Britney Spears wrote in her highly anticipated memoir that she had an abortion while dating Justin Timberlake over 20 years ago, according to a sneak peek published in People magazine.
According to the excerpt from “The Woman in Me,” Spears writes, “If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.”
Spears expressed that the pregnancy came as a surprise but not a tragedy to her. She wanted to start a family with Timberlake, although they felt it happened earlier than expected.
However, Timberlake was not happy about the pregnancy, as she writes, “He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young.” The couple broke up in 2002, and it is unclear when the pregnancy occurred.
Representatives for Spears declined to comment further. Representatives for Timberlake have not responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press. The AP has not yet independently reviewed a copy of “The Woman in Me.”
Since the publication of the People stories, Spears, who is known for her active presence on social media, has not posted to Instagram or Twitter.
In the People excerpt, Spears describes the abortion as “one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life.”
Spears’ memoir, which has been eagerly anticipated, will be released on October 24. It comes just months after her divorce from Sam Asghari was announced. The book promises to shed light on the tumultuous decades she has spent in the spotlight.
A teaser for the book posted by Spears on Sunday reads, “NO ONE KNOWS WHAT I REALLY THOUGHT… UNTIL NOW.” The audiobook will be narrated by actor Michelle Williams.
Spears rose to fame as a tween on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and then went on to achieve fame with her music career. She had two sons with Kevin Federline and was placed under a court-ordered conservatorship, which controlled her life and finances. That conservatorship lasted nearly 14 years and ended in late 2021.
Many of Spears’ allegations against her father and others involved in the conservatorship will be heard in a civil trial scheduled for next year.
In a 2021 documentary called “Framing Britney Spears,” an old interview was included in which Timberlake spoke about sleeping with a former girlfriend and indicated he ridiculed Spears in his “Cry Me A River” music video. This caused a backlash, with fans accusing Timberlake of contributing to Spears’ breakdown. It also reignited anger about his role in Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. Timberlake later apologized to Spears and Jackson.
A few months after Spears revealed her long-held secrets about her “abusive” conservatorship in court, Timberlake tweeted his support for her.
“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.”