Over the course of her decades-long career in the public eye, Britney Spears has been married three times: once to her onetime music video costar Sam Asghari (who she is currently divorcing), once to the father of her two sons, Kevin Federline, and once, for just 55 hours, to her childhood friend Jason Alexander.
In her new memoir, The Woman in Me, a copy of which was obtained by TIME ahead of its Oct. 24 release, Spears reveals how her marriage to Alexander began—and quickly ended—during a New Year's trip to Las Vegas in 2004. She writes that, after partying for a few days with a group of friends that included Paris Hilton, she and Alexander ended up spending the night together.
"He and I got sh-tfaced," she writes. "I don't even remember that night at all, but from what I've pieced together, he and I lounged around the hotel room and stayed up late watching movies—Mona Lisa Smile and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—then had the brilliant idea of going to A Little White Chapel at three thirty in the morning."
She goes to explain that she wasn't in love with Alexander, she was simply drunk and bored.
"People have asked me if I loved him. To be clear: he and I were not in love," she writes. "I was just honestly very drunk—and probably, in a more general sense at that time in my life, very bored."
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Spears writes that her family showed up the next day in a fury to confront her about what she had done, and she ended up having the marriage annulled a mere 55 hours later. But her family's anger over the situation gave her pause.
"They made way too big a deal out of innocent fun," she writes. "Everybody has a different perspective on it, but I didn't take it that seriously. I thought a goof-around Vegas wedding was something people might do as a joke. Then my family came and acted like I'd started World War III. I cried the whole rest of the time I was in Las Vegas."
Spears remembers the incident as one of the first times she realized how much her family wanted to have control over her life.
"My family was so against the wedding that I started to think maybe I'd accidentally committed a brilliant act," she writes. "Because I realized: something about me being under their control and not having a stronger connection to someone else had become very, very important to them... Perhaps it's worth mentioning that, by this point, I was supporting them financially."
It was just a little over four years later that Spears was placed under a conservatorship that gave her father, Jamie Spears, and an attorney control over her finances and many facets of her personal life.
Nearly 20 years after Spears and Alexander's shotgun wedding, once the pop star's conservatorship had been officially terminated, Alexander attempted to crash the 2022 wedding ceremony of Spears and Asghari while livestreaming on Instagram.
"I'm here to crash the wedding because nobody is here except Sam," he was overheard telling a worker at the venue, according to screen recordings. "Where the f-ck is the family?"
Alexander was later convicted of aggravated trespassing and battery for the incident.
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Write to Megan McCluskey at firstname.lastname@example.org