Note: This article contains mention of child loss and abuse.
In the book, Britney dives into what life was like growing up in what she describes as an abusive household, how gaining fame as a teen impacted her, and details about her relationships with famous exes Justin Timberlake and Kevin Federline, as well as the conservatorship she was placed under.
While nearly all 275 pages of the book are full of bombshells, here are 33 of the most shocking, fascinating, and telling details:
1.When discussing her family background and the personality behind the man who raised her father, Britney shared an anecdote about how her paternal grandfather loved sports, and wanted his son to excel in them. So her grandfather seemingly forced her father to regularly exercise past the point of exhaustion.
Britney said her father would later put her brother, Bryan, through the same regimen. As an outsider looking in, this model of holding high expectations surrounded Britney's career as well.
2.Speaking of common threads in history, Britney also shared that — following the tragic loss of a child — her paternal grandfather had her grandmother admitted to a hospital she described as an "asylum."
According to the memoir, her grandfather's second wife would also be "sent" to the same facility during her father's formative years, so he grew up seeing women be sent away during periods of heightened emotion.
3.Growing up, Britney said her first introduction to music that sent a "shiver" down her spine was from a housekeeper paid to help with laundry. They sang gospel music while working, and the sound was an "awakening" for the pop icon.
4.It's widely known that Britney got her start on The All New Mickey Mouse Club, but she actually didn't make the cut after her first audition.
When she was 8, Britney's parents saw an open casting call for The All New Mickey Mouse Club in the newspaper. By then, Britney had won a few local dance competitions, and so they felt confident in her burgeoning talent. However, she and another young starlet, a girl you might know by the name Christina Aguilera, were told they were too young.
Britney would not be cast on the show until she tried out again a few years later. Then, she starred alongside notable names including Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling, Christina Aguilera, and of course, Justin Timberlake.
5.Her first kiss with Justin actually happened during a sleepover with cast members. The kids were playing Truth or Dare when the two locked lips on a dare while a Janet Jackson song played in the background.
6.I'm sure you know the starlet's debut single "...Baby One More Time." But did you know that her gravely voice on the track was actually the result of long studio hours and retakes? Her voice was "fried," but Britney loved how the end product sounded "more mature and sexier."
7.This is an incredibly random fact, but I was surprised to learn that Big Rob — famous for being The Jonas Brothers' former bodyguard who rapped a verse on "Burnin' Up" — previously served as 16-year-old Britney's bodyguard following the release of her first album.
8.Looking back, Britney said the main difference she saw between NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys was how they branded themselves. The Backstreet Boys "seemed very consciously to position themselves as a white group," whereas NSYNC aligned themselves with Black artists.
9.To really drive home her point about NSYNC trying to place themselves within Black culture, Britney recalled a time when singer Ginuwine walked past her and Justin, and Justin suddenly took on a blaccent, saying, "Fo shiz, fo shiz... What's up homie?"
Britney and her guardian Fe subsequently mocked Justin for "trying too hard."
10.In 2000, Britney faced her first major criticism after performing "Oops!...I Did It Again" at the Video Music Awards. Some people apparently felt her outfit was a bit too sexy for children watching. In hindsight, Britney says she was confused about the backlash because, in her words, "I never said I was a role model."
11.And during her now-iconic 2001 MTV VMA performance? She was apparently terrified of that snake. And though cameras didn't show it during the broadcast, Britney said the snake hissed in her face mid-performance.
12.As her fame grew, the teen also noticed more and more grown men joining the audience, which kind of weirded her out. "I was some kind of Lolita fantasy for them," she said.
13.In 2002, Britney starred in Shonda Rhimes and Tamra Davis's film Crossroads, and her commitment went beyond method acting. She completely lost herself in the character and didn't know where the fictional Lucy Wagner ended and she began. Reality felt distorted in a way. And it's for this reason that she was relieved when Rachel McAdams was chosen over herself for the role of Allie in The Notebook.
14.When it came to her sister Jamie Lynn Spears's upbringing and her own, Britney said they were extremely different.
When she was younger, the Spears family struggled financially, her father purportedly had an abusive nature, and the idea of purchasing a simple doll, she said, would be like winning the lottery.
Jamie Lynn, however, grew up while Britney was on stage, and so she had a wide access to money. "Her world was the Ariana Grande song '7 Rings,'" Britney described, implying that Jamie Lynn got whatever she wanted.
15.Justin Timberlake and Britney's famous denim-on-denim moment was initially suggested as a joke...but then their stylists went with it, and they committed. (Now, she loves that y'all have made this an annual Halloween costume!)
16.Speaking of Justin, Britney said that she was so head-over-heels in love that she chose to ignore that he had allegedly cheated on her “a couple of times.”
She claims the cheating was known, as photographers caught an image of him with one girl, and a trusted backup dancer informed her that he was bragging about "hitting that" in reference to another star.
