The co-writer of Britney Spears’ Everytime has spoken out, insisting the song’s lyrics are not connected to the revelation in Britney’s candid new book, The Woman In Me, that she’d had an abortion over 20 years ago while dating Justin Timberlake.
“Every time I see you in my dreams / I see your face / It’s haunting me / I guess I need you, baby.”
Britney’s co-writer on the famous song, Annet Artani, has now confirmed that the lyrics did not refer to the singer’s abortion or the current revelations from her book.
The songwriter told TMZ that the song was an amalgamation of the duo’s mutual respective break-ups, but it mostly drew from Annet’s own experience.
The publication also reported she revealed that Britney never mentioned her abortion or discussed it with her when writing the song.
Annet also clarified that Britney added “haunting” into the lyric as they needed the lines to rhyme, as opposed to referencing anything specific.
However, the songwriter did reveal that she had no input into the music video concept, and that it was Britney’s decision to include a woman giving birth.
Britney and Annet collaborated on the song over nine months after the singer broke up with Justin in 2002, and it wasn’t released until much later, when Justin had already debuted his break-up song Cry Me A River, which many fans suspected was about Britney.
Britney opened up about her abortion in excerpts from the forthcoming memoir, which were published by People magazine.
“It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy,” she said “I loved Justin so much. I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated.”
She added: “But Justin definitely wasn’t happy about the pregnancy. He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young.
“I’m sure people will hate me for this, but I agreed not to have the baby,” Spears wrote. “I don’t know if that was the right decision. If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.”
“To this day, it’s one of the most agonising things I have ever experienced in my life,” she continued.
A representative for Justin did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Britney and Justin began dating in 1999 when she was 17 and he was 18. The pair first met when they were kids starring on The All New Mickey Mouse Club.
The two pop stars went on to solidify themselves as one of Hollywood’s most famous couples until they split in 2002.