Justin Timberlake dumped Britney via text, she ‘was comatose in Louisiana’

The New York Times got their hands on an advance copy of Britney Spears’ The Woman in Me. The Times says that they basically just persuaded a bookstore to sell them an early copy, I guess since the book comes out in a few days anyway. You can read the Times’ “big takeaways” from the book here. While TMZ and other outlets have been more focused on the Justin Timberlake gossip (I’m guilty of that too), the NYT makes it clear that Britney spends a lot of time talking about the conservatorship and all of the f–ked up things her father did to her. Some highlights from the NYT’s coverage:

Why she stopped fighting the conservatorship for years: At times over the years that followed, she pushed back privately, but ultimately her exhaustion and fear of losing access to her two young sons won out, she recalls in the book. “After being held down on a gurney,” the memoir reads, “I knew they could restrain my body any time they wanted to. And so I went along with it.” Spears adds, “My freedom in exchange for naps with my children — it was a trade I was willing to make.”

Justin Timberlake dumped her via text: Spears recounts her connection with Timberlake as magnetic and describes their breakup — which she said he initiated over text message — as leaving her “devastated” and fantasizing about quitting show business.

JT’s “Cry Me a River” music video: She recalls her reaction to the release of Timberlake’s music video “Cry Me a River,” in which, as she describes it, “a woman who looks like me cheats on him and he wanders around sad in the rain.” She viewed the media as portraying her as a “harlot who’d broken the heart of America’s golden boy,” she writes, when in reality: “I was comatose in Louisiana, and he was happily running around Hollywood.”

That Diane Sawyer interview: After the breakup, Spears says, she felt forced by her father and her management team to participate in an interview with Diane Sawyer, during which Sawyer pressed her on what she did to Timberlake that caused him “so much pain.” Spears recalls that interview as a “breaking point” for her. “I felt like I had been exploited,” she writes, “set up in front of the whole world.”

Drugs/alcohol use: Of her time being photographed alongside celebrity peers like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, Spears writes, “It was never as wild as the press made it out to be,” saying that she had no interest in hard drugs and “never had a drinking problem.” Instead, Spears describes her “drug of choice” as the ADHD medication Adderall, which “made me high, yes, but what I found far more appealing was that it gave me a few hours of feeling less depressed.”

[From The NYT]

Ugh, that Diane Sawyer interview. Diane was really wrong for that. Did we know that Justin dumped her via text? I didn’t know that. But I remember vividly the “Cry Me a River” mess, where everyone was on Justin’s side and they treated Britney like a maneater who cheated on “poor Justin.” It should be noted that, at the time, there was pushback on that and people took sides. It wasn’t like Justin’s narrative was the only one out there.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN and Cover Images.

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77 Responses to “Justin Timberlake dumped Britney via text, she ‘was comatose in Louisiana’”

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  1. KN says:

    Look, I can’t stand Justin Timberlake and I have a lot of sympathy for Britney. But he didn’t dump her via text—texts weren’t even around back then! Maybe email? Her publishers should have tried to get her to be accurate wherever possible.

    • ME says:

      Yeah I mean unless celebs had access to technology the rest of the world didn’t lol.

      Also, I wonder why Britney never told her side of the story back then. Why was she protecting Justin? Was she hoping to get back together with him? Was someone pressuring her to keep quiet?

      • Lens says:

        @me the celebs that don’t share their private life through “sources” or in interviews I consider classy the others who do are messy. Unless twenty odd years have gone by (like this) when it’s all water under the bridge so it’s okay. It seems everyone always takes sides in (even among your private friends’ ) breakups so it’s best not to feed the monster. Anyway, texting was definitely a thing since the late 1990s and I’m even old enough to remember. In fact I remember when breaking up over the phone used to be the height of rudeness! Now people are probably grateful for a phone call.

    • girl_ninja says:

      Ma’am. What are you talking about??? Of course text were around. And she and he probably had SideKicks or BlackBerry’s

      Even if they just had pagers. You text using one of those!

      • Erin says:

        Lmao right, I’m really confused how people don’t think there was texting then. I got my first cell phone in college in 2002 or 2003 and it was a Nextel and there was definitely texting.

