Britney Spears Speaks Out About Life Under Conservatorship: "I Became a Robot"

She was under conservatorship for 13 years.

Britney Spears
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Britney Spears' highly anticipated memoir The Woman in Me is out on Oct. 24, and People has obtained exclusive excerpts ahead of the release.

Among these excerpts is a heartbreaking account of how the popstar felt while she was under her father's conservatorship, which lasted for 13 years between 2008 and 2021.

"I became a robot. But not just a robot—a sort of child-robot," the star wrote.

"I had been so infantilized that I was losing pieces of what made me feel like myself. The conservatorship stripped me of my womanhood, made me into a child. I became more of an entity than a person onstage. I had always felt music in my bones and my blood; they stole that from me."

Calling out the book's title, she continued, "The woman in me was pushed down for a long time.

"They wanted me to be wild onstage, the way they told me to be, and to be a robot the rest of the time.

"I felt like I was being deprived of those good secrets of life—those fundamental supposed sins of indulgence and adventure that make us human. They wanted to take away that specialness and keep everything as rote as possible. It was death to my creativity as an artist."

Elsewhere in the book, Spears opened up about her decision to shave her head in 2007, and revealed for the first time that she had an abortion during her relationship with Justin Timberlake.

Spears' conservatorship ended in 2021, after her father Jamie Spears filed to end it, following weeks of pressure from his daughter's legal team.

During a hearing in June 2021, the singer called the arrangement "abusive." She told a judge, "Ma'am, I'm not here to be anyone's slave," adding, "I just want my life back, it's been 13 years and it's enough."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.