Britney Spears Has a Message for Diane Sawyer

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Britney Spears might be ready to move on with her life, but she’s not forgetting or forgiving just yet. In a lengthy Instagram post shared Monday, which touched on everything from her career to how funny she finds Kevin Hart, the recently freed pop star weighed in on one of her most controversial moments: her 2003 Diane Sawyer interview.

The interview from the early aughts has been a hot topic of debate and reexamination among fans. It was heavily featured in the New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears, and to say it hasn’t aged well is almost too kind. The hourlong sit-down includes multiple invasive questions about Spears’s sex life (she was 21 at the time, or as the singer wrote, “a baby”), specifically as it relates to her (then) recent breakup with Justin Timberlake. “You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering,” Sawyer said at one point. “What did you do?” At the time, Spears was apologetic, but looking back, she wishes things had been different.

“Do we dare forget the Diane Sawyer interview in my apartment almost 20 years ago,” Spears wrote in what looks like a Notes app post shared to Instagram. “What was with the ‘you’re in the wrong’ approach?? Geeze … and making me cry???” Spears revealed that, in the wake of her public breakup with Timberlake, she spent a lot of time alone in her apartment and “couldn’t talk” and that she felt forced into doing the interview by her father, Jamie Spears, and a manager. (Spears doesn’t name him, but fans know that Larry Rudolph, her longtime manager, was working for her at the time.) “My manager put that woman in my home and made me talk to her on national television,” Spears alleged in her post.

“She said ‘a woman or a girl,’” Spears continued. “I would like to say now, ‘Ma’am I’m a catholic slut!!!!’” Spears also took offense with Sawyer’s line of questioning regarding a supposed “shopping addiction” that was written about in the tabloids, adding that she would tell Sawyer, “‘You wanna join me at a mass and I can serve your husband my certificate on shopping for anonymous players???’ I should spend a thousand dollars if I want every day of my life and she can kiss my white ass.” Sawyer has not responded to Spears’s post or how her interview was used in the Times documentary.

Given what we know now about how her money was controlled under her conservatorship, I think we can all agree Spears has earned a few shopping sprees. Spears herself is proud to have retaken control of her finances. In her post, she shared the joy she received from simply taking $300 out of the ATM and getting “chocolate … Christmas socks … and a bottle of white wine.” It’s the least she deserves, but it’s a start.

Elsewhere in the post, Spears commented on her career, hinting that her performing days may be over. “My first three years in the biz and on the road were great, but I’ll be completely honest and say that after those three tours and the pace I was going … I don’t think I ever want to do it again!!!!” Whether or not she ever performs again, one thing is clear: It will be her choice. As it should be.

Britney Spears Has a Message for Diane Sawyer