Britney Spears told People that she was actually thrilled when her parents, Lynne and Jamie Spears, divorced in 2002, saying, “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to my family. My mom and dad, bottom line, do not get along. When I was a baby, they argued. I wanted this to happen 10 years ago.”

The Mirror reported that Jamie Spears struggled with alcoholism. Jamie’s brother Willie told the outlet that Jamie would frequently get drunk and fight with Lynne, and that Jamie once “tried to drive off with Britney” after an argument. Lynne reportedly filed for divorce, and even tried to get a protective order against Jamie after she alleged he’d cheated in December 1979, but the divorce filing was withdrawn.

When her parents’ fights were particularly traumatic, young Brit retreated to her aunt’s nearby trailer. Jamie got sober in 2004 and reunited with Lynne in 2010, with sources telling Us Weekly that Britney’s troubles partly inspired the reconciliation. Jamie’s issues may have extended beyond him: Rolling Stone reported that his mother died by suicide when he was 14. A former manager for Britney told the magazine, “She is the product of some very, very bad genetics.”

Sources told The Mirror that Britney performed to escape her troubled home life. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghalib explained to The Sun, “Her childhood was centered around becoming a star and I feel she is determined to give her kids a real childhood, unlike what she had.”

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