When Britney Spears' life unraveled during her public breakdown, her cousin and former assistant Alli Sims was by her side. Now, Alli is opening up on the infamous meltdown, their relationship -- and the inspiration for her singing career.
Sims insists that the media made the "Womanizer" singer's meltdown seem worse than it was. "It seemed a lot crazier than it really was because it made simple things just like going to Starbucks seem so out of hand. It was insane because of the paparrazi, but it really wasn't that bad when you were sitting there going through it personally. I just thought it was interesting how people expected us to stay home and not go anywhere... It's not her fault she has that many people following her around."
Although Alli hasn't spoken to Brit in awhile, she is hoping to reconnect with the pop mom. "We didn't have a falling out at all or anything. I just kind of stepped back. She had a lot of stuff going on that she needed to focus on, so I took that time to put all my energy into my music...I definitely think I'll talk to her soon. It's not like we're never going to talk again." She adds, "I love her to death and I miss her and I hope she's happy."
Sims, an aspiring singer, just released her new single "Driving Blind" -- and credits Spears as her inspiration. "She's definitely one of the reasons why I recorded it... She was one of my very close friends. I do miss her a lot."
Many critics have accused Alli of using Britney to further her own career, but Alli vehemently denies the claims -- and reveals that Brit was the one who encouraged her to follow her dream of being a singer! "I was sitting with her in the living room... and a song I'd done in high school popped up [on the computer] and she was like, 'I love this song. Who's singing it?' And I go, 'I am, actually.' She goes, 'You're still living with me. I'm getting another assistant to help me out and you're pursuing this.'"
When asked if she felt her relationship with Britney helped or hurt her in the end, Sims responded, "I think it's a kind of like a double-edged sword. Think it helped in a lot of ways because people did know who I was because I was around her, but it's also been hard because people expect so much from you -- you definitely have to prove yourself with everyone... there's a lot more eyes on me."
Alli's single "Driving Blind" is currently available on iTunes.