The 8 biggest bombshells from 'The Woman in Me,' Britney Spears' new memoir

  • Britney Spears' new memoir "The Woman in Me" was released earlier this week.

  • The book delves into her relationships with Kevin Federline and Justin Timberlake, and her conservatorship.

  • Insider rounded up the most shocking revelations.

Nearly two years after the legal conservatorship that gave others control of her life was ended by a judge, pop star Britney Spears is finally telling her story in her own words.

In "The Woman in Me," released Tuesday, the "Stronger" singer opens up about being controlled by her family and reflects on inspiring moments when her love of music helped her through some of her darkest hours.

She also doesn't hold back in telling the world the good, the bad, and the ugly details of her two most prominent romantic relationships — Justin Timberlake and Kevin Federline.

Here are eight of the biggest bombshells in Spears' book, from a heartbreaking abortion, to the time she almost drove off a cliff while fleeing paparazzi.

Britney Spears had an "agonizing" abortion while dating Justin Timberlake.

Timberlake and Spears in April 2001.
Timberlake and Spears in April 2001.Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Britney Spears doesn't hold back when recalling details of her romance with Justin Timberlake, which lasted from 1999 to 2002.

She writes that despite her public declaration that she was a virgin, she got pregnant while they were dating and had an abortion.

"It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn't a tragedy. I loved Justin so much. I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I'd anticipated," the "Toxic" singer writes of the pregnancy. "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 remembers agreeing to have an abortion because Timberlake "didn't want to be a father" at that time in his life. She says that if it were her choice alone, she wouldn't have had the abortion.

Spears took the abortion pills while at home with Timberlake and Felicia Culotta, who was her assistant at the time. She recalls being scared and in a lot of pain at the time, "sobbing and screaming" on her bathroom floor, and wondering if she was going to die.

The singer also writes that Timberlake was laying on the floor with her and strumming his guitar, thinking music might soothe her. She says she wanted to go to the hospital, but in the interest of keeping everything secret, no one took her.

Spears says her family flew to Vegas to force her to quickly annul her first marriage.

britney spears and jason alexander
Britney Spears and Jason Alexander.Matthew Peyton/Getty Images and Danny Moloshok/AP

In 2004, Spears famously was married to her childhood friend Jason Alexander for 55 hours before they got it annulled.

In her memoir, she explains that she decided to get married to Alexander on a whim while she was drunk.

She writes that during a New Year's Eve trip to Vegas, she had a brief relationship with Alexander, whom she doesn't name in the memoir.

In the middle of their third night together, Spears says they got really drunk and went to A Little White Wedding Chapel, the famous venue that has hosted several celebrity elopements, and got married.

Spears clarifies that they were not "in love."

"I was just honestly very drunk — and probably, in a more general sense at that time in my life, very bored," she says.

Spears says that her parents flew to Vegas the next day and "started World War III" over the wedding.

"They showed up and stared at me with these eyes of such fury. I looked around. 'What happened last night?' I asked. 'Did I kill someone?'" Spears writes. "'You got married!' they said, as if that might be somehow worse. 'We were just having fun,' I said. But my mom and dad took it so seriously. 'We have to get this annulled,' they said."

Spears said her parents quickly arranged the annulment and got the "Toxic" singer and Alexander to sign the papers.

Spears had a panic attack before her disastrous 2007 MTV VMAs performance and cried afterward.

Britney Spears performs at the 2007 Video Music Awards
The performance was one of Spears' first since giving birth to her two children.Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Spears has performed at the MTV Video Music Awards on multiple occasions, but her opening number for the 2007 show was the only one to be universally criticized.

In her memoir, Spears addresses the night, saying she didn't think the performance was good either. Spears writes that she was pressured to perform at the VMAs by her team, who wanted her to "show the world I was fine."

"The only problem with this plan: I was not fine," she writes.

Spears reveals a lot was going wrong behind the scenes before the performance. There was a problem with her costume and hair extensions, she was feeling dizzy due to lack of sleep, and she felt she hadn't rehearsed enough. She also says that people were judging her for her lack of abs, despite her having her second baby less than a year before.

"I couldn't believe I was going to have to go out onstage feeling the way I felt," she writes. "I was having a panic attack. I hated the way I looked. I knew it was going to be bad."

After the performance, the "Womanizer" singer writes that she was "backstage sobbing hysterically."

She only filed for divorce from ex-husband Kevin Federline to avoid the "humiliation" of Federline filing first.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline in 2005.
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline in 2005 before the birth of their first child.Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

Spears is open about her marriage to her ex-husband, former dancer Kevin Federline, in the book.

