Britney Spears lashes out over infamous Diane Sawyer interview: ‘I was a baby’

A woman in a midriff-baring costume with long hair performs onstage.
Britney Spears performing in 2016.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Britney Spears’ surreal stream-of-consciousness Instagram posts are back in full force and naming names — even if they’re promptly deleted by the pop star.

The entertainer’s latest offering riffed on various aspects of her newfound freedom, including thanking a number of A-listers for sending her gifts, seeing comedian Kevin Hart perform, not wanting to tour again and finally being able to access cash from an ATM, which segued into her so-called shopping problem.

It also brought us to Spears laying into journalist Diane Sawyer and her infamous 2003 interview with the star. Their lengthy conversation went viral earlier this year when it was featured in “Framing Britney Spears,” FX’s explosive documentary that helped catalyze the termination of the singer’s 13-year conservatorship last month.

On Monday, the 40-year-old “Baby... One More Time” singer called out Sawyer in a since-deleted Instagram post and offered fans a glimpse into her state of mind after her high-profile breakup with ‘N Sync’s Justin Timberlake. She also blamed her family, specifically her father and former conservator, Jamie Spears, who long controlled her personal life and finances under the protracted guardianship.


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“Do we dare forget the Diane Sawyer interview in my apartment almost 20 years ago?” she wrote, according to screenshots posted by People and several fan accounts. “What was with the ‘You’re in the wrong’ approach?? Geeze... and making me cry???”

That ABC “Primetime Thursday” interview covered a lot of ground, including remarks from Maryland’s then first lady about wanting to “shoot Britney Spears,” which Sawyer implied were justified “because of the example for kids and how hard it is to be a parent.”

Sawyer also seemed to blame Spears for her high-profile split from Timberlake, and when Sawyer inquired about her “rough year” in the spotlight, Spears hit her breaking point, began to cry and asked to stop the interview.

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Dec. 3, 2021

The tense exchange prompted many on social media earlier this year to accuse the journalist of perpetuating sexism and misogyny. And it was one of many polarizing encounters that prompted a reckoning over the performer’s treatment by the media. (Timberlake issued his own apology in February after the doc’s release.)


In her Monday Instagram post, the “Lucky” singer shed more light on the situation and her 2002 breakup. Though she deleted the fiery missive, fans flooded the comments section on a more recent and innocuous post to discuss it and implored her to bring it back, given its revelatory nature.

“Don’t be afraid to express yourself Britney, we support you,” read one fan’s comment.

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“Seriously though... I lived in my apartment for a year and never spoke to anyone... my manager put that woman in my home and made me talk to her on national television and she asked if I had a shopping problem!!! when did I have a problem with shopping ??? When I never left my apartment ???” Spears’ post read.

“Something I never shared when I had that big break up years ago was that I couldn’t talk afterwards. I never spoke to anyone for a long time ...I was in shock,” she added, “pretty lame of my dad and three men to show up at my door when I could hardly speak ... two days later they put Diane Sawyer in my living room ... they forced me to talk !!!”

“I was a baby ...I was almost 22 and didn’t understand ... but I f— know now !!!” she said, as the post got increasingly graphic.

Ahead of Wednesday’s hearing in L.A., Jamie Spears’ legal team had accused his daughter’s temporary conservators of trying to ruin his reputation.

Dec. 8, 2021

Representatives for Sawyer did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times’ requests for comment, nor did reps for Jamie Spears.

However, in a statement to People, Jamie Spears’ lawyer, Alex Weingarten, said his client was not to blame.

“He had nothing to do with Britney’s career at this point and was completely uninvolved in this interview,” the statement said. “Jamie loves Britney very much, wishes Britney nothing but the best and hopes that she continues to seek the help that she needs to stay safe and healthy.”