Jamie Lynn Spears 'Blindsided' After Charity Declines Donation from Book Sales: 'Very Upsetting' Says Source
Jamie Lynn Spears had plans to donate proceeds from her upcoming book to a mental health nonprofit —and was caught off guard this week after the organization publicly declined the promised donation.
A source tells PEOPLE that Spears, 30, was hurt by This Is My Brave's decision to turn down any donations given to them by the actress, who announced her book Things I Should Have Said earlier this month.
"Jamie Lynn was totally blindsided by them publicly walking away. The organization was recommended and vetted and knew we were donating, but they've been overwhelmed," the source says. "Unfortunately with them backing out, they are essentially saying that one person's mental health struggles are more valid and important than another. They took a clear stand on whose story they thought had more value to them. Seems their actions don't align with their mission of supporting all voices."
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In a statement shared to Instagram on Monday, This Is My Brave wrote that it would be "taking action" in response to public outcry over the donation. Spears has been publicly criticized amid her sister Britney Spears' battle to end her 13-year conservatorship.
"We hear you. This Is My Brave was recently recommended to be a beneficiary organization for the proceeds from Jamie Lynn Spears' upcoming book. We have made the decision to decline the offer of receiving proceeds from the book sales," the organization wrote. "We heard you. We're taking action. We are deeply sorry to anyone we offended."
The insider says that the incident has been "very upsetting" for Spears, who has long been associated with her sister in both her career and her personal life.
"Jamie Lynn has suffered abuses in her life as well and that's what people aren't understanding — she has her own things she's gone through," the source says. "She can't help that she's Britney's little sister. Her life is only spoken about in relation to her family even though she has also been dealing with mental health issues for the better half of her life. This just reinforces the entire trauma — that her story doesn't matter."
The Zoey 101 alum said she would be opening up about her own mental health struggles in her book, which would be her way of sharing "my truth the proper way."
"I've spent my whole life believing that I had to pretend to be perfect, even when I wasn't, so for the first time I am opening up about my own mental health, because this process challenged me to have to be painfully honest with myself, and face a lot of hard things, that I normally would have just glossed right over, like I was taught to," she wrote on Instagram earlier this month.
She said at the time that a portion of the book's proceeds would go to This Is My Brave because "I know how scary it can be to share personal struggles, especially if you don't feel you have the support or a safe space to do so."
"They are doing amazing work to support and encourage people as they bravely share their experiences," she wrote. "Lastly but certainly not least, I want you all to know, YOU matter, YOUR story matters, YOU are enough, and don't ever let this world try to convince you otherwise."
Things I Should Have Said will delve into her experience growing up in a famous family and what it was like for her to become a teen mom. (She shares daughter Maddie, 13, with ex Casey Aldridge, and is mom to Ivey Joan, 3, with husband Jamie Watson.)
The drama surrounding the book comes at a pivotal point for the Spears family. In September, Jamie Spears was suspended as Britney's estate conservator, and on Nov. 12, a judge will decide whether to remove Britney from her conservatorship.
Jamie Lynn Spears spoke publicly about the situation in June, saying in several videos on her Instagram Story that she has and "always will support" her sister.
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