In her upcoming memoir, The Woman in Me, Spears, 41, revealed she became pregnant while dating Timberlake, 42, in the early 2000s. “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,” she wrote in an excerpt, according to People.
The pop star went on to say that she made the choice to terminate the pregnancy because Timberlake wasn’t ready to become a father.
“I’m sure people will hate me for this, but I agreed not to have the baby,” she continued. “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.”
TMZ was first to break the news of the revelation.
Spears’ book is set to be released on Tuesday, October 24. Prior to the book’s debut, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that Timberlake was “not going to be happy” with the contents, hinting that she went “after him hard.”
A second insider revealed at the time that it was “not Britney’s intention to skewer anyone” as she only wanted “to relay the facts from her perspective.”
Over the years, Spears and Timberlake have experienced their fair share of ups and downs. The pair dated from 1999 to 2002 after meeting on the set of The Mickey Mouse Club. Following their split, Timberlake hinted that Spears had allegedly been unfaithful to him in his hit single “Cry Me a River.”
The drama surrounding their relationship resurfaced in 2021 upon the release of the Framing Britney Spears documentary, which claimed that Timberlake was partly to blame for the negative narrative Spears was saddled with after their breakup. Timberlake ultimately apologized amid backlash for his alleged role in the ordeal.
“I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right,” he wrote via Instagram in February 2021. “The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way.”
Timberlake specifically took responsibility for the ways he “failed” Spears, noting his “respect” for her.
“As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again,” he concluded. “I can do better and I will do better.”
Amid the controversy, a source told Us that Spears “does not hold a grudge” against Timberlake. “She feels that they were young and in love and both did stupid things when they were together,” the insider said at the time. “She was heartbroken when they separated, but it’s not something she dwells on now.”
One year later, Spears explained how Timberlake’s mea culpa inspired her writing process while penning her memoir. “I’m using the intellectual approach as Justin did when he apologized,” she wrote via Instagram in April 2022. “Although he was never bullied or threatened by his family, he took the opportunity to apologize 20 years later!!! Timing is EVERYTHING!!!”