Britney Spears is a woman who’s been wronged, and until lately, there wasn’t much she was allowed to say about it. Now that her fight for her freedom is over, she’s been letting everyone have it—her scuzzy dad, her flaky sister, and one very famous ex-boyfriend.
In a new Instagram post, Britney explained that she’s working on a book and wrote that the project is helping her to address her interpersonal dramas by taking what she called “the intellectual approach, as Justin so respectfully did when he apologized to Janet and me.” She noted that “he took the opportunity to apologize 20 years later !!! Timing is EVERYTHING !!!”
The apology in question came last February in the wake of the release of Framing Britney Spears, a New York Times documentary scrutinizing Spears’ career and the 13 years she spent living against her will under her father’s conservatorship. The doc rehashed Spears’ and Timberlake’s 2002 breakup, after which he implied that she had cheated on him, sparking public backlash against her. Throughout their relationship, the question of Spears’ virginity was a (weird, gross) media fixation, and the documentary included a clip from a radio interview in which Timberlake revealed they’d had sex. The film’s release kicked up the decades-old drama, and JT finally issued an apology statement.
“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,” Timberlake wrote at the time. “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.” (The apology was a two-for-one deal, with Timberlake letting his former collaborator Janet Jackson in on the perfectly publicist-scripted bargain.)
It’s possible that Spears’ latest missive reflects a sincere appreciation of Timberlake’s better-late-than-never apology, but given her recent IG activity, it seems likely that her message was delivered with a hefty dose of sarcasm. In a now-deleted post published last week, Spears wrote that she’d “had a call last night from Jesus,” who told her, among other things, that one of her exes promoted his first album “using your name claiming you did him dirty.” It could possibly be K-Fed that Jesus was talking about—he did release his now-classic album Playing with Fire around the time of their divorce—but pretty much everyone assumed that the ex in question was Timberlake.
Spears’s latest post also includes some pretty heartbreaking accounts of what her life was like under the conservatorship. As her mom and sister worked on their own tell-all memoirs, she writes, “I couldn’t even get a cup of coffee or drive my car.” She describes making an hour-long drive to Target to go shopping, only to be told that she wasn’t allowed to leave the car. “Hundreds of kids and adults going in !!!” Spears wrote. “I’ve never felt more like nothing in my life.”
After 13 years of living like that, Spears is more than entitled to talk her shit. Really, her mom, dad, Timberlake, and the rest are getting off easy.