She was one of the most popular and attractive singers, but her private issues, addictive substances, and, most importantly, the constant persecution by the tabloids mentally got her to the very bottom. We are talking about former pop princess Britney Spears, whose career knows both sides of the coin. At first, the incredibly talented young girl enjoyed the media's attention, but over time, everyday pressure turned into a trap from which she could not escape. All this and much more is captured in the new documentary Framing Britney Spears, which has shocked the whole world!
The documentary Framing Britney Spears made by The New York Times was released in the USA in February. As of March 12, it is also available in the Czech Republic, even with Czech dubbing. The film is 72 minutes long and depicts the life of the singer from her childhood to the present. Join LP-Life.cz and take a look at the most important moments in Britney's life:
American singer Britney Spears (full name Britney Jean Spears) was born on December 2, 1981, in the state of Mississippi. She came from the small town of Kentwood and her parents were ordinary people who earned very little money. Over time, it had become very financially difficult for them to make it possible for Britney to commute to New York. However, once she received a recording contract from Jive Records in 1997, young Britney went to New York with her mother Lynne's friend, who worked as her assistant. Britney's parents stayed in Louisiana with her younger sister Jamie Lynn, who was still attending school.
"I always wanted to be a singer. If the recording in New York doesn't turn out well, at least I'll gain some experience,"
Her mother, Lynne Spears, was very proud of her daughter and sacrificed everything for Britney to be a star. On the other hand, Britney's father Jamie Spears supposedly had problems with alcohol and went to rehab. He did all sorts of things for a living - he worked on a construction site, or as a cook, he even opened a gym but it was not successful at all and he had to declare personal bankruptcy. So, he wasn't there for Britney during her childhood.
was reportedly the only thing the father of Britney had ever said to Kim Kaiman, then-marketing director of Jive Records.
Initially, young Britney began singing at shopping malls. After the release of the music video for the song "Baby One More Time" in 1998, Britney literally became a famous star overnight. Moreover, that time was the era of boy bands, so it was very remarkable that she was able to draw so much attention to herself. She became an idol of young girls, she started making dream money, and collaborations with brands like Pepsi or Polaroid came in pouring.
At the time when Britney's career was skyrocketing (1998-2002), she was in a relationship with singer Justin Timberlake, a member of the successful American boy band 'N Sync. They seemed to be made for each other, but after 4 years of relationship, they broke up. The reason for the breakup was allegedly persistent infidelity on her part. But Britney still claimed she was saving her virginity for her wedding night.
The popular singer said in one of the TV interviews that Britney broke his heart. Justin then poured his feelings into the song "Cry Me a River", which was about his partner cheating on him.
Since the breakup with Justin, many men, both famous and ordinary, had appeared beside her. For example, the singer of Limp Bizkit Fred Durst or the actor Jared Leto, just to name a few. At the beginning of January 2004, she married her childhood friend Jason Alexander, but the marriage lasted only 55 hours. Afterwards, still in 2004, she showed the public her new boyfriend Kevin Federline, and a few months later she married him. In 2005 she announced she was pregnant and their son Sean was born. A year later, the singer gave birth to their second son Jayden.
Over time, the perfect family life began to turn into something out of a nightmare. The tabloids were willing to pay a lot of money for photos of Britney with her child. Gradually, they began to present her as an example of an incompetent mother. Back then, the whole of America was shocked by a photo of Britney driving a car with her little son Sean in her lap.
"I went to Starbucks and I see a bunch of photographers, and I'm scared and I wanna get outta the situation, and my baby's crying. They're coming up on the, you know, the sides of the car, which is a scary situation for me. You know and they're banging on the windows and that's not somethin' I want my baby to, you know. So I get my baby in the car and I go home. So I mean, I just feel like they're taking cheap shots,"
To make matters worse, throughout their marriage, the pages of the tabloids were full of rumours that Kevin was cheating on her. A few weeks after the birth of her second son, Britney filed for divorce.
caused Britney to lose control over her life and become addicted to alcohol. The footage in the documentary shows how it was killing her to be constantly under the fire of journalists and questions. In the above-mentioned interview with Matt Lauer from July 2006, she said with tears in her eyes that she wanted the paparazzi to leave her alone. However, that didn't happen, and in 2007, Britney ended up in a rehabilitation centre from where she escaped several times. Furthermore, she shocked the whole world by shaving her head.
