Who Is Casey Aldridge? All About Jamie Lynn Spears' Ex-Fiancé and Father of Daughter Maddie

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Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge got engaged in 2008 but split two years later

<p>Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic</p> Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge in 2009

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge in 2009

Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge fell for each other when they were teenagers.

The duo first met at a church event and soon began dating; two years later, Spears was pregnant with daughter Maddie Briann. They welcomed their daughter on June 19, 2008, when Spears was 17 and Aldridge was 19.

The Mississippi native proposed to the former Zoey 101 star in March 2008, just a few months before Maddie was born, but they never married and eventually split in 2010. In her 2022 memoir Things I Should’ve Said, Spears alleged her ex-fiancé cheated on her, disappeared often and emotionally abused her.

Related: Jamie Lynn Spears' Former Fiancé, Dad of Daughter Maddie Arrested for Prescription Drugs: Report

In February 2017, the former couple reunited in a moment of crisis after Maddie almost died in an ATV accident. “They didn’t take turns in her room or anything like that,” a friend of Aldridge’s told PEOPLE. “They all gathered around her because they wanted Maddie to know that they were all there. Nothing was more important than her.”

So who is Jamie Lynn Spears’ ex-fiancé and Maddie's father? Keep reading to learn more about Casey Aldridge.

He met Spears at a church youth group event

<p>Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock</p> Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge in 2007

Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock

Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge in 2007

In her 2022 memoir Things I Should've Said, Spears recalled that she met Aldridge at a church youth group event when they were both young. She wrote that she was immediately “infatuated with him." After they dated for two years, Spears heard rumors that Aldridge had been cheating on her, and they “were struggling to stay together.” The teens broke up but saw each other again one weekend. Spears learned she was pregnant soon after.

“At sixteen, my impressionable heart had already woven dreams of a home where [Casey] and I could raise our baby and prove we could be happy,” the Zoey 101 star wrote.

He was an athlete and a prankster in high school

In December 2007, shortly after Spears announced her pregnancy, one of Aldridge’s former teachers told PEOPLE, “Casey is one of those boys who really has a lot going for him.” The teacher noted that Aldridge was a talented athlete and that “down here in the South, athletes are gods, so he had his share of adoring fans.” He was senior class president and lettered in football and baseball.

A former classmate of Aldridge’s remembered that he enjoyed the attention that came with dating Spears, who began starring on All That in 2002. “He thought it was really cool that he was dating someone famous, and you could just tell that he loved the attention,” they shared.

His classmate also recalled Aldridge’s mischievous side. “If there was a prank, he was involved,” they told PEOPLE in 2007. “Things like sending around a note in class for everyone to cough at [the same time].”

He shares a daughter with Spears

Jamie Lynn Spears Instagram Jamie Lynn Spears (right) with her daughter Maddie in 2023
Jamie Lynn Spears Instagram Jamie Lynn Spears (right) with her daughter Maddie in 2023

The exes share daughter Maddie, who was born in June 2008 when Spears and Aldridge were still engaged. Spears told OK! in July 2008 that Maddie’s name was Aldridge’s idea. “Maddie is a name that Casey thought of, and I really liked it,” she told the outlet. The actress also explained that her daughter’s middle name, Briann, comes from Aldridge’s cousin Brian, who had recently died in a car accident, and from Spears’ older brother, Bryan Spears.

Spears and Aldridge raised Maddie in Mississippi for the first 19 months of her life until they broke up. These days, Maddie lives with her mom, her stepdad Jamie Watson and her younger sister Ivey Joan in Tennessee. She’s frequently featured on Spears’ Instagram page.

Related: All About Jamie Lynn Spears' Daughter Maddie

In February 2017, Maddie was in a near-fatal ATV accident when her vehicle flipped over into a pond. First responders rescued her from the water before transporting her to a hospital, and she did not suffer brain damage. Spears remembered the life-altering day on Instagram three years later. “It started like most Sunday’s, going to church, visiting family, to suddenly trying to save my daughter’s life, to them taking her away, to us believing we had lost her forever,” she wrote. “It literally felt like the world stood still around me.”

The actress added, “God blessed us with a true miracle. Maddie not only stayed here with us, but she made a full recovery.”

They were engaged but never married

In her memoir, Spears recalled that she was “genuinely happy” when Aldridge proposed to her in March 2008 — although Spears later realized that the engagement was a form of “damage control” for her reputation.

“In reality, my fiancé was gone more than he was home and his whereabouts remained unknown to me most of the time,” Spears added. Even after they had Maddie, “his disinterest, lack of fatherly attention, and disregard for our needs was evident in most of his decisions.”

Spears and Aldridge eventually called off their engagement and split in 2010. "Jamie Lynn did a lot of growing up, but Casey didn't," a source told PEOPLE at the time. "She was tired of the situation."

Spears accused him of emotional abuse in her 2022 memoir

The former actress detailed her ex’s alleged abusive treatment in Things I Should’ve Said. She recalled that, when she first told Aldridge about her pregnancy, he accused her of sleeping around and was reluctant to believe that he was the father. When they first moved in together, Aldridge “never picked up a broom or vacuum but nabbed any chance to spend money," according to Spears.

The actress wrote that his “infidelity became harder to ignore” and that he would often party and disappear for long periods of time. Eventually, she realized that she “was living in an emotionally abusive home and [her] vivacity was slowly draining away."

He's had some incidents with the law

In February 2019, Aldridge was arrested in Mississippi for possession of oxycodone, lorazepam, Xanax and drug paraphernalia, per TMZ. He was found unconscious in a vehicle on the side of the road and transported to a nearby hospital before he was taken into custody. Reps for Spears did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment at the time.

A year later, TMZ reported that Spears’ ex was charged with felony burglary-breaking and entering of a commercial building after police said he broke into a campsite with the intention of stealing rifles.

While engaged to Spears, Aldridge was involved in a car accident and charged with careless operation of a vehicle, which is a misdemeanor. The April 2009 incident left Aldridge hospitalized, though he fully recovered and two weeks later served as the best man at his cousin's wedding.

"He seemed lethargic," a source told PEOPLE at the time, "but he's doing okay."

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