      • Amanda says:

        I am Britney’s age and I had a cellphone in 2000 at 19 (an old school Nokia which I’m sure would still be working today!)

      • Carrie says:

        Yep. I met my ex husband in 1998 and I recall us txting each other.

      • iisaidwhatiisaid says:

        @Girl_Ninja I cannot tell you how many times I laughed at your comment and can’t stop 😭

    • Lk says:

      There was texting in 2002.

    • Anna says:

      In high school when I graduated in 2001, I had a cell phone and it texted just fine. I couldn’t afford more than 10 texts a month, but I used ALLL TEN every month. I had to press the number 2 three times to type C, but darnitall, I had texts!

    • Danbury says:

      Text messaging has been around for 25 years. Just not as widespread back then as it is now. If I remember correctly it was first on Nokia phones

    • Tila says:

      Lol texts were most definitely around at that time!

    • meli says:

      I don’t know how old you are but there absolutely was texting in 2002!!! I lived it.

    • SarahCS says:

      I’m pretty sure they were. I was a student 98-01 and towards the end I had a mobile phone that could text. You could only store something like 5 messages but you could definitely text.

    • equality says:

      First text sent: 1992. Texting became popular: 1999. Brit and Timberlake break up: 2002.

    • Snuffles says:

      Texting existed back then. It was pretty new but it existed.

    • Coldbloodedjellydonut says:

      I don’t understand this tendency to assert with one’s whole chest when one is wrong – texting was first available on phones owned by the public in 1993. It’s easily googlable.

      • Amy Too says:

        I remember my BF junior year of high school (so 2003) buying me a flip phone, bc he wanted to text when we weren’t both at home and logged into AOL instant messenger (AIM). And we were very much lower middle class. Not rich at all. We both had jobs. Both of my parents worked “non professional” job. Neither of us were living in any sort of luxury, lol.

        My mom has borderline personality disorder. She didn’t want me to grow up, have any independence, and certainly not a way to take calls or messages from anyone that didn’t go thru our family’s land line. I felt like the only person in my high school that didn’t have a cell phone in 2003, and cried with gratitude when he gifted it to me bc now I could finally text!!!

        I had to buy those reloadable “minutes” cards at a store once a week, and texts cost more than phone calls, but I—a person in 2003 who felt SUPER BEHIND the times when I FINALLY got a cell phone—could text. And the phone was bought for me specifically so we could text.

    • I was wondering that too about there being text at that time but I’m not tech savvy and had a crap flip phone for years after the nice iPhones came out because I didn’t want to text just make phone calls but look at me now. The more that comes out about this book is just unimaginable to be happening to someone. It’s frightening that this could happen and by her family no less.

    • TurbanMa says:

      Text messages most certainly were around then! Sure we had to tap the numbers on our flip phones or nokias but we were able to text without looking! not the same as touchscreen sure but yes we were texting lol

    • Flowerlake says:

      Texts were definitely around. I remember texting my friends in the late 1990s(and lost all my prepaid money on just a few texts: that is how expensive they were).

      Would like to note though that dumping via text or email was considered even more tacky back then than it is now. It was a relatively new thing and breakups happened in person and that was it. A telephone call was considered very tacky already, let alone a text.

      Now people might go: “Yeah that is loser behavior. Next.”

      Back then it was more like: “WTF HOW WHAT WHY via text??? How can someone do that?! OMG I have to tell everyone I ever met that this happened to someone.”

      • Flowerlake says:

        Would like to add that dumping someone via text is perfectly fine if you are scared of the other person.

        Normal manners go out of the window when someone is a potential danger.

        (this is meant in general, not at this particular case).

      • Whatever says:

        You’re generalizing somewhat. Breakups over the phone and via letters happened all the time when I was young especially if you had a long distance relationship. When I was at college my BF was 2 hrs away and when I was done with his ass I wasn’t going to wait to see him in person to end it. The phone was how it was done.

      • Amy Too says:

        My first BF (8th grade, 1998ish, literally wrote me a note to break up and said “don’t read it until you’re home.”

