Britney Spears reveals that the public’s fixation on her virginity tormented her during the early stages of her career in the limelight.
In her book “The Woman in Me,” the pop icon discloses that her team depicted her as an “eternal virgin” despite the fact that she had her first sexual experience at the age of 14.
“Given that I had so many teenage fans, my managers and press people had long tried to portray me as an eternal virgin — never mind that Justin [Timberlake] and I had been living together, and I’d been having sex since I was fourteen,” writes Britney, who is now 41, about her early sexual experiences in her book.
The singer of “Lucky” goes on to say, “Why did my managers work so hard to claim I was some kind of young-girl virgin even into my twenties? Whose business was it if I’d had sex or not?”
In her 2008 memoir “Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World,” Britney Spears’ mother, Lynne Spears, also asserted that her daughter had her first sexual experience at the age of 14.
In her own book, Britney commends Oprah Winfrey for advising her that her “sexuality was no one else’s business.”
Together with other pop stars from that era such as Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson, Britney discovered that her virginity had become a subject of national conversation.
However, in 2002, Timberlake made an appearance on The Star & Buc Wild Morning Show, during which he was questioned about his personal life with Spears.
“Justin Timberlake is in the house, and I just want to ask you one question—did you f— Britney Spears?” Troi “Star” Torain inquired of the musician. “Yes or no? Come on, man.”
“Oh man,” Timberlake replied with a somewhat uncomfortable chuckle, and then he admitted, “OK, I did it!”
In his well-known 2002 interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20, the host inquired if the “Cry Me a River” singer and Britney had adhered to her pledge to abstain from sexual activity until marriage. He chuckled and responded, “Sure.”
In a 2002 interview with W Magazine, Britney revealed that she had engaged in a sexual relationship with her former boyfriend, Timberlake. She stated, “I’ve only slept with one person my whole life,” and went on to explain, “It was two years into my relationship with Justin, and I thought he was the one. … But I was wrong! I didn’t think he was gonna go on Barbara Walters and sell me out.”
Spears published her eagerly awaited memoir on Tuesday, with Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, as the publisher.
“It is finally time for me to raise my voice and speak out, and my fans deserve to hear it directly from me,” Spears conveyed to PEOPLE in an email interview conducted for last week’s exclusive cover story. “No more conspiracy, no more lies — just me owning my past, present and future.”
Its publication arrives close to two years following her liberation from the court-mandated conservatorship that had been in place for 13 years. In November 2021, the conservatorship was terminated following Spears’ powerful public testimony in court back in June of that same year.
In the feature story with PEOPLE, Britney discussed the challenge of having others dictate her own narrative.
“Over the past 15 years or even at the start of my career, I sat back while people spoke about me and told my story for me,” she said. “After getting out of my conservatorship, I was finally free to tell my story without consequences from the people in charge of my life.”