From the "Crossroads" star's perspective, once the couple had their sons Sean Preston and Jayden James Federline, her husband was barely around and she had perinatal depression.

In one incident, Spears says she flew to New York to see Federline while he was working and claims that he and his manager refused to talk to her. During her pregnancy with Jayden James toward the end of their marriage, she says she went to visit him on a music video set in Las Vegas and a security guard refused to let her on set.

According to Spears, she was eventually advised by her lawyer to file for divorce because Federline was determined to end the marriage but felt "guilty" about filing papers. So, in November 2006, she set the divorce in motion.

"I was led to believe that it would be better if I did it first so that I wasn't humiliated," she writes. Since Spears had filed, Federline, who she said was "enthralled with fame and power," was able to insist that she pay his legal bills. And from the "Lucky" singer's perspective, she was the person who bore the brunt of the negative press for supposedly breaking up her family.

Representatives for Federline didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Spears once almost drove off a cliff with ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghalib.

Britney Spears dated photographer Adnan Ghalib in 2008.
Britney Spears dated photographer Adnan Ghalib in 2008.Chris Walter/PhotoFeatures/Getty Images, Michael Bezjian/WireImage/Getty Images

Spears was dating photographer Adnan Ghalib in 2008 amidst intense scrutiny from the paparazzi.

One day when the couple was being followed, they were near the edge of a cliff when Spears, who was driving, instinctively made a 360 turn.

"I honestly didn't even know I could know I could do a 360 — it was completely beyond me, so I think it was God," Spears writes. "But I stuck it; the back wheels of the car stopped on what seemed like the very edge, and if the wheels had rotated maybe three more times, we could've just gone off the cliff."

The "Till The World Ends" singer recalls telling Ghalib they could've died, but the experience also exhilarated her.

"I felt so alive," she writes.

Spears says multiple times in the book that while under the legal conservatorship, she thought her family wanted to kill her.

A side-by-side composite showing Britney Spears and her dad, Jamie (James) Spears.
Britney Spears and her father, Jamie Spears.AP and Getty Images

After having multiple breakdowns in public, Spears was put under a legal conservatorship in 2008. This arrangement gave her father, Jamie Spears, control of her personal life and her career decisions, while a lawyer was given control of her finances.

In "The Woman in Me," Spears says that she began fearing her family in early 2008 after she was put on a gurney against her will and placed on a 5150 hold after locking herself in the bathroom with her young son Jayden James when she feared she'd never see her children again.

Once she was under the conservatorship, she writes, she had to sneak access to her private cell phone, which had been taken away from her by her father. But Spears was afraid to rebel too much more.

"I was tired, and I was scared, too. After being held down on a gurney, I knew they could restrain my body any time they wanted to. They could've tried to kill me, I thought. I started to wonder if they did want to kill me," she writes in the book.

Spears claims her family forced her into rehab multiple times, and when she would try to contact her sister Jamie Lynn Spears for help, she was told to "stop fighting" the choices being made for her.

The singer recalls being skeptical that her family wanted to visit her after one of her rehab stays.

"It crossed my mind that they were only visiting to finish off what they'd started a few months earlier, to kill me for real," she writes. She says she was kind to them so they wouldn't "try to kill me again."

Spears claims her father forced her to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings when he caught her taking energy supplements.

Britney performs with snake
Britney Spears performs with 7-foot albino Burmese python at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2001.KMazur / Contributor

In her memoir, Spears says that she was kept on a strict diet and tough routine during her Las Vegas residency from 2013 and 2017.

When she started taking over-the-counter energy supplements in order to have more energy onstage, Spears says her father didn't like it and thought she had a problem with them.

"He told me to get off them and sent me to rehab," Spears writes. "And going to rehab meant I didn't get to see my kids for a whole month."

Spears says her father forced her to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for four weeks in 2016, when he thought the "Circus" singer had a problem with the supplements again.

"At that moment, I started to feel like I was in a cult and my father was the cult leader," Spears writes. "They were treating me like I was beholden to him."

Spears says she was once grounded for taking off her mask during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Britney Spears smiles in a black lace dress
Britney Spears in 2016.Lester Cohen/BBMA2016/Contributor/Getty

Spears writes that during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, she felt really isolated when she was locked down in her home in Los Angeles, California.

"I spent days, weeks, sitting in my room, listening to self-help audiobooks, staring at the wall, or making jewelry, bored out of my mind," she writes.

At the time, Spears was still under the conservatorship and says her time outside was limited by the strict security team hired by her father.

"One day I was on the beach and I took off my mask. Security ran over to scold me. I was reprimanded and grounded for weeks," she writes.

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