Britney Spears opens up about “soul-crushing” conservatory in new memoir, says People Magazine’s editor-in-chief


Britney Spears gives an insight into her life under her father’s control in her new memoir, “The Woman in Me,” out next Tuesday.

For over a decade, Spear struggled under a restrictive legal conservatorship that barred her despite her global fame. The memoir marks the first time Spears has opened up in detail about conservatory.

“She writes very honestly and painfully in the book that the conservatory was soul-crushing,” said Wendy Naugle, editor-in-chief of People magazine, who offered exclusive insight into the book on “CBS Mornings.”

“I think it’s her attempt to reclaim her own life and her own narrative, but … one of her goals, as she told us at People, was that she wants people to speak up, you know, not to be afraid. She hopes If a person can find guidance and in their own trials, it will really be worth it to her,” Naugle said.

Part of the memoir, published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS News parent Paramount Global, delves into Spears’ transformation during conservatory, where “she became this child robot,” Naugle said.

“She wanted to try to be an adult, but they wouldn’t let her be an adult, so she would go back to being a child,” Naugle said. “Growing up is a process, and she was kind of denied that process of becoming a woman.”

Despite her circumstances, Spears worked on numerous projects and supported many people financially while her own life was tightly regulated—a situation that Naugle said was deeply unfair compared to male celebrities facing personal difficulties.

“You know, there are so many cases of men who have had family problems, addiction problems, but they were never put under this kind of restriction. And so really, it felt like it wasn’t fair of her family to do this to her.” said Naugle.

Spears recently sat down for an interview with People and is featured on the cover of its October 30 issue. The photo for the cover was taken at a closed photo shoot in Tahiti, Naugle said.

“I think one of my favorite moments was when she was on a horse and she started riding off and she kind of walked out of the camera frame and you saw this joy and happiness in her that I think she’s keeping a little private. She rode off,” Naugle said.

Exclusive excerpts from “The Woman in Me” will be available on “CBS Mornings” and People magazine’s platforms this week in advance of the book’s release.


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