Britney Spears' memoir details regret over abortion while dating Justin Timberlake

"If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it."

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Trigger warning - contains themes of abortion and baby loss

Britney Spears has candidly discussed the abortion she had while dating Justin Timberlake in the first extracts from her new memoir, The Woman in Me. Last week, it was reported that Justin would 'not be happy' about the revelations in the book, but insiders have claimed that Britney is 'just going to relay the facts from her perspective'.

In the snippets, published by People magazine, Britney expresses her uncertainty over the decision, explaining: "I don’t know if that was the right decision."

She goes on to explain that the driving force behind the abortion was that 'Justin was so sure that he didn't want to be a father'. 

Britney and Justin began dating in 1999, the same year that Britney began performing around the US on her Baby One More Time tour. The pair were the golden couple of the late 90s and early 00s, not least for some of their iconic matching outfits. 

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the VMAs

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As per her memoir, when Britney fell pregnant she considered continuing with the pregnancy, as she explains: "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. 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 … I don’t know if that was the right decision. 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."

The couple split in 2002, and Britney went on to have two children - Sean Preston, 18, and Jayden James, 17 - with Kevin Federline, her second husband. 

Justin Timberlake also has two children with his wife, Jessica Biel. So far, he has not commented publicly on Britney's account of their time together or the abortion.

The Woman in Me, Britney's debut book, focuses mainly on the singer's trauma under a 13-year conservatorship under her father, Jamie Spears.

Regarding the conservatorship, which Britney says 'stripped her of her womanhood', the singer writes: "Thirteen years went by with me feeling like a shadow of myself. I think back now on my father and his associates having control over my body and my money for that long and it makes me feel sick … I became a robot. But not just a robot – a sort of child-robot.

"I had been so infantilised 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."

In her memoir, Britney also addresses why she famously shaved her head in 2007, which was, at the time, widely speculated on within the media. She explains: "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 on 24th October 2023 and is available to pre-order here.

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has bylines in publications such as Marie Claire UK, Red Magazine, House of Coco, women&home, GoodTo, Woman's Own and Woman magazine.

She started writing for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant and covers everything from fashion and celebrity style to beauty and careers.