        Everyone after that (1998-2006—when I started dating my husband) broke up with me either in person or by phone call. I literally can’t imagine having some text me a break up in the early 90’s!!! 1) it cost money to even receive their text (so they wouldn’t know if I got it until I responded), and 2) it cost money to respond! So there is no opportunity for a conversation to figure out the issues.

        And even if money isn’t an issue, texting was like tripling talking each number on the phone to get the 1 letter we wanted in a word. Times however many words. Also, there’s a limit on words. And each limited-word text (that takes 6 minutes to send), costs money. Also you pay for the texts you receive. You’d have to drive to a gas station or Best Buy to buy a card that equaled more minutes, and then install it on your phone, and then wait for it to update and take hold, before you could continue the conversation.

        This where the “breaking up over text if a horrible social taboo” came from.

    • Delphine says:

      There was absolutely text messaging in 2002. I got my first Nokia cell phone in 1998 and sent texts on it. We didn’t have mini keyboards, we had to use the numeric keypad with each number representing 3 letters and you had to choose the right letter. It took forever but we were texting.

    • michyk says:

      anything to not believe a woman I guess

    • K-Peace says:

      I thought the same thing at first but i just looked up when text messaging first became widely used and and it said: “Over 250 billion texts were sent in 2002.” (If i remember correctly, Britney & Justin broke up in ‘02.) Then i thought back and i remember first texting people from my cell phone in 2003. And i’m a person who’s very slow to try/adapt to new technology. So if i was texting in 2003, i’m SURE that celebrities with access to the top technology, like Britney, were texting in 2002.

      • SophieJara says:

        Also by 2001 Blackberries were a thing and they did have the full keyboard. I remember the date because I’m a New Yorker and it was a big deal that only Blackberries worked on 9/11, none of the other phones could dial out of the city. Britney is only a few years older than me and I was definitely texting people a lot by 2000.

    • Sue says:

      Yes, texting was around in 2001-2002. We had our chunky Nokia phones that had texting capability.

      • Flowerlake says:

        Indeed. I had this very cheap prepaid phone in 1999 and it could text.
        I think almost everyone in my school had a phone by then and they could all text. We didn’t do it much because texting was expensive.

        By 2002 I would say it was already getting cheaper and had become a much more common thing. To people like Justin and Britney it must have been a mundane thing already.

      • HeatherC says:

        I remember my Nokia! As clunky as it was, with (now) ancient technology, it was freaking unbreakable, unlike the phones I’ve gotten since (including a Blackberry at one point). When WW3 happens, cockroaches and Nokia phones will be all that survives.

    • slippers4life says:

      There was, but it was newish and most people were still talking on the phone. There was the whole T9 thing that changed the game. What this tells me though is that in 2002, a break up via text was even more heartless and weak than it is today. If I got broken up with on ICQ back then I would have felt so dismissed. Basically an 00’s break up text is even less personal than a 20s.

    • Purplehazeforever says:

      @KN- There was texting back then ..what are talking about? I have had a cellphone since 2001…I have the same cell phone number today.

    • ELX says:

      I hâte to tell you all, but texting originally started using the number pad on cell phones in the 90s. Cell phones spread really quickly in places with terrible wire telephone service. When I lived in Eastern Europe in the late 90s most younger people were already texting and not making calls. It was the thing to do already if you were chic.

    • KN says:

      Jesus Christ, what a pile on! You people really like to tell people they’re wrong. How did I assert “with my whole chest”?? I made a mild comment! So I was wrong! No one I knew texted back then and I’m in my forties. It wasn’t a common way of communicating casually the way it is now. But okay, it existed!

      • ME says:

        I know right? It’s like ok one or two people corrected you…fine. But hot damn, do people really need to pile on you like that?

      • justin says:

        Cry me a river.

      • Bumblebee says:

        Seriously obsessed with the, ‘when did texting start?’, business. Who knew that would trigger a landslide of ‘oh noesssss’? People just love to be right and correct someone else. Sorry you got piled on today. Not cool.

