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  1. 1. What has happened to Britney Spears? Customer Service: Subscribe Now | Pay Bill | Place an Ad | Contact Us Weather Jobs Cars Real Estate Apartments Shopping Classifieds Dating News Obituaries Sports Neighborhoods Business Entertainment Velocity Features Opinion Travel Services Search Kentuckiana: All Go > Scene Saturday, March 10, 2007 E-mail this | Print page What has happened to Britney Spears? Not-so-'Lucky' star breaks down; can she get back up? By Tamara Ikenberg The Courier-Journal quot;She's so lucky/she's a star/but she cry, cry cries/in her lonely heart,quot; Britney Spears sang in her 2000 hit quot;Lucky.quot; At the time, it seemed like a hollow complaint. The 19-year-old beauty was on top of the pop world, with two hit albums and a devoted Justin Timberlake. NEWSLETTERS Seven years later, those lyrics seem much Sign up now! more relevant as the once-bubbly Brit struggles Get morning with a panoply of personal problems and a headlines, stalled career. The world is left wondering: breaking news, afternoon What was responsible for this breakdown, and business updates, can it be fixed? weekend happenings and more sent to your + enlarge inbox! quot;You have a woman whose life is in Photo illustration by Andrew Davis, The Courier-Journal. Image from extraordinary disarray. She's had two recent PRNewsFoto/PEOPLE Magazine children, a divorce, a stressful lifestyle,quot; says FEEDBACK Drew quot;Dr. Drewquot; Pinsky, an addiction specialist and personality on the Discovery Health Channel. quot;I don't know what the status of her Click here to join a friend relationships is; she seems to have discussion in our reader none.quot; forums. Is her loneliness killing her, as she sang in her E-EDITION 1998 breakout single quot;… Baby One More Timequot;? Will she end up a bitter, washed-up star a la Baby Jane, psychologically torturing her spritely sis Jamie-Lynn? Let's recap Britney's recent bizarre behavior. Early signs of trouble Check out the new digital version of The C-J It's not readily apparent when the meltdown began. But things have been visibly shaky RSS since 2004, when she infamously wed Kevin Federline. She had two babies, Sean Preston RSS feeds - Get and Jayden James, in 2005 and 2006, the headlines + enlarge respectively, and filed for divorce in November. you want delivered to Britney Spears was caught by a film crew after shearing off her locks last your reader. month. For many, it wasn't a fashion statement but a cry for help. After that, things got worse. She spiraled into (KABC-TV/via AP) drug addiction and started hanging out with Paris Hilton, exposing her lady parts, vomiting and making a scene wherever she went. Then she checked herself in and out of rehab twice, and has repeatedly shown up, frantic, at Federline's doorstep, where she's been turned away because he's worried about how seeing their mom in such a state will affect their children. But perhaps the most shocking and telling moment was when she shaved her head in the middle of last month. quot;The astonishing thing is,quot; Pinsky said, quot;here she is, demanding to shave her hair off impulsively in someone's closed barber shop, and the owner of the shop is like, 'Britney, you're having a bad day, think about it' -- and the bodyguard stepped in front of the owner and said, 'She can do whatever she wants; it's her body.' That's emblematic of what's going on with this poor woman.quot; + enlarge Psychologist Cooper Lawrence, a regular guest on CNN and host of her own Spears married Kevin Federline in 2004. Although they're divorcing, he's radio show, agrees that Spears' status is only hurting her. been praised as a recent steadying influence (By Eric Jamison/Associated Press) 1 of 3 4/7/07 5:28 PM
