Skip to Content

Over the weekend, Britney Spears quipped that she’ll see us all in hell ahead of her book launch.

Monday night, those of us who preordered received our e-deliveries. And in bookstores, The Woman In Me is flying off of the shelves.

Britney had decades of ground to cover. Enough to fill an entire memoir, even.

At one point, she recalls what led to a memorably disastrous performance in 2007. Right before she went on, she had an unwanted run-in with her ex, Justin Timberlake.

THG Logo
The Woman In Me is the title of Britney Spears’ October 2023 memoir. (Image Credit: Simon and Schuster)

2007 was not Britney Spears’ year. Her lows during that time might have just been a rough patch or a series of public embarrassments.

Instead, they set the stage for her awful father to rob her of her basic human rights until late 2021.

One of those less-than-proud public moments came at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. But not without a lot of cause.

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake attend the 29th Annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium January 9, 2002 in Los Angeles. (Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

“It had been a while since I’d seen him,” Britney reflects in The Woman In Me.

In the same memoir, she mentions that he had broken up with her years earlier with a two-word text message.

“Everything was going great in his world,” Britney describes. “He was at the top of his game in every way, and he had a lot of swagger.”

Britney Spears stands excitedly on stage in front of a cobalt blue screen at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2018.
Honoree Britney Spears accepts the Vanguard Award onstage at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 12, 2018. It’s what she deserves! (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

It may be hard to imagine someone feeling particularly impressed by JT, but that’s how Britney felt at the time.

“I was having a panic attack,” she writes. “I hadn’t rehearsed enough.”

Britney continues: “I hated the way I looked. I knew it was going to be bad.”

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the NBA All-Star Game at the First Union Center in Philadelphia in 2002. (Getty)

For context, this was after months of sensational headlines about her life.

Britney and Kevin Federline were no longer together. Their divorce was, of course, big news, even though only one of them was legitimately famous.

Additionally, Britney’s decision to shave her head and free herself from her team’s constant obsession with her hair was still fresh on people’s minds. At the time, very few understood why she’d taken that step. Many bought the idea that she was simply “crazy.”

A 2018 photo of Britney Spears sporting thick blonde hair and looking to the side.
Britney Spears attends the announcement of her then-new residency, “Britney: Domination” at Park MGM on October 18, 2018. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

At the time, Britney did not want to take the stage to perform “Gimme More” because “nothing was going right” behind the scenes.

“There was a problem with my costume and with my hair extensions,” she recalls in her memoir.

“I hadn’t slept the night before,” Britney notes. “I was dizzy.”

Britney Spears performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2016 presented by Capital One at Staples Center on December 2, 2016. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“It was less than a year since I’d had my second baby in two years,” Britney points out.

She adds: “But everyone was acting like my not having six-pack abs was offensive.” If you remember 2007, then you know exactly how vile people could be about the human body.

Britney writes that “I couldn’t believe I was going to have to go out onstage feeling the way I felt.”

A 2017 photo of Britney Spears in which she shares a sparkling cool mint green and partially translucent dress.
Britney Spears attends Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Debra Lee at The Beverly Hilton on February 11, 2017. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“I went out there and did the best I could at that moment in time, which — yes, granted — was far from my best at other times,” Britney acknowledges in her book.

“I could see myself on video throughout the auditorium while I performed,” she recalls. “It was like looking at myself in a fun-house mirror.”

And one part of the indignity of it all was that Justin Timberlake was having a great night.

Britney Spears and boyfriend Justin Timberlake talk as they sit courtside at the NBA All-Star Game 10 February 2002 in Philadelphia. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Believe it or not, JT took home Male Artist of the Year at that year’s VMAs. Not sure that I’ve ever voluntarily listened to one of his songs, so … that’s a choice.

“Justin glided down the runway,” Britney writes. “He was flirting with girls in the audience, including one who turned around and arched her back, shaking her breasts as he sang to her.”

That was not a good time for her. And the unhinged public reactions to her every fumble made things so much worse.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!