Britney Spears has finally broken the silence on her divorce from Kevin Federline and her trip to rehab — but not in a teary tell-all TV interview or juicy autobiography.
The embattled singer posted a long, emotional letter on her preferred means of communication these days: her Web site. In the letter, Spears confesses to her fans, "I was so lost."
The undated post — which sits beside the same topless photo of Spears in a blond wig with her white-gloved hands covering her chest that has graced the site for weeks — is a candid trip through the singer's recent troubled past. In it, she explains what drove her to rehab, how she feels she's been dealt a raw deal by the press and how all she really wants is for her kids to have a childhood like the one she remembers, which was full of dancing, singing, watching movies with her family and joy.
"Recently, I was sent to a very humbling place called rehab," wrote Spears, who recently completed a short club tour during which she danced and lip-synced along to a handful of her hits (see "Britney's Back! Spears Returns To The Stage With Five-Song Dirty Dance Party"). "I truly hit rock bottom. Till this day I don't think that it was alcohol or depression. I was like a bad kid running around with ADD. I had a manager from a long time ago come in and try to direct me and my life after I got my divorce. I was so overwhelmed I think that I was in a little shock too. I didn't know who to go to. I realized how much energy and love I had put into my past relationship when it was gone because I genuinely did not know what to do with myself, and it made me so sad. I confess, I was so lost."
After rehiring longtime manager Larry Rudolph in the midst of her personal troubles, Spears fired him last month and posted a sarcastic video message online via the X17 photo agency in which she mocked her management for sending her to rehab. "I just want to say that, um, I'm just really, really shocked at like how nice our world is because it's just so nice," she said in a sing-song Valley Girl accent in the video message. "Like, oh my God! Like, the other day, like I was sitting there and I saw these magazines and they said I was pregnant, and like, it's so true. Like America, believe everything you read. Because, like, you're smart and I'm stupid. Like for real. Come on y'all. ... And, like, my management totally knew what they were doing when they sent me to rehab. So right, you know. Just like, I'm just gonna cry right now because the world is so nice."
Spears stressed that the letter on her Web site is not an attempt to blame anyone for her troubles, even if she does see the world "with a completely different set of eyes now. Being in that vulnerable state and taken to dinners and parties with friends and finding out later you paid for everything was a huge learning lesson for me. I think the whole problem was letting too many people into my life. You never know another person's intentions or what another person wants. I feel I was too open and looking for answers when I had it all to begin with. I have had to cut so many people out of my life."
That last part, she said, is the hardest for her, a self-described "family person." She reminisced about being a young girl, watching movies every night with her family and feeling "so at peace. Dancing and singing all the time just like a little girl should. Now recently I find with my children that I want them to have that feeling all of the time. I am having to face a lot of things right now since I have children of my own. A lot of insecurities from when I was little are coming up again. It is like we are never good enough."
Adamant that she is not trying to play the victim, Spears said that she hates what is happening to her and that perhaps the letter can allow people to look at her differently. "It is like when you are a real woman and say what you feel and how you think things are supposed to be," she wrote, "that people just say you are a 'bitch.' "
The letter begins with Spears expressing frustration about not being able to get her side of the story out in the press, lamenting that most people are more interested in hearing about the bad things than the good. "I used to be angry at the tabloids for printing horrible things about me," she said. "But now I try to just be numb to what I see. I saw Tyra Banks once get really upset and cry on her show because they made her look fat. We all want a certain image of ourselves out there, and at some point we all do really care what other people think or we wouldn't be here."
Though she doesn't name names, Spears clearly has some people on her list who she believes blew her recent troubles — including a divorce from Kevin Federline, unflattering pictures of her out on the town without underwear, a public head-shaving incident and her trip to rehab — out of proportion. She also insinuated that some of them were doing so in order to stop her from asserting more control over her life and career.
"I feel like some of the people in my life made more of some issues than was necessary," she said. "I also feel like they knew I was beginning to use my brain for a change and cut some ties, so they wanted to be in more control of my life than me. I think it is actually normal for a young girl to go out after a huge divorce. I think it was a bigger issue because I had not gone out in such a long time. I am 25 and I do still have a lot to learn, and I am going to make mistakes every day, and I am sure every mistake I make will probably be on CNN or 'Good Morning America.' I am only human, people, and I love you for still loving me."
The letter ends with Spears describing herself as sitting at home as her sons doze nearby and counting blessings for having them in her life. "Every day is so surreal," she said. "Life in general is so surreal and crazy. I just hope this letter made some of you think a little bit more of me and where I am coming from. I just want the same things in life that you want ... and that is to be happy.
"It is just so weird because everyone has their own perception of me and how they think I really am," she continued. "It is so weird how stories are told. There is your side, my side, and the truth. Somebody has to figure it out. I guess we will never really understand or figure out life completely. That's God's job. I can't wait to meet him ... or her."
A spokesperson for Spears could not be reached for comment at press time to confirm that Spears had penned the post.
For the full letter, visit Spears' Web site.