Pop star’s memoir was subject of a massive bidding war, and comes weeks after she sent a cease-and-desist letter to her sister over her own autobiography
Britney Spears has landed a “record-breaking” publishing deal for a tell-all memoir about her rise to fame, her relationship with her family and her experience living under a conservatorship for more than a decade.
Page Six reported on Monday that publisher Simon & Schuster had secured the deal for the pop star’s memoir for as much as US$15m (£11m, A$20.8m) after a massive bidding war involving multiple publishers.
An unnamed source told Page Six that “the deal is one of the biggest of all time, behind the Obamas”. The president and first lady signed a deal worth an estimated US$65m to write multiple books for Penguin Random House in 2017.
Did you mean “Free Britney”? Or “Free Britney to entertain me”?
Since Britney Spears got free after 13 years under a conservatorship, she’s been posting nudes—full-frontal images, with carefully placed heart emoji. She’s tossed around the idea of having another baby. She’s been exchanging harsh words with her sister, Jamie Lynn Spears. (“I’m sorry Jamie Lynn, I wasn’t strong enough to do what should have been done…slapped you and Mamma right across your fucking faces !!!!!”) On Wednesday, January 19, Rolling Stone reported that Spears’s lawyer sent Jamie Lynn a cease-and-desist letter.
Over on Spears’s Instagram—her regular means of communicating with the public—she has maintained the style that caused so many people to worry over her conservatorship in the first place. The account reposts low-res images, repeats the same photos and videos of herself, and writes in a style that veers from cogent and funny to indecipherable. If you thought that her feed would look more like a Simpson’s or a Carey’s after the conservatorship was lifted, you thought wrong—here’s a stock image of a typewriter, kitschy black-and-white photos of toddlers, and seen-before selfies of Brit from a high angle.
So how is Britney’s public—who begged, marched, and posted for her release—reacting to her newfound freedom? In a recent post, a smiling Britney dances in front of a Christmas tree. Let’s pull a few comments:
“Briiiiit, now that you have your money back, hire a stylist please.”
“She really gives off the weirdest vibes in these videos.”
“Now she’s free can ANYONE teach her some moves other than the last 3 yrs worth of awkward foot to foot, walk & spin or spin spin spin.”
“Someone please get her a stylist.”
“Umm....what are you doing??”
“I love you but please fix your eye makeup!!”
The public said we wanted Britney Spears to be free. But did we really want her to be free, or did we just want her released into our custody? Increasingly it seems that when some people said “Free Britney,” they meant “Free her to entertain me,” and “Free her to present as visually perfect and emotionally untraumatized for my benefit as a viewer.” Certainly, plenty of Britney fans—including many of those who propelled the Free Britney movement—want her to do whatever she wants. Every famous person, especially women—get rude and offensive comments on social media. Even Malala! Even Martha Stewart!
But the particular creepiness of Britney’s comments is that they’re not just the typical mix of praise and insults. They’re all people telling her what to do, with even more vehemence than is typical on a celebrity post—fix your hair, write a book, go on tour, do better, be clearer, give a sign that you’re okay. The law controlled her; now her fans cajole her. In the last year the Spears situation seemed like the crest of the wave of reckoning over the way we treat women entertainers—their talent and youth are extracted, their bodies are sexualized far beyond their consent, they are hectored and criticized no matter what they do. It felt like we were developing a greater sense of collective compassion, that we would extend beyond Britney Spears, beyond famous people altogether.
Plenty of people took stock of the Britney situation, resolved to do better, and so much discourse online and in person has changed. But for huge swaths of the population, it’s just business as usual. She’s still Ms. Oh My God! That Britney’s Shameless; still She’s Too Big Now She’s Too Thin. Many of us still just want a piece of her.
Source Jenny Singer is a staff writer for
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Fireworks went off in court on Wednesday at Britney Spears’ latest hearing, as the singer and her father’s attorneys went head-to-head in a continuous and contentious legal battle that last roughly three hours.
Though the conservatorship has been terminated, the fight between the pop star and her father, Jamie Spears, persists, primarily revolving around a disagreement over payment for ongoing attorney fees and allegations that the pop star was eavesdropped on by a secret surveillance apparatus with her father’s involvement.
“Lies!” exclaimed Spears attorney, Mathew Rosengart, pointing his finger at Alex Weingarten, the elder Spears’ lawyer, accusing him of making “nonsensical” and “preposterous” claims. “He should be admonished,” Rosengart told Judge Brenda Penny. “He has attacked me. He has attacked this court. And it is intolerable.”
Rosengart’s impassioned comments came after Weingarten accused Rosengart of making up false stories — such as the surveillance claims — and planting those stories with the press.
“Virtually everything that is alleged is demonstratively false or taken out of context,” Weingarten told the judge, after Rosengart said his firm has “strong evidence” that Spears’ father was involved in “very intense and potentially illegal” surveillance over the star, which was first alleged by the New York Times in their bombshell reporting last fall.
