Britney Spears has revealed how she first learned about the #FreeBritney movement that supported her throughout her legal battle.
In her upcoming memoir The Woman in Me, which was previewed by Time Magazine, Spears writes that she was unaware of the fan-led campaign until 2018, when she was in a rehabilitation centre in Beverly Hills. Describing the rehab as a “nightmare”, she says that “the doctors took me away from my kids and my dogs and my house”.
“I couldn’t go outside. I couldn’t drive a car. I had to give blood weekly. I couldn’t take a bath in private. I couldn’t shut the door to my room. I was watched, even when I was changing,” she wrote.
Spears says that a nurse who was “real as hell” showed her a video of women on a talk show discussing the conservatorship one day where one of the hosts was wearing a #FreeBritney T-shirt. This sparked her curiosity about the hashtag, leading to her discovery of clips of fans trying to figure out if she was being held against her will.
“I don’t think people knew how much the #FreeBritney movement meant to me,” Spears wrote. “Especially in the beginning.” She described the connection she felt to the fans empowering the movement, adding that watching them chant “Free Britney!” in the streets was “the most amazing thing I’d ever seen in my life”.
The #FreeBritney movement started over a decade ago, when some fans grew concerned about Spears’ legal situation.
In other recently released excerpts from the memoir, Spears has thanked fans for standing by her, writing, “If you stood up for me when I couldn’t stand up for myself: from the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
She also revealed that she had an abortion while dating Justin Timberlake in a previously released excerpt, explaining that Timberlake had not been happy with the pregnancy.
Spears’ memoir, The Woman in Me, is set to be released on October 24. The book promises to be an honest and intimate account of Spears’ life, career and struggle for freedom.