According to a sneak glimpse inside Britney Spears’ highly anticipated memoir, she had an abortion while dating Justin Timberlake more than 20 years ago.
“If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it,” she writes of the procedure, according to the excerpt from “The Woman in Me” published Tuesday in People magazine. “And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.” The pregnancy “was a surprise, but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy,” she wrote in the excerpt, saying that she had wanted to start a family with Timberlake – it was just earlier than expected.
“But Justin definitely wasn’t happy about the pregnancy. He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young,” she wrote. The couple broke up in 2002. It’s unclear when the pregnancy happened.
Spears’ representatives declined to comment further. Timberlake’s representatives did not reply to calls for comment from The Associated Press. The Associated Press has yet to obtain a copy of “The Woman in Me” for independent assessment.
Spears, a frequent social media user, has not posted to Instagram or X, now known as Twitter, since the People stories were published.
She described the abortion as “one of the most agonising things I have ever experienced in my life” in an excerpt published in People. Spears’ long-awaited memoir, which promises to shed light on the 41-year-old’s difficult decades in the spotlight, will be released on October 24, only months after her divorce from Sam Asghari was revealed.
“NO ONE KNOWS WHAT I REALLY THOUGHT… UNTIL NOW,” a teaser for her next book says. Michelle Williams, an actor, will narrate the audiobook.
Spears, who grew up in Kentwood, Louisiana, came to popularity as a preteen on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” alongside future stars like Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake – a path detailed in other parts released by People.
Despite some further attempts at acting – in the People excerpts, she says the lead in “The Notebook” came down to her and Rachel McAdams and that she was relieved when 2002’s “Crossroads” was “was pretty much the beginning and end of my acting career” – she found indelible stardom with her music career, starting with 1999’s “…Baby One More Time.” She had two sons with Kevin Federline, but was placed under a court-ordered conservatorship – mostly under the supervision of her father – that controlled her life, money and voice after public breakdowns. That conservatorship would last nearly 14 years, ending in late 2021, after a swelling #FreeBritney movement that helped secure new limits on conservatorships in California.
A civil trial slated for next year is expected to hear several of Spears’ charges against her father and others involved in the conservatorship.
“Framing Britney Spears,” a documentary released in 2021, featured an old interview in which Timberlake admitted to sleeping with a prior girlfriend and said he mocked her in his “Cry Me A River” music video.
Fans accused the former NSYNC member of contributing to Spears’ breakdown, and he was also chastised for his role in Janet Jackson’s alleged wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.
Subsequently, he apologised to Spears and Jackson “because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.” A few months later, as Spears revealed long-guarded secrets about what she described as an “abusive” conservatorship in court, Timberlake tweeted his support.
“After what we saw today, we should all be supporting Britney at this time,” he posted in June 2021. “Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was. what’s happening to her is just not right.”