“It didn’t happen!” Weingarten shouted, standing up in front of the judge, speaking about the eavesdropping claims. Weingarten did not provide any evidence on disagreeing with the surveillance allegations, other than theorizing that Rosengart planted the story with the media.
As revealed in a court filing yesterday, Rosengart’s firm has retained a former FBI special agent to help conduct an investigation into Spears’ father’s management of her estate during the conservatorship; the filing stated that the investigation corroborated claims in the New York Times that the singer’s father had hired a security firm, Black Box, to secretly run surveillance on his famous daughter, monitoring her phone and planting a listening device into her bedroom, which captured communications with her counsel and her therapy sessions.
“The problem is we are fighting with our hands behind our back,” Weingarten told the judge, expressing that Rosengart is using the media and the pop star is using her social media, in order to get their side of the story out, he said. Weingarten then asked the court to unseal records from the entire case, so that people can hear the “truth.” He said the “public has the right to know.”
Rosengart categorized the “attacks” as “disgraceful.”
Weingarten then asked the judge to schedule a date to file a motion to unseal all records from the entire conservatorship case. The judge did not immediately set a date, and appeared to exhibit some reluctance, referencing the court’s busy calendar.
“We don’t think a father who loves his daughter would file to unseal her medical records,” Rosengart told the judge, stating that the elder Spears is only looking to save his own reputation, calling his lawyer’s request to unseal records “offensive” and “highly inappropriate.”
Though Spears’ conservatorship was terminated last fall, it may take months before an agreement can be reached, with the attorneys still fighting over whether the singer must pay legal bills incurred by her father when he was in charge of her finances.
The next major hearing in the case was set for July 27.
A separate hearing was set for March 16, regarding Rosengart’s objections to attorney fees requested by the lawyers for the star’s mother Lynne Spears. A hearing still needs to be set to deal with the singer’s former business manager, Tri Star Sports and Entertainment, quashing subpoenas served by the star’s legal team. (Rosengart has accused Tri Star of “stonewalling” his attempts to obtain information for his client and has said his firm was forced to issue two subpoenas because they would not voluntarily cooperate.)
The only significant order on Wednesday came from Penny, ruling it was not necessary to set aside a reserve from Spears’ estate — a request from Weingarten, who asked the judge to order that a certain amount of money be set aside in the meantime, to ensure that the attorneys can get paid eventually.
Before Penny’s ruling in the singer’s favor, Rosengart said the conservatorship has already been terminated, so his client has complete control over her money. He argued that if, eventually, there is a request for her to make more payments on attorneys fees, the court can make that order down the line.
“Let’s remember why this conservatorship was put in place,” Weingarten said. “Ms. Spears was irresponsible with her finances.”
The judge quickly shut down Weingarten’s statement. “Please, let’s not go there,” Penny said. “Let’s not go down that road.”
In a video showing off her "New ...Baby One More Time outfit," a.k.a. a tied-up white button down and green plaid skirt, the pop star wrote a message to Jamie Lynn in the caption.
After Jamie Lynn Spears said she “felt like an afterthought” in her sister’s shadow, Britney Spears took to Instagram on Tuesday (Jan. 18) to set the record straight.
In a video showing off her “New …Baby One More Time outfit,” a.k.a. a tied-up white button down and green plaid skirt, the pop star wrote a message to Jamie Lynn in the caption. “In life a lot of people say “DO I MATTER ????” … try eating alone for 4 months morning [sun emoji] … noon [clock emoji] … and night [moon emoji] Jamie Lynn,” she wrote.
“I asked myself every day ‘DOES ANYBODY CARE ??? WTF ??? DO I MATTER ???’ I would honestly be very interested to see your pretty face in the setting I was forced to be in and asking yourself ‘DO I MATTER ???'” she continued. “I didn’t get to cry [crying emoji] … I had to be strong … TOO STRONG [muscle flex emoji] !!!”
Britney concluded with a final message assuring her sister, “So yes … YOU DO MATTER and don’t you ever think for one f–king second you don’t,” she said.”
See Britney’s latest post here
The post comes just one day after Jamie Lynn appeared on an episode of Spotify’s Call her Daddy podcast in which she described to host Alex Cooper what it felt like growing up with a worldwide superstar older sister.
“I always felt like an afterthought, I literally was, I just learned to stay out of the way,” Jamie Lynn told Cooper. “I was so proud of her, I was like I know how hard she worked and I admired her, and it was so cool I got to witness the coolest things watching her live out her dreams. So for me it was like stay out of the way and let this experience happen because this was the goal everyone wanted and they got it so I just need to not mess anything up for anybody.”
And though Jamie’s Things I Should Have Said memoir roll-out has led to a public rift between the sisters, Jamie Lynn noted that Britney’s legendary work ethic has been “nothing but an inspiration to me” and that she truly does not feel jealous of her sister’s success. “I got to experience watching a woman take over the f—ing world. How can I be jealous of that?” she said.