Marc Ang (MA): Aron, thank you for joining me. It's been a while, but Britney Spears is back on the news. She is releasing a memoir and some former flames are now trying to potentially block her from releasing content before it's released.
Aron Solomon (AS): First of all, this came from the US version of the Sun tabloid in the UK. They published this last week that Colin Farrell, and Justin Timberlake were seeking to block publication of the memoir. Then they've actually printed a second piece that kind of basically says, the information we got really wasn't the best information. But they're not saying it's fake. Nonetheless, I think it's worth at least as an intellectual exercise, playing it out.
Because the publication of the memoir was delayed so there's got to be something behind that. And we might turn around and put this out to watchers, and two days later, they come back and say, ‘Actually, it was true, they were delaying getting this thing out.’
Britney, on her Instagram and other social media, has been talking about her memoir, she's been saying it's the opportunity, she's been waiting for, to tell all of her stories straight. So it's understandable that Britney is going to be a straight shooter. There might be people in her life, or who were in her life before, who might have some issues with the information she's putting out.
MA: Let's start with facts. What would cause a delay on a memoir like this, especially, since it's been highly anticipated, there was a date and then now it's not going to be that date. It’s going to be pushed back a little. How common is this? And is this unusual in your mind?
As: It’s not unusual for a publication date on a book to be delayed. It’s a little bit unusual, given the fact that reports show that Britney Spears was paid $15 million, which is a good amount of money to do this memoir.
Now, if the delays were actually because of somebody having an issue with the content, that itself isn't abnormal, either. There's all kinds of leaks when somebody writes a book. So let's say, hypothetically, Justin Timberlake, learned about a leak that was in the book and said, ‘this portrays me in such a bad light’c potentially defamatory. I could see him talking to Britney's representatives and publisher, saying, ‘if this comes out in publication form, everyone's gonna have a legal problem.’ And then everybody could put this thing on pause while they figure out the best course of action.
MA: If Britney were to put something that was negative about these two, former boyfriends how much can they block this information? She has the right to tell her side of story. Justin Timberlake has a song called “Cry Me A River”, which anyone can interpret in any number of ways about her character and probably see it negatively. So shouldn’t she be able to do the same?
AS: Sure. None of her ex boyfriends or anybody in her life has the opportunity to block publication. The only way a block comes about is if they threaten the publisher and say, “you're publishing defamatory content. I'm putting you on warning with a cease and desist letter that if you go ahead and publish this, there's going to be trouble.” The publisher might say, “we're going to put this on pause, Britney, for a few weeks while we figure out what's going on.
The greatest defense to defamation is truth. So there's a chance that Justin Timberlake or Colin Farrell might find things in Britney’s book that they object to, but if Britney reasonably believes them to be true, or knows them to be true, then she's probably going to be fine. She might have to say to the publisher, “the thing that Justin Timberlake is upset about is true. And here's evidence showing that it's true. And then the publisher would say “alright”.
MA: If there was a lack of evidence and it's all hearsay, she believes it to be true. And there's plausible deniability on the side to come out and say, “she’s being slanderous, and defamatory. And she has no evidence” what happens in that scenario?
AS: Those who believe they were defamed could sue. And then it's up to, not us in the court of public opinion, but a real judge to decide whether Britney defamed them. The standard for defamation is higher for public figures, meaning that we're allowed to say more things about public figures, not just because of freedom of speech, although that's part of it. Because that's part of being a public figure. Part of what comes along with it is people are gonna say things about you. So it really depends on the content here.
MA: How do you think this is gonna play out? Do you think that it's just gonna be a short delay? How do you think this book is going to be received? There has been a lot of questions on her mental health and her recent videos, she's pulled some of her social media accounts.
AS: So I'm going to say this from the publishers perspective, because the publisher here, aside from Britney, is really the one that could get in the most trouble by publishing. I expect more delays. I don't know if these delays on the memoir are going to be significant.
While I support Britney and I supported her throughout the conservatorship, I've also seen a lot of the posts that you've mentioned on social media, including the dancing posts. Britney is an adult. She can do whatever she wants. If I'm the publisher, looking at those posts, I want to be really sure that what I'm putting out with my publishers name on this book is solid and probably isn't going to land me in court.
If I'm convinced of that, that's fine. The book goes ahead without further delays. But if two people allegedly came out of the woodwork, saying, “I've got issues” what about other people that Britney is going to mention? Certainly her family is going to be mentioned in her book. And her family we know are litigious and would have no problem trying to sue to get part of Britney’s estate.
So I think that the idea that it's going to come out, you know, early in the fall is probably a little bit ambitious at this point. You know, Britney has been working with a good ghostwriter. And I think that the end result of this is probably going to be Britney's opportunity to set the record straight from her perspective.
I think that for the Britney army and Britney's fans all over the world are going to enjoy it, I think it's going to be well written. And if anybody has real issue with it, and feels that there are harmful factual things in it, then they can go ahead and sue.
MA: What do you think the topics she will cover in the book are? Do you think that there's going to be a lot of rehashing on, you know, the family? I think just judging by her social media posts, there seems to still be a lot of residue hurt, including the posts she had about her son. Because she had to co parent with Kevin Federline all these years, I would imagine this would be talked about more than her celebrity ex-boyfriends.
AS: I think if people really closely look at the topics she covers on social media, she's probably going to dramatically expand upon those in a book. People write about on social media, the topics they care about. So I think every single topic that you touched on, Marc, is something that she's going to expand upon.
I think the center of the book is going to be the effects of her life during the conservatorship as she was being placed into a conservatorship. She said very freely, that she knows she can go out there and make a lot of money, but she's very turned off the idea of going on tour. We're gonna find out some of the reasons why in this book. I'm sure she's going to shed some light into hopefully positive, but also a lot of negative relationships that she's had in her life because of the position of vulnerability she's been in.
MA: Any final words? Aaron, I think we've covered a lot of ground here. And I'm super excited to get this information out for a lot of people who are kind of, you know, don't understand the publishing world and also the process of releasing a book.
AS: Sure. I think people if they want to look at more of this kind of stuff where the law intersects with life, go to todaysesquire.com And if you go into the archives and type in “Britney”, you're gonna find lots of stuff there.
The full interview can be viewed below:
Marc Ang (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a community organizer in Southern California and the founder ofAsian Industry B2B. He has written many pieces on pop culture and it’s context in the world and politics with a different “minority” angle. Marc’s book “Minority Retort” was released on November 9, 2022 through Trinity Broadcasting Network available on Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble and many more outlets.