      • Well, if that was the case you could’ve just said something like, “I didn’t know that texting existed back then”, but instead you pretended to speak with authority on something that most of the people replying to you know to be untrue, based on their own lived experiences. Also, I think that you got the reaction that you did because your comment comes across as yet another bad faith argument to try to paint Britney as some sort of compulsive liar any time she opens her mouth, and a lot of people are getting tired of it at this point.

      • Abigail says:

        Well you were blatantly wrong and spreading misinformation. Moreover, you used that to somehow insinuate Britney was lying so that’s why everyone piled on you. Next time think before you write.

    • Windy says:

      They broke up on spring 2002 didn’t they? Text was around then. I was in grad school in 2000 and used it all the time then.

    • Iris says:

      I was a 15 year old in 2000 (in rural Ireland, too) and I was flat-out texting my boyfriend so… yes, it did exist.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Oh I feel old. There were most definitely texts then. Remember Blackberries? And flip phones that you had to push the same number multiple times to get the right letter? And Paris Hilton had some kind of phone with a whole keyboard on it… what was that called… a sidekick?

    • Aline Gomes says:


    • TheVolvesSeidr says:

      There was texting way back in 2001. I had a nextel w/ text abilities & it was a walkie talky with anyone else who had one. It was awesome. I miss that phone/service. It worked in Mexico too w/o any extra charge.

      I googled it: when did cell phone texting begin “1992 It’s been over 25 years since the first text message was sent in 1992. Text messaging is now an integral part of day-to-day communications. We now send 23 billion text messages every day.”

    • The Old Chick says:

      Texting started in the late 90s I don’t know the timing of B and J’s relationship.

    • B says:

      @ KN Your publishers should have tried to get you to be accurate wherever possible.

    • Ele4phant says:


      Oh my sweet summer child, speaking as an older millennial that got my first cell phone in 2000 (for emergencies only my parents said), I can attest that yes texting existed back then. Smart phones no.

      But you could definitely SMS text on your phone all day long (although don’t exceed your plans limits or else it’ll cost $$ and your parents will get mad at you).

      Edited – I see you are in your 40s and no one you knew was texting, well, maybe you were a bit too old and accustomed to the way things had been that you and your cohort didn’t take to texting like ducks in the water. But absolutely the youths of the time were texting up a storm. If I recall, text thumbs was a legitimate phenomenon from mashing your thumbs frankly all day long pounding out sms text after sms text.

    • Ele4phant says:

      Also I had forgotten (maybe out of shame) but I dumped my first boyfriend in high school via text. This was when I was a sophomore, so must’ve been 2001-2002.

      And if middle class me in rural America could do it, I’m sure rich celebrities were dumping each other via text well before then.

  2. molly says:

    I’m sure they were victims in their own right too, but journalists like Diane Sawyer and Barbra Walters played a HUGE role in the exploitation of young, famous women in the early aughts.

    It seemed less creepy to have an older woman prying about virginity and plastic surgery on national television, but they were just as slut-shamy and misogynistic as the rest of the tabloids.

    • MY3CENTS says:

      Yes, looking back it’s just so so wrong.
      I feel guilty I wasn’t questioning those narratives back then.

      • molly says:

        I was refreshing Perez Hilton all day at my little job, and I couldn’t wait for Us Weekly to show up in the mail each week. I was definitely part of the problem back then.

    • ME says:

      When Britney did Star Search, she was not even 8 or 9 years old. Ed told her she had beautiful eyes and asked her if she had a boyfriend. Men were doing this too, not just women. The culture was really effed up then, and still is today to some extent.

    • StillDouchesOfCambridge says:

      No we did have text but it wasnt widely used. Remember at that time paris was always texting on her motorolla or her sidekick? Texting was already used very commonly in europe

  3. Talita says:

    I was already sending texts in 2001 in Brazil. I’m sure a worldwide famous celebrity must have had access to this technology much earlier.

    • Flamingo says:

      yeah, I worked in a technology company in 1994. They were able to do instant chat back then. It was rudimentary but it worked.

  4. Flamingo says:

    Interesting that is how she dumped Kevin Federline while he was out trying to promote his awful rap album. There is a video of him being interviewed by MTV and he receives a text and his face looks devastated for a moment.