For almost 4 months, Kevin and Britney had been fighting over the custody of their children. It was eventually given to the father. In the documentary, you will see pictures in which bald Britney attacks a paparazzi's car with an umbrella and yells at him to leave. That evening, Kevin didn't let Britney see her sons. Afterwards, the overwhelmed singer tried to commit suicide in front of the children by swallowing pills. She even wrote a farewell letter describing how unfair the world was to her and how disappointed she was with life. Based on this event, the court put her on involuntary hold in a psychiatric ward and placed her under a conservatorship.
She then attempted suicide again in the hospital. First, she wrote the devil's number 666 on her shaved head and yelled at the frightened hospital staff: "I am the Antichrist!" Then she attached a sheet to a light and tied it around her neck, attempting to hang herself.
In February 2008, Britney was placed under temporary court-appointed guardianship. Her own father became her guardian, and gained complete control of her assets, too. The documentary features lawyer Adam Streisand, who was asked by Britney's family to talk to her. He himself states that Britney was thinking clearly and realized that she could not resist or avoid the guardianship. However, she did not want her father to be the guardian and make decisions about her mental and physical health.
Nevertheless, according to the judge on her case, Britney was not capable of choosing her own lawyer and consulting with him. So, he appointed an attorney for her instead. Britney's guardians were given the legal right to decide on her visitors and have her guarded 24/7. They had access to her medical records, and the power to manage her house, or cancel her credit cards. They were authorized to arrange her recordings, tours, contracts with television, and to control her finances. There's a rumour that Britney agreed to conservatorship only so that she could see her children again, which she was allowed to do after a few weeks.
Almost immediately, Britney returned to work and appeared on TV within 2 months and also played an episodic role in the series "How I Met Your Mother." At the end of 2008, she started recording a new album and preparing a tour. Next few years, Britney had a busy schedule and seemed to be back on track. Fans were crazy about her again, and her estimated net worth was over 58 million dollars.
There had been a lot of talk about her residency in Las Vegas, which turned out to be a great success. There also had been a new show "Britney: Domination" planned, but Britney postponed it indefinitely in January 2019, just like the planned record. The alleged reason was that she wanted to take care of and focus solely on her severely ill father. Funnily enough, in the photos that paparazzi took of him around that time, he looked healthy.
Britney Spears has been under a legal conservatorship for more than 12 years. Jamie Spears has constant access to her finances, and she refuses to work until he stops being in charge of her career. She is in a situation in which, unfortunately, she cannot decide on anything on her own. These days, she shows her fans on Instagram her private life with her current boyfriend, 27-year-old personal trainer Sam Asghari. She never mentions the conservatorship in her posts, but people speculate that maybe she sends encrypted messages through them. Some are even convinced that Britney is calling for help.
In addition, she was apparently held by force in a psychiatric ward again in April 2019 because she stopped taking medication. As a result of it all, Britney's loyal fans have founded a movement called #FreeBritney, which aims to free her from her father's guardianship. A friend of Britney's and the heiress to the Hilton Hotel empire, Paris Hilton, has joined the movement, too. She believes that when you are an adult, you should live your life without supervision.
What shall we say to wrap it all up? It's quite sad to see how this young, pretty, and successful singer has become a victim of tabloids and a legally incompetent puppet living under strict surveillance. Surely, none of you would want to be watched all the time, and restricted against your will. That's why we should all keep our fingers crossed for Britney. May she be free again as soon as possible...