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Britney Spears Explains Why She Keeps Opening Up About Traumatic Moments From Her Past (And Justin Timberlake Is Involved)

Britney Spears in Slumber Party music video
(Image credit: LatinAutor)

Britney Spears is known for using her Instagram for therapeutic release. Whether she’s dancing because it brings her joy, trying out a new hairstyle or delving into the painful moments of her past, the former pop star always keeps it real. Particularly affecting are her posts reflecting on her 13-year conservatorship, which she has described as abusive. She recently opened up about her reasoning for such personal posts, even addressing past drama with ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake in her explanation. 

On Instagram, Britney Spears explained how opening up about her past traumas was a healing experience for her. One recent post talked about the day her father Jamie Spears informed her about the conservatorship, recalling that he said, “I’m Britney Spears and I call the shots from now on.” She’s also talked about not being able to do things like drive her car, release new music, or drink a glass of wine. The “Oops!...I Did It Again” singer is finally able to use her voice to express herself, and apparently part of that process includes writing a book. In the post, which has since been deleted, she said:

I'm writing a book 📚 at the moment and as it's actually healing and therapeutic ... it's also hard bringing up past events in my life. I've never been able to express openly !!! I can only imagine that I do sound childish but I was extremely young when those events took place ... and addressing it now .. I'm sure it seems irrelevant to most and I'm completely aware of that !!! But instead of using my heart ❤️ ... I'm using the intellectual 🧐 approach as Justin [Timberlake] so respectfully did when he apologized to Janet [Jackson] and me ... although he was never bullied or threatened by his family ... he took the opportunity to apologize 20 years later !!! Timing is EVERYTHING !!

The entertainer says she’s using the “intellectual approach” to reckon with her past, mentioning that Justin Timberlake did the same when he apologized to her last year. Timberlake, who dated the singer from 1998-2002, faced backlash after the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears for how he treated her in the aftermath of their breakup. He penned a lengthy apology to Spears, as well as to Janet Jackson for the events surrounding the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. The Grammy winner said that with both women, he “benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”

It sounds like Britney Spears truly appreciated his addressing the issue so many years later but, while there seems to be no bad blood between the millennial pop sensations, the same can’t be said for the Crossroads actress and her little sister Jamie Lynn Spears. The sisters have been at odds for a long time, as Britney blames her for not helping her during her conservatorship. And the feud has only escalated since Jamie Lynn released her memoir, Things I Should Have Said

Britney has called the younger Spears “a scum person” for supposed lies she’s told and for profiting off of her story through her book. She addressed her sister in the now-deleted post:

So sorry if I've offended anyone by writing these stories ... but just as my sister can legally mention my name in her book 📚 over 200 times ... cry on TV 📺.... and get a heartfelt 'awww' from most ... I also have the right to share a couple paragraphs on my Instagram.

In a previous Instagram post, which was also deleted soon after, Britney Spears seemed hurt by her younger sibling’s actions and asked Jamie Lynn why she was trying to make her look bad. She followed that up, however, by saying she’s going to keep it real with her sister and “put you in your place.”

All indications are that Britney Spears is done being a victim and if telling her story — be it via Instagram or a new book — is what helps her process everything she’s been through, then by all means, keep doing what you’re doing. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.