    Happy she got to pay it forward.

    • Mireille says:

      PopoZão, anyone? Considering how he treated her during their brief time together, he deserved it. Used her for her money and fame and, according to one gossip source, he told his friends that he was going to “ride the gravy train until the wheels come off.” This was when they first got together. Kevin “father of the year” is PURE. TRASH.

      • Flamingo says:

        yup, he was never interested in any of his kids until his music career flopped. He got too fat to dance And realized they were going to be his only source of income. Then all of a sudden he ‘stepped up’. meh, all self-serving parasites that attached to her through the years.

      • Ariel says:

        PopoZão …. #neverforget

  5. Lady Luna says:

    I bet he’s s*itting bricks right now. I’m glad she’s getting her truth out there.

  6. Bluenoser says:

    I am so happy for Brittney that after years of being manipulated and controlled and vilified, she finally has her own power and agency to tell her own story in her own words.

  7. frankly says:

    I’m so glad there are only like 10 total photos of me with my assorted exes. Gawd it would suck to have to see that all the time. I don’t think I have any with my ex husband – It never happened. It was all a bad dream…

  8. Twin Falls says:

    Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric… was it a product of the time or their personalities that made them treat other women so poorly?

    • Bumblebee says:

      Those ladies had to be hard as nails to get to the top of that cut-throat business and be willing to turn a blind eye to a lot. Anyone like that is not going to have a nice personality.

    • Mango says:

      I don’t think any of women you listed were secretly angels but I am sure they had men either coming up with some of their questions with them or more importantly male producers pushing them to ask the “juicy stuff” read: hurtful, private information. It was on purpose that a woman interviewer was chosen. One reason why was so she could be the fall guy if there WAS any backlash against the program. If Britney looks bad- that’s a woman. If Diane looks bad- oh look another woman. Either way the audience disliked a woman. What I didn’t see was a male interviewer say to Justin and the producer of his album and the director of his music video was “Aren’t you all being a little hard on Britney? Why air your dirty laundry? This isn’t a public matter.” Now that I would have liked to see.

    • Debbie says:

      While the male producer/female anchor was prevalent in journalism and largely still exists today, by the time one gets to be a recognized name-brand anchor like Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer, those producers are not controlling you or the tenor of your interviews. These women had shows built around them and everybody in their field knew it. In some cases, these women were producing or executive producing their own specials. I think that there comes a time when we must let women shoulder the responsibilities for their own actions the same way that they gratefully accepted the benefits of name recognition and the high earnings.

    • j says:

      I think they internalized a lot of misogyny and patriarchy on their way to the top. The “lean in” mentality at it’s finest. I don’t think they were even aware of their own social and professional conditioning at times. Should they have been? Of course. I think we’ve come a long way since then in terms of deconstructing our beliefs around gender, relationships, money, and power.

  9. Serena says:

    The more I read about this the more I loathe JT.

    • ME says:

      Also the fact the abortion was performed AT HOME and Britney said it was very painful. This f*cker went on and made her the villain after that?

      • Flamingo says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if her parents were the ones who got her the abortion pills. Through shady connections. Jamie Lynn said her family heavily pressured her to get an abortion as it would be bad for her career.

        I can’t believe she went through that with no Doctor’s care. It’s reckless and dangerous. Now it makes sense why she was so manic to get pregnant with Kevin. And he was happy to oblige for the free meal tickets it gave him.

  10. BKittyb says:

    JT is a scumbag. He doesn’t have a good track record with women. Look how he was fine to let Janet Jackson almost lose her career over a move he could’ve stood up for her and taken accountability for. I believe Brit.

  11. Chris says:

    I remember the early days of texting – it was magical!

  12. Jordan says:

    I do worry for Britney -I hope she is in a better place

  13. Franklin B says:

    Did anyone else lol at how Britney described the music video for ‘cry me a river’? 😆

  14. Alexandria says:

    I’m the same age as Britney and Justin – 42. We had texting. Kinda miss it. My best days in uni.

  15. Spike says:

    I have had a cell phone since 2000. It had messaging capabilities.