17.Justin cheated, Britney alleges, so she felt at liberty to cheat as well. So she did, and says she later admitted this to Justin, and they mutually agreed to move forward together.
18.It was around this time that Britney learned she was pregnant — a reality she didn't seem to mind because she thought they were headed toward together forever. According to Britney, though, Justin thought they were too young, so she had an abortion, saying, "If he didn't want to become a father, I didn't feel like I had much of a choice."
To keep the news from getting out, she had the abortion at home.
19.Because they opted for a medial abortion, which involves taking two pills that induce heavy cramping and bleeding, the process took a few hours. During this time, Britney remembers being in extreme pain and crying on the bathroom floor. To "help," she says, Justin brought a guitar into the bathroom and played while she sobbed.
20.Justin ended their relationship via text, Britney said.
In response to Britney's memoir, a source told Entertainment Tonight: "Justin has been focusing on his own family and trying not to concern himself with Britney’s memoir. In recent years, Justin has tried to be supportive of Britney from a distance. They dated so long ago, but he still has respect for her. Justin and Jessica just want everyone to grow and evolve instead of continuing to bring up the past."
BuzzFeed reached out to Justin's reps for confirmation of these reports and has yet to hear back.
21.Following the breakup, Britney returned home to check in on things and said she learned her sister, Jamie Lynn, had become "a total bitch." The little girl, it seemed, had been spoiled; she apparently talked back to their mom, and she now ran the house, all while Britney worked her butt off.
22.Justin Timberlake's song "Cry Me a River" came out in 2002, and if you've somehow not seen the video, it features a woman (who looks an awful lot like Britney) cheating on him and breaking his heart. After its release, Britney said she was booed at everywhere she went, and she grew annoyed that he was praised for seemingly getting revenge while she was being slut-shamed despite him having cheated as well.
23.Britney said that the one good thing to come out of Justin speaking to the press about their relationship was him disclosing that they had had sex.
Previous to that, she felt she had been marketed as an "eternal virgin." From then on, she felt like she could now publicly be a normal, sexual being.
24.Newfound confidence in tow, Britney says she was the one to initiate the kiss between her and Madonna. Originally, the choreographer planned for the two stars to kiss the air between them, but after being inspired by the way Madonna wore her sexuality without fear, Britney decided to go for it.
25.Britney said she felt "forced" by her team to do the widely-watched interview with Diane Sawyer, and "exploited" during a time when she should have been healing following a public breakup and harsh reaction from the public.
26.Red flags about her family's involvement in her personal decisions started popping up for Britney when she took a trip with friends to Vegas. She and a childhood friend ended up getting drunk and jokingly married in a Little White Chapel. At the time, Britney felt it was just a silly little thing. But her family immediately flew out to Vegas and demanded they get the marriage annulled.
In total, the marriage lasted 55 hours. But the impression it left stuck around much longer — because it made Britney question why having someone else in her life (who wasn't them and who they could not control) would cause such a strong reaction.
27.During her marriage to Kevin Federline, she said that as he grew in fame, she watched it "ruin" him. And ever since their divorce, she doesn't believe she's ever truly trusted anyone again.
28.After giving birth to her two sons, Britney fell into postpartum depression. She felt like every move she made was a headline, and any "normal mistake" that new mothers are usually given grace for would instead earn her the label of a bad mom in the press.
29.Britney cut her hair in 2007 as a big "fuck you" to the world after years of men, the media, her family, and the public over-sexualizing her, speaking hypocritically of her, patronizing her, acting like she was "evil," and holding a microscope to her life. Shaving her head felt "almost religious," she said.
30.After Britney was placed under a conservatorship — which is designed to transfer decision-making to a person's appointed guardian (in this case, her father) after courts decide they are incapable of making these decisions for themselves — Britney said her father looked at her and said, "I'm Britney Spears now."
31.While under the conservatorship, Britney said she was restricted from eating desserts or taking over-the-counter vitamins at times.
She said her father kept track of what she ate, where she went to the bathroom, and wouldn't allow her to get an IUD removed. "I felt like my body wasn't mine anymore," she said.
32.In 2017, Britney won Radio Disney's first ever Icon Award, and Jamie Lynn performed a medley of Britney's songs in her honor. Since then, it's been speculated that Britney's seemingly strained smile throughout the performance may have been due to troubles between the siblings.
33.The #FreeBritney movement was lifesaving, she said. Before fans started speaking up on her behalf, she was beginning to wonder whether anyone cared "whether I lived or died," the 41-year-old wrote. Strangers were advocating for her, and that gave her strength during a time when she couldn't stand up for herself.
Now Britney feels free, and we couldn't be happier for her.
Following the conservatorships termination, Britney's father, Jamie, defended the legal process. “Not everybody’s going to agree with me,” he said to Britain's Daily Mail at the time. “I love my daughter with all my heart and soul. Where would Britney be right now without that conservatorship? And I don’t know if she’d be alive. I don’t.”