Britney Spears’ Sydney visit: Truth behind the rumour

Britney Spears is coming to Australia? In 48 hours’ time? To … drive around on a bus, handing out copies of her new memoir to fans?
If this all sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. But it didn’t stop the news spreading on social media on Sunday, due to one since-deleted report on local entertainment news site Concrete Playground.

Britney Spears Is Hitting Sydney in a Bus This Week to Hand Out Copies of her Book,” the headline trumpeted, referring to Spears’ much-anticipated new memoir, The Woman In Me.

Spears – who has largely retired from the entertainment industry – has so far remained publicity-shy ahead of the book’s release this week. She’s said herself on Instagram that she’s turned down several lucrative offers for tell-all interviews, and so far has only given an email interview to People magazine, while otherwise keeping fans updated on the book via candid captions on her Instagram account.

So it seemed unlikely that Spears would fly to the other side of the world on the day of release for a very public promotional stunt:

“After making its way around the Harbour City, the Britney bus will stop at Sydney Opera House, where the singer herself will hand out books,” the Concrete Playground post claimed.

But it seems the outlet got the wrong end of the stick: Yes, there will be a “Britney bus” travelling around Sydney with copies of the book for publication day – but there will be a Britney impersonator on board, not the real thing.

“Scheduled to stop near the iconic Sydney Opera House around lunchtime on launch day, the first 50 fans to find and arrive at the bus will be personally handed a copy of the memoir, with a “Britney” on hand to celebrate the launch of one of this year’s most anticipated book releases,” read a statement provided to news.com.au.

Fans eager to grab a copy are encouraged to look out for the bus between midday and 1pm on Wednesday near the Sydney Opera House.

So: A Britney, not THE Britney. The article was swiftly deleted without correction – and fans weren’t happy when they discovered they’d been duped:

Spears hasn’t been to Australia since her 2009 Circus tour, and while she has released a couple of singles since her controversial 13-year conservatorship ended in November 2021, she also says she has no plans ever to perform again.

“I’m pretty traumatised for life and yes I’m pissed as f**k and no I probably won’t perform again just because I’m stubborn and I will make my point,” she wrote on Instagram in September last year.

The Woman In Me is released locally on Wednesday via Simon and Schuster, with an audiobook version available read by Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams.

A litany of explosive excerpts from the book have surfaced in recent days, including candid details about her relationship with ex Justin Timberlake.

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