Mama Lynne Spears released her new memoir Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World yesterday (I already have my copy, I’m already a few chapters in) and this morning gave her first morning television interview to Meredith Vieira on The Today Show on NBC to promote the book. Here are a few screencaps from Mama Lynne‘s appearance and some portions of her interview with Meredith:
Lynne Spears, whose daughters Britney and Jamie Lynn found both fame and infamy in a dizzyingly short amount of time, said her new book is an attempt to set the record straight. “I think there was the tabloid version of our lives,” she told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira in an exclusive interview Wednesday. “I wanted people to see our family as we really are.” Spears had begun the book, “Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World,” five years ago as a collection of poems and memories. But when controversy and scandal erupted first around Britney and then around Jamie Lynn, she decided she needed to tell the story the way it really happened to real people. “I have sat for hours thinking and thinking about everything that’s happened,” Spears, 53, explained. “It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been a wild ride for everybody.” Spears came to the conclusion that it was the mixture of Britney’s superstar celebrity status and the 24/7 coverage of the paparazzi, 17 of whom were assigned full-time to chronicle her every move, that spawned the “storm” in her title … The first hint of that ugly side came in 1999 when Britney, then just 17, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine as a precocious woman-child dressed in little more than her underwear, hugging a stuffed toy and holding a telephone to her ear. The photos raised eyebrows. Spears said the family was simply overwhelmed. “The Rolling Stone interview, we were so in awe. She’s just beginning. She’s just coming on the scene. We didn’t really know what we were doing. “We were in shock at what was going on, and we were in awe. We didn’t have any choice in the pictures. We had no one that could tell us what we were supposed to be doing.” Lynne was having her own problems. She and Jamie Spears filed for bankruptcy in 1998. Jamie was an alcoholic, and the couple eventually divorced. Finally, Britney’s life started to fall apart. “It was so crazy at that time. I don’t think anybody was trying to sit and think what was going on,” Spears said of the darkest time, when Britney was committed to a hospital for psychiatric problems and Jamie Lynn was 16 and pregnant. “We were praying very hard, because it seemed like we were having no control over anything that was happening. We were trying.”
As I said, I’ve already read the first 6 chapters of the book (it’s a thin book, btw) and Lynne has already talked about her late sister Sandra, her marital problems with her then-husband Jamie Spears (ie. his drinking problem), that fatal accident where she killed a 12-year old boy and how her eldest child Bryan almost died — twice. I gotta say … the book is fascinating. I don’t expect to read any “dirt” on the Spears family in this book … in her prologue, Lynne warns off potential readers that her book will not dish on her famous daughters … but I am interested to hear Lynne‘s side of the story that we think we know so well. Already she has painted a portrait of a family caught up in a whirlwind of fame — granted, it’s a whirlwind they happily and diligently pursued. I’m very interested to read her whole story.
After the jump, check out Mama Lynne‘s entire interview with Meredith Vieria on The Today Show this morning and hear from the lady herself …
Love her or hate her, she deserves the chance to finally tell her side of the tale. I, for one, am interested in hearing it. Are you?