Michelle Williams has left audiobook listeners of Britney Spears’s new memoir, The Woman in Me, cringing over one particular Justin Timberlake anecdote.
The pop star, 41, dated the NSYNC frontman, 42, for three years between 1999 and 2002.
The audiobook version of the memoir, released on Tuesday (24 October), is narrated by Oscar-winner Williams.
In one chapter, Spears recalls a time she and Timberlake were walking around New York City.
“His band NYSNC was what people back then called, ‘so pimp’. They were white boys, but they loved hip-hop. To me, that’s what separated them from the Backstreet Boys, who seemed very consciously to position themselves as a white group. NYSNC hung out with Black artist,” the “Oops!...I Did It Again” singer wrote.
“Sometimes, I thought they tried too hard to fit in. One day, J and I were in New York going to parts of town I had never been to before. Walking our way was a guy with a huge blinged-out medallion. He was flanked by two giant security guards. J got all excited and said so loud, ‘Oh yeah fo shiz fo shiz, Genuine. What’s up homey.’
The clip has since gone viral on Twitter/X – partly due to Timberlake’s behaviour and partly due to Williams’ enthusiastic reading of the story.
“When I first clicked on it the voice I heard was THEE Michelle Williams,” one fan joked.
“This bout to be the greatest clip of audio since Watergate,” said another.
“Michelle Williams finally coming for that Oscar,” a third joked.
“I never knew I needed Michelle Williams to say ‘fo shiz’ and yet here we are,” a fourth added.
Ahead of The Woman in Me’s release, it was announced that Spears would read the audiobook’s introduction before Williams took over as the singer admitted that she’d found it too painful to “relive” her experiences once more.
In Adam White’s four-star review of Spears’s memoir for The Independent, he declared it “raw, unfiltered and breathtaking in its rage”.
“It’s bleak, relentless and angry, a portrait of a woman no longer in the eye of the storm but surveying, dazed and indignant, the wreckage left in its wake,” he wrote.
The Woman in Me is out now.