Britney Spears says she had an abortion while dating Justin Timberlake, a revelation from the first excerpts of her upcoming memoir.
In "The Woman in Me," parts of which were published by People Tuesday, the pop icon details how she and her former boyfriend handled the situation, of which no one knew about publicly until now.
"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," Spears writes in the book, per People. "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 began dating Timberlake in 1999, when she was 17 and he was 18, until they broke up in 2002.
According to TMZ, which also reported the news with knowledge of her memoir, Spears wrote that she believed Timberlake was the love of her life when they were together. Around late 2000, the publication says, the singer discovered she was pregnant.
"It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn't a tragedy," she writes, according to People and TMZ. "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."
Spears says she was "conflicted" about the decision, but both she and Timberlake agreed it was right after difficult discussions, TMZ reported. And although she went on to have two sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline, the first of whom was born in 2005, the singer wrote as though the experience was still fresh in her mind.
"To this day, it's one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life," Spears wrote, according to People.
Timberlake's reps didn't respond to TMZ or People's request for comment.
Spears stepped out into global superstardom as a teenager, catapulted from her rise on Disney's "Mickey Mouse Club" — where she met Timberlake — to landing a record deal at 15, and creating iconic live performances and acting roles along the way.
She soon became one of the most successful artists of all time, but in 2008, she was placed under a court-ordered conservatorship, which was terminated 13 years later in November 2021.
The name of Spears' upcoming memoir comes from how she felt during that time, per another excerpt.
"I became a robot. But not just a robot — a sort of child-robot," she wrote. "I had been so infantilized that I was losing pieces of what made me feel like myself … The woman in me was pushed down for a long time. They wanted me to be wild onstage, the way they told me to be, and to be a robot the rest of the time."
This "soul-crushing state of being" pushed her to react to the scrutiny she faced as a young girl, which Spears says was the catalyst to her infamous incident when she shaved her head.
"I'd been looked up and down, had people telling me what they thought of my body, since I was a teenager," she wrote. "Shaving my head and acting out were my ways of pushing back. But under the conservatorship I was made to understand that those days were now over."
"The Woman in Me" will be released Oct. 24.
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