't have a phone," she added. "But of course, the paparazzi still found me. It's not like I was in L.A. walking down the middle of the most popular boulevard; I was in the-middle-of-nowhere Mississippi."

Spears welcomed daughter Maddie, now 12, with her ex-boyfriend Casey Aldridge. She's also mom to a 2-year-old daughter, Ivey Joan, with husband Jamie Watson.

The "Sweet Magnolias" star explained that she moved back to small-town Mississippi while pregnant with Maddie to try to provide some "normalcy" for her baby-on-the-way.

"So, I got me a little house. I put a big gate up around it, and I was like, 'I'm going to stay here, raise my baby, and figure this out because this is real life. I've put myself in this situation, I'm not condoning it or saying it's right, but these are the cards that I have to play,'" said Spears. "And I tried to do the best that I could."

As tabloid headlines lambasted her for being an irresponsible role model, Spears knew her decision to temporarily leave Hollywood was the right one. "I just knew that if I just stayed away from it long enough that I could give my child some sense of normalcy back in her life."

Spears grew up watching her older sister, pop music icon Britney Spears, become one of the most famous women in the world. Looking back, she's grateful Britney was always "open" with her about the pitfalls of fame.

"She taught me to protect myself," explained Jamie Lynn Spears. "And I think that I learned how to be strong, but also keep it honest, and it was 100 percent helpful in every single way."

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