LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The paternal grandmother of U.S. pop star Britney Spears suffered from depression and committed suicide when she was 31, Usmagazine.com reported.
The magazine said that, in 1966, Emma Jean Spears killed herself with a shotgun at the grave of her 3-day-old son who had died eight years earlier.
"The shotgun had been pressed against the woman's chest and she apparently pulled the trigger with a toe of the right foot from which a shoe had been removed," a local newspaper said at the time.
Emma Jean, who reportedly had tried to kill herself three times prior to that fatal incident, left behind four children, including Britney's father, Jamie Spears.
Two of his brothers ended up homeless and with criminal records, Usmagazine.com said.
Britney Spears' once-bright career has been eclipsed in the past year or so, due to her hard-partying, irresponsible behavior and high-profile custody battle for her two young sons by ex-husband Kevin Federline.