IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Britney Spears reflects on her 'traumatizing' conservatorship in upcoming memoir

In her book "The Woman in Me," which releases next week, Spears says she couldn't bathe in private during the 13-year court-ordered conservatorship.
Get more newsLiveon

Britney Spears is shedding new light on what her life was like during her 13-year court-ordered conservatorship.

In her upcoming memoir, “The Woman in Me,” obtained early by The New York Times, which published excerpts, the Grammy winner says every aspect of her life was controlled by others. NBC News has not reviewed the book but spoke to people close to Spears who confirmed the authenticity of the excerpts.

“I went from partying a lot to being a total monk,” Spears writes. “Security guards handed me prepackaged envelopes of meds and watched me take them. They put parental controls on my iPhone. Everything was scrutinized and controlled. Everything.”

Britney Spears Book
Simon & Schuster

Spears, who was released from her conservatorship in 2021, went on to say that at one point she was heavily medicated on lithium, which she had previously disclosed at a conservatorship hearing in July 2021. Spears has said that was done against her will.

At a medical facility early on in the conservatorship, she writes, she was essentially a prisoner.

"They kept me locked up against my will for months,” she writes. “I couldn’t go outside. I couldn’t drive a car. I had to give blood weekly. I couldn’t take a bath in private. I couldn’t shut the door to my room.”

Yet all the while, Spears was putting out new music, even touring.

“Too sick to choose my own boyfriend and yet somehow healthy enough to appear on sitcoms and morning shows, and to perform for thousands of people in a different part of the world every week," she writes, according to the excerpts in the Times.

Spears said the #FreeBritney movement, a legion of dedicated fans who were outspoken against her conservatorship, kept her going. She said she was aware of the movement from its inception after a nurse at a rehab facility in Beverly Hills, California, first showed her videos of fans speaking out.

“That was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen in my life,” Spears says in the book. “I don’t think people knew how much the #FreeBritney movement meant to me, especially in the beginning.”

Spears also addresses the decades of speculation that her infidelity led to a breakup with ex Justin Timberlake. She admits to kissing a former backup dancer, but, the Times notes, she suggests in the book that it was because of Timberlake's unfaithfulness.

Timberlake did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" music video in 2002 was rumored to be about Spears, and she writes that when she watched it, she felt it portrayed her as a "harlot who’d broken the heart of America’s golden boy," when, in reality, "I was comatose in Louisiana, and he was happily running around Hollywood.”

And in a 2003 interview with Diane Sawyer, who pressed her about the reasons for the breakup, Spears writes, she "felt like I had been exploited ... set up in front of the whole world."

Sawyer did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

As for what she has planned now? Nothing music-related is on the horizon. She’s focused on healing.

“Migraines are just one part of the physical and emotional damage I have now that I’m out of the conservatorship,” she writes. “I don’t think my family understands the real damage that they did.”

“It’s time for me not to be someone who other people want," she writes, adding that "it’s time to actually find myself.”

Spears addressed some of the initial reactions to her book in an Instagram post on Friday. She wrote, in part, “Although some might be offended, it has given me closure on all things for a better future.” She did not mention Timberlake or anyone else by name.