Britney Spears’ upcoming memoir, “The Woman in Me,” is proving to be the tell-all it promised to be, with ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake among the first big names to get a literary lashing in the book.
Spears writes in the book, due Oct. 24, that she became pregnant while dating the NSYNC frontman during their high-profile, turn-of-the-century romance, and that he insisted she undergo an abortion because he was not ready to be a father.
An excerpt, published online Tuesday by People, details Timberlake’s reaction to the pregnancy and says that the “Cry Me a River” singer “definitely wasn’t happy about the pregnancy.”
Representatives for Timberlake did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.
“It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy. I loved Justin so much,” Spears wrote. “I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated. 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 called the day of her abortion “one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life,” and said she wouldn’t have done it if she was making the decision without Timberlake.
“If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it,” Spears wrote. “And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.”
Spears and Timberlake started dating in 1999 when she was 17 and he was 18, while both rose to the center of the pop music world. After breaking up in 2002, Spears was blamed for the end of their romance by powerful media figures, including veteran journalist Diane Sawyer, who confronted Spears about Timberlake in a high-profile 2003 interview that brought the “Lucky” singer to tears.
After the release of the 2021 FX documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” Timberlake apologized for his role in the public backlash against Spears after their breakup. The documentary argued that after their split, Timberlake painted his fellow “Mickey Mouse Club” alum as an unfaithful villain in the media, culminating with the vindictive music video for Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” The film also featured audio from a 2002 radio interview in which Timberlake bragged about their sex life.
In his apology, he addressed Spears directly, along with Janet Jackson (for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show wardrobe mishap in which he played a part), writing in a statement, “I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.
“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way,” Timberlake wrote. “As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”
Spears’ highly anticipated memoir — expected to shed light on her life and career from her point of view after years of tabloid fodder, dueling documentaries and her sister’s bombshell tell-all — has made headlines for months. The book is expected to be anchored around Spears’ efforts to end her conservatorship, which ended in 2021 after 13 years.
Last week, publisher Simon & Schuster and its imprint Gallery Books announced that Oscar-nominated actor Michelle Williams would narrate the bulk of the audiobook because “reliving everything” has been “heart-wrenching and emotional” for Spears. The Grammy winner will record only an introduction for “The Woman in Me,” according to Simon & Schuster Audio, and Williams will read the rest.
On Tuesday, People editor in chief Wendy Naugle appeared on “CBS Mornings” to share exclusive excerpts from the autobiography, noting that Spears’ conservatorship, which was long controlled by her father. Jamie Spears, “was soul-crushing” and turned the entertainer into a “child-robot.”
Timberlake’s inclusion may signal that the book also could cover Spears’ other highly publicized relationships, such as her 55-hour marriage to Jason Alexander in 2004, and her marriage with Kevin Federline from 2004-07. Federline and Spears share two children together, Sean Preston, 18, and Jayden James, 17.
The book has drawn the attention of other famous figures tied to the “Oops!…I Did It Again” singer’s life, such as Christina Aguilera. Spears and Aguilera, who is also an alum of “The Mickey Mouse Club,” were constantly pitted against one another during their careers.
Aguilera voiced her trepidation at the end of her Monday “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” interview when the host asked her if Spears had reached out to her about being mentioned in “The Woman in Me.”
The “What a Girl Wants” singer deflected and said, “I’m hoping that everything is all good with her” and that the “future should be celebrated.” After Kimmel insisted on knowing whether she wanted to be in the book, Aguilera responded, “I’d rather it be you than me.”
This story originally Appeared on LATimes