At the time, the then-25-year-old was in the middle of her divorce from Kevin Federline and subsequent custody battle over their young sons Sean and Jayden. As a result the pop star, who was no stranger to life in the spotlight, was under more scrutiny than ever.
"I'd been eyeballed so much growing up," the now 41-year-old wrote in an excerpt of her memoir The Woman in Me provided to People. "I'd been looked up and down, had people telling me what they thought of my body, since I was a teenager. Shaving my head and acting out were my ways of pushing back."
In the months following her buzzcut, Britney continued to make headlines with various seemingly erratic behaviors, including attacking an SUV carrying paparazzi with an umbrella, going on runs to drug stores at midnight and, in Jan. 2008, locking herself and then-16-month-old Jaden in her bathroom. Authorities were ultimately called and she was admitted to a hospital on a 5150 psychiatric hold—and it was one month later that Jamie Spears was granted a temporary conservatorship over Britney, one that would last 13 years.
In her memoir, releasing Oct. 24, the "Toxic" singer goes into detail about the many ways the conservatorship affected her life.
"Under the conservatorship I was made to understand that those days were now over," she wrote. "I had to grow my hair out and get back into shape. I had to go to bed early and take whatever medication they told me to take."
And this controlled lifestyle took its toll on Britney's creativity. "I would do little bits of creative stuff here and there, but my heart wasn't in it anymore," she explained. "As far as my passion for singing and dancing, it was almost a joke at that point. Thirteen years went by with me feeling like a shadow of myself."
E! News has reached out to reps for Jamie Spears regarding the conservatorship, and has not heard back.
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Britney's conservatorship was finally terminated in Nov. 2021 following a months-long legal battle. It was a court case that captured the attention of the nation, with her vocal supporters cheering her outside the Los Angeles courtroom and making #FreeBritney go viral on social media.
And it was that public support the Grammy winner credits with helping her case.
"#FreeBritney movement … I have no words … because of you guys and your constant resilience in freeing me from my conservatorship … my life is now in that direction !!!!!" she tweeted at the time. "I cried last night for two hours cause my fans are the best and I know it."
And to see how Britney has been spending her time post-conservatorship, keep reading.