Britney Spears says she “went along” with a court-orderedthat ended up controlling her life for nearly 14 years for “one very good reason.”
“I did it for my kids,” she reveals in her new memoir, “The Woman in Me,” which comes out Tuesday.
Spears has two children, Jayden and Sean Preston, with her ex-husband Kevin Federline. She temporarily lost custody of them in 2007, after divorcing Federline and struggling with mental health issues. In 2008, a California judge placed Spears under a, and her father Jamie Spears took control of her personal life and finances.
“Because I played by the rules, I was reunited with my boys,” Spears writes in her memoir.
The conservatorship, she said,of her life — including her diet, her career and even decisions surrounding birth control. She says she wasn’t even allowed to drink coffee.
“Even though I begged the court to appoint literally anyone else — and I mean, anyone off the street would have been better — my father was given the job,” she writes, referring to the role of conservator.
Spears says she now looks forward to her newfound freedom after a judge granted her request to be released from the conservatorship two years ago amid widespread calls from fans — who sparked the “#FreeBritney” movement — to release her.
“Freedom means being goofy, silly, and having fun on social media. … Freedom means being able to make mistakes, and learning from them,” she writes in her memoir. “Freedom means I don’t have to perform for anyone — onstage or offstage. Freedom means that I get to be as beautifully imperfect as everyone else. And freedom means the ability, and the right, to search for joy, in my own way, on my own terms.”
CBS News has reached out to Jamie Spears for comment.
“The Woman in Me,” which is published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS News’ parent company Paramount Global, also reveals Spears’ struggle with postpartum depression following the back-to-back births of her boys, who were born in 2005 and 2006.
By 2007, the paparazzi wanted any shot of her holding her kids, with headlines that followed calling her an unfit mother.
“Unfortunately, there wasn’t the same conversation about mental health back then that there is now,” Spears writes. “I hope any new mothers reading this who are having a hard time will get help early. … Because I now know that I was displaying just about every symptom of perinatal depression: sadness, anxiety, fatigue.”
Dr. Jessi Gold, a psychiatrist who specializes in women’s mental health, says a lot of the guilt that comes with postpartum depression is in the context of “what it means to be a mother, what it means to be a woman, what it means to have trouble connecting to something you’re supposed to be so, so connected to.”
“And I think it just would be compounded with people saying negative things about you and not knowing how to process that because your brain is already negative,” Gold said about Spears’ situation.
Spears also made headlines in 2007 when she was photographedat a California hair salon. It was an act of defiance, she says — a message to those who saw her long golden locks as nothing more than a sexy exclamation point in dance routines.
“I was cornered. I was out being chased, like always, by these men waiting for me to do something they could photograph,” Spears writes. “And so that night I gave them some material… Shaving my head was a way of saying to the world: F*** you.”
In her book, she also addresses her social media presence, which even to this day is sometimes viewed as controversial or concerning. She posted a video of herself last month appearing to show her dancing with sharp knives, reportedly prompting a wellness check by authorities.
“I know that a lot of people don’t understand why I love taking pictures of myself naked or in new dresses. But I think if they’d been photographed by other people thousands of times … they’d understand that I get a lot of joy from posing the way I feel sexy and taking my own picture, doing whatever I want with it,” Spears writes in her memoir.