Britney Spears has revealed she had an abortion while dating fellow singer Justin Timberlake, calling it “one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced in my life.”
The pop icon opened up about the decision in her new memoir: The woman in me, according to People. The duo, who were together for three years, started dating in 1999 when Spears was 17 and the *NSYNC alum was 18, and their relationship ended in 2002. Spears says her decision to have the abortion was because Timberlake didn’t want to. continue with the pregnancy.
“Justin was definitely not happy with the pregnancy,” she wrote People. “He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young.”
The book adds: ‘I don’t know if that was the right decision. If it had been up to me alone, I would never have done it. And yet Justin was so sure he didn’t want to be a father.”
Spears went on to say that his stance “was a surprise, but to me it was not a tragedy. I loved Justin so much. I always expected that one day we would start a family together. This would just be a lot sooner than I expected.”
Still, the event remains for the singer: “To this day… one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Timberlake’s representatives for comment.
Spears’ new memoir, out Oct. 24, will tell her side of a decades-long career, growing up in entertainment, her various personal relationships and her 13-year conservatorship, which ended in November 2021.
“It’s finally time for me to raise my voice and speak out, and my fans deserve to hear it straight from me,” she told the magazine for their latest cover story. “No more conspiracy, no more lies – I only own my past, present and future.”
In excerpts released earlier on Tuesday, Spears explained why she was relieved to lose the lead role in the film The notebook to Rachel McAdams, her experiences in the Mickey Mouse Club and performing with a large snake at the MTV Music Awards. But she also discusses the more painful parts of her life, including how her father, Jamie, controlled her through a conservatorship and the experiences of him and his business partners being treated like an object for years.
“I became a robot. But not just any robot – a kind of child robot,” she said. “I had become so infantilized that I lost pieces of what made me feel like myself.”