With one week to go before Britney Spears’s hugely anticipated memoir The Woman in Me is released, the star has been speaking out about what fans can expect from her long-awaited tell-all.
Almost two years since her 13-year conservatorship ended, during which her father Jamie Spears controlled every aspect of her life, from the medication she took to her touring schedule, the pop star is celebrating her freedom by telling her side of her story.
“Learning this new freedom, I’ll admit, is challenging at times,” she told People ahead of the book’s publication. “Over the past 15 years or even at the start of my career, I sat back while people spoke about me and told my story for me.
“After getting out of my conservatorship, I was finally free to tell my story without consequences from the people in charge of my life.”
“With remarkable candour and humour, Spears's groundbreaking memoir illuminates the enduring power of music and love,” said Spears’s publisher, Gallery Books. “And the importance of a woman telling her own story, on her own terms.”
Why did Britney write her book?
Spears began teasing the book back in July. Sharing the announcement on Instagram, she said: “OK guys, so I just got finished with my book. It's coming out very soon. I had a lot of therapy to get this book done. So, you guys better like it. And if you don’t, that's cool too.”
Since the end of her conservatorship in June 2021, Spears has been vocal about the level to which she felt she was controlled by her father Jamie.
Speaking to the court in her conservatorship hearing on June 24, 2021, Spears said of her father: “The control he had over someone as powerful as me – he loved the control to hurt his own daughter, one thousand per cent. He loved it.”
“Britney's book is brutally honest and from the heart,” a source told Page Six back in April. “No stone is left unturned. It's truly a female empowerment story – her taking control of her life.”
What’s in the book?
Gallery Books describes The Woman in Me as a “brave and astonishingly moving story about freedom, fame, motherhood, survival, faith and hope.”
Adding: “In June 2021, the whole world was listening as Britney Spears spoke in open court. The impact of sharing her voice – her truth – was undeniable and changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others.”
Spears has already shared some details from the book, including her relationship with Justin Timberlake, who she dated from 1999 to 2002. She is expected to discuss her marriages to Jason Alexander, Kevin Federline and Sam Asghari.
Fans will also want to know about her brief rumoured fling with Oscar-nominated actor Colin Farrell in 2003.
It is likely that she will talk about her explosion on to the pop scene with the 1998 global smash hit … Baby One More Time, as well as her foray into film in 2002’s Crossroads.
“That was pretty much the beginning and end of my acting career, and I was relieved,” she told People of the acting experience. “Living that way, being half yourself and half a fictional character, is messed up. After a while you don’t know what’s real any more.”
Another pivotal moment in her career is the infamous 1999 Rolling Stone cover in which she, at 17, shed her girl next door image in favour of a more grown-up style. The photo shoot caused outrage in the US with Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association saying: “The mixing of childhood innocence with adult sexuality is troubling.”
Finally free to speak out
Spears’s conservatorship began on October 28, 2008, with US Judge Reva Goetz saying it was “necessary and appropriate for the complexity of financial and business entities and her being susceptible to undue influence.”
The conservatorship followed Spears’s two hospitalisations on January 3 and 31, 2008 when she was held on a 5150 Hold and placed on psychiatric hold for mental evaluation.
A year later, the website www.freebritney.net was launched and the social media hashtag #freebritney started to appear as fans shared their outrage at what they saw as a curtailment of the star’s basic freedoms.
“I would like to be able to share my story with the world and what they did to me instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them,” Spears said in the 2021 hearings.
“I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone. And I'm tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does by having a child, a family, any of those things. And more so.”
The Woman in Me is available in the UAE on Tuesday