The media is abuzz with speculation over Britney Spears’ mental health, and possible effects on her custody battle with Kevin Federline.
People magazine’s website quoted “a source” saying that Britney had checked herself into Eric Clapton’s Crossroads rehab center in Antigua, in the Caribbean – but then checked out the next day. Acess Hollywood then said the story was false, but quoted no source at all. A woman who answered the phone at Crossroads told The Associated Press that she couldn’t confirm or deny anyone’s presence at the facility.
Then a gossip blog on Hollywood.com posted an email purportedly from Felicia Culotta, who had supposedly worked for Britney for ten years, describing how the pop star was spiraling toward rock bottom and how friends and family wanted her to seek treatment. Ruben Garay, who runs ThatOtherBlog, said the e-mail was legitimate. “I assure you with 100 percent certainty that the … e-mail that Felicia sent in is 100 percent accurate,” Garay told the AP in a phone interview. Garay said he ran the fan Web site worldofbritney.com, which he shut down last year, and has known Culotta since 2003.
Next, according to CNN, Britney appeared at Esther’s Haircutting Studio in the Tarzana (LA) Friday night and wanted her head shaved. The salon was closed, so she called someone from the salon to open it back up for her. Photographers said she was crying in the car for 10 minutes before she went inside but her long brown hair was clearly visible. She then went inside the salon, picked up the shears and started shaving her head. “I tried to talk her out of it. I said, ‘Are you sure you’re not having a bad day and tomorrow you’ll feel differently about it? Why don’t we wait a little bit?’” salon owner Esther Tognozzi told the network. “She said ‘No, I absolutely want it shaved off now.’ Next thing I know, she grabbed the buzzer and she went to the back of my salon and she was shaving off her own hair,” Tognozzi said. “I just cleaned it up when she was done with it,” she said. Tognozzi said Spears seemed to be “just there in body and not really emotionally there,” but did get “a little bit teary- eyed” when she realized her mother might get upset. The whereabouts of the hair was a mystery, although an enterprising person in Pennsylvania was selling 10 lots of the purported locks on eBay at $50 (26 pounds) per lot.
From the salon she then went to Body and Soul tattoo parlour in the suburb of Sherman Oaks where she spent $80 for a black-white-and-pink cross on her lower hip and red-and-pink lips on her wrist. “She just wanted something real small on her wrist, something dainty,” Max Gott, the tattoo artist at Body and Soul in Sherman Oaks, told the TV station. “She got some cute little lips on her wrist.” Derrik Snell, who works at the tattoo parlor, said Spears showed up without notice and stayed for about 90 minutes as about 60 fans, photographers and gawkers gathered outside. “She seemed fine,” Snell said. “I didn’t really notice (the hairdo) at first, she had a hood on when she showed up.” But another artist at the parlour, Emily Wynne Hughes, said Spears appeared “distraught and disturbed,” and was difficult to work with. “She was screaming and flipping out from the pain and wiggling her body all around,” Hughes told reporters.
Angelique Uram, a Spears fan who stood on the tattoo parlor’s sidewalk for Friday night’s spectacle, was aghast at the singer’s new look. “We could see her in the mirror, and her head is completely shaved,” she told KABC. “It looks terrible.” Police arrived to control the crowd and helped Spears’ bodyguards guide her into a waiting SUV, her head covered by a hooded sweatshirt.
Alex Papasimakopolou, director of Scottish music management and promotions company Everymatic, said: “I’ve seen the images and it just looks horrible. I cannot believe that someone is not advising her on what to do. “She just seems to go from one bad situation to the next at the moment. She’s literally disintegrating in front of people’s eyes and that’s just very depressing to watch. She could just as easily be some young girl growing up in the UK who finds herself spiralling out of control – the difference is she’s doing it in the full glare of the world’s media. This is obviously a cry for something because she initially built her career on being a young, pretty, squeaky clean pop artist. More than ever, it seems, she needs a guiding hand to show her what to do next.”
Larry Rudolph, Spears’ manager, couldn’t be reached for comment
Tags: Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, Stress