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Britney Spears’ memoirs reveal that she was forced to take lithium and that Justin Timberlake left her via SMS

The singer’s autobiography will be published on October 24, but ‘The New York Times’ has accessed the complete book. In it she talks about how she became a money-making machine for her father, and that the conservatorship left her with physical and psychological scars

María Porcel
Britney Spears
Britney Spears, during the premiere of the film 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood', in Los Angeles, in July 2019.MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)

Drop by drop, the revelations of Britney Spears’ memoirs are filtering into the media. The singer will publish her memoir, The Woman In Me, on October 24. On Tuesday People magazine advanced a long excerpt, and on Thursday it was The New York Times. The magazine had interviewed the singer, who was featured on its cover, and had gotten a preview of the memoir. But the newspaper has accessed the complete book days before the launch.

The New York Times reveals a lot of information about the singer’s career, life and period of conservatorship, as well as her current life. She explains that she has no intention of focusing again, at least in the short term, on music: “It’s time for me not to be someone who other people want; it’s time to actually find myself.” At the moment it seems that Spears is not talking about her last husband, Sam Asghari, to whom she was married for 14 months until last August, but about Justin Timberlake. If People already revealed at the beginning of the week that the singer had undergone an abortion after becoming pregnant because he did not want to be a father, now The New York Times offers more details about the relationship.

She was just 21 years old and had been dating the N’Sync singer for about three years. She quickly realized the differences between the two. “Everyone kept making strange comments about my breasts,” the book says, “wanting to know whether or not I’d had plastic surgery.” The pressure began to grow more as she added more and more musical hits, becoming a star on the then very powerful MTV and becoming the target of conversations and criticism. That’s why she started taking Prozac, a well-known antidepressant. She also explains that at the time that she was photographed partying with celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, she “never” had a problem with alcohol. She preferred to take Adderall, her “drug of choice,” as she calls it, an amphetamine-based medication prescribed for people with hyperactivity. “It made me high, yes, but what I found far more appealing was that it gave me a few hours of feeling less depressed,” she says.

Among other confessions, Spears explains that it was he who decided to end the relationship, and that he broke up with her via text messages, leaving her “devastated” and even thinking about leaving show business. After the breakup, he released a well-known song, Cry Me a River, in whose video clip a blonde woman was seen leaving in a car. “A woman who looks like me cheats on him and he wanders around sad in the rain.” She saw the media as portraying 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.” Later, her father and his team forced her to participate in a television interview where the host, Diane Sawyer, accused her of causing Timberlake “a lot of pain.” She explains that this was a “breaking point” and that she felt like she was “being set up in front of the whole world.” She also acknowledges the rumor that she kissed her choreographer while she and Timberlake were still together, but that her behavior was prompted by constant rumors of Timberlake’s infidelity.

Justin Timberlake y Britney Spears, durante la 44 entrega de los premios Grammy, en Beverly Hills, el 26 de febrero de 2002.
Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, during the 44th Grammy Awards, in Beverly Hills, on February 26, 2002.L. Cohen (WireImage)

Five years later, the episode took place in which she attacked a photographer’s car and shaved her head, moments that she associates with immense sadness due to several factors: her postpartum depression, the divorce from Kevin Federline — father of her children, who retained custody — her separation from them and the death of her “adored Aunt Sandra,” with whom she had a close relationship. And all intensified by constant persecution by the press. “With my head shaved, everyone was scared of me, even my mother. Flailing those weeks without my children, I lost it, over and over again. I didn’t even really know how to take care of myself.”

It was in 2008 when her father, Jamie, took over her conservatorship. She acknowledges that her mental state was not the best, but that she did not deserve that. “I know I had been acting wild, but there was nothing I’d done that justified their treating me like I was a bank robber. Nothing that justified upending my entire life,” she writes. Infantilized, they didn’t let her make personal choices, or go out at night, they controlled her medication and her phone, but they forced her to work like a great artist. “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,” Spears writes, adding of her father: “From that point on, I began to think that he saw me as put on the earth for no other reason than to help their cash flow,” she writes. The artist’s fortune is estimated at more than $60 million. She accuses her former managers of keeping around $17 million and her father of taking around $6 million.

In late 2018, Jamie Spears forced Britney into a psychiatric treatment center for three months. He told her that if she didn’t do it he would go to court, it would be made public and she would be exposed to the world. Spears, therefore, agreed, and there she lived, in a facility in luxurious Beverly Hills that cost $60,000 a month and where she was forced to take lithium, like a prisoner, according to her version: “They kept me locked up against my will for months. 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.” But it was there that a nurse showed her some videos showing her the Free Britney movement, through which more and more followers were asking for her release from the parental guardianship. It opened her eyes. “I don’t think people knew how much the #FreeBritney movement meant to me, especially in the beginning.”

Her release was hard to believe. She describes the relief as an overwhelming feeling. But she acknowledges that it is still difficult, that migraines are frequent, “just one part of the physical and emotional damage.” “I don’t think my family understands the real damage that they did.”

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