  2. 2. What has happened to Britney Spears? quot;It gives her a sense of entitlement she doesn't need right now,quot; Lawrence Spears and Madonna put on a show during a performance at the says. quot;She needs humility to get through whatever she's getting through. MTV Video Music Awards in 2003. She's never been one for humility. It's not part of the whole structure of (By Julie Jacobson/Associated stardom.quot; Press) And Britney has been a star for much of her life, living a sheltered, pampered existence where everyone on the payroll puffs her up. quot;She didn't go through the normal developmental milestones the rest of us go through at different ages; she was forced into a life that was not congruous with her development,quot; Lawrence says. quot;We know now as psychologists that the frontal lobe is not fully developed till your early 20s. She's at that age where her brain is catching up to her life. The fact that all this went on prior to 25 is no shock.quot; + enlarge Could Brit's premature stardom be part of the problem? She was being groomed for celebrity before she was 10, having auditioned for quot;The New Mickey Mouse Clubquot; at age 8 and appearing on quot;Star Searchquot; at 11. She was featured on quot;The New Mickey Mouse Clubquot; from ages 11 to 13. quot;There's nothing to suggest that being a young star or child star by itself is what predisposes (one) to these issues,quot; says Pinsky, who treats several major stars. After all, if that were the core cause, wouldn't we see the same problems arising with fellow former Mouseketeers Christina Aguilera and Timberlake? Olivia C. Grosser, author of the new book quot;Britney Spears: Prodigal CALL CENTER MANAGER Daughter,quot; available at, has an idea why Spears' CALL CENTER MANAGER contemporaries haven't collapsed. NEEDED IMMEDIATELY 2... quot;I think Christina has been regarded as the 'second fiddle' to Britney all LIFEGUARD Certified along, so has consistently tried to improve her standing. This in turn means Lifeguard she has had room to manipulate her image, to reinvent herself from vamp to LIFEGUARD Certified classy sophisticate. It has gained her an awful lot of respect and what I call Lifeguard Needed . I... 'late-onset recognition.' Christina is now in her mid-twenties and better able to navigate and control her life and career. I don't think she had a parent or HEALTHCARE CuraScript manager controlling her in the way Spears' did,quot; she says. IP welco HEALTHCARE CuraScript IP quot;As for Justin Timberlake, I think he has shrewdly invested and diversified welcomes indivi... his talents. He has branched out from music into fine-dining and other areas. He has constantly evolved, whereas Britney hasn't. Poor Spears got stuck in a moment she thought would last forever, whereas Aguilera and Sales to join one of the most Timberlake know they have to roll with the punches to enjoy longevity in productive mortg... their careers. … They have crafted their careers, unlike Britney, who was entirely manufactured and perhaps never allowed to be who she wanted to become.quot; PHLEBOTOMIST- Needed to work f This suggests there could be more at play than stress, early stardom and PHLEBOTOMIST- Needed to work for contrac... substance abuse. Pinsky and Lawrence both say Spears may suffer from an organic mental condition like bipolar disorder. Electric Cowboy quot;There might have been something there for a long time that's undiagnosed. Louisville's n It took a while for it to dawn on people (that something could be mentally Electric Cowboy Louisville's wrong) because they're not intellectually savvy when it comes to newest Cou... psychological problems,quot; Lawrence says. quot;Britney… doesn't need rehab; she needs a therapist. She's been going to Alcoholics Anonymous, which WELDERS FABRICATORS is the most ridiculous thing in the world. They're treating her as an alcoholic Derby Welding & Machine who has the same problems as every other alcoholic who's sitting in the Co., Inc. room with her. She's Britney Spears. So the anonymous part's already gone; what's the point?quot; General Help Wanted We are seeking friendly, Not funny anymore self-m... People who were previously amused by Spears' antics have a more empathetic point of view now. Springhurst Pines Baptist Hom Springhurst Pines Baptist quot;When you find the person you've been poking fun at is mentally unstable, Home East Dire... there's this guilt that comes after you've made fun of them,quot; says Liz Shaffer-Wishner, 23, a Louisville resident who works for AmeriCorp Vista. DENTAL HYGIENIST But Shaffer-Wishner doesn't see a bright future for the star. quot;She can't stop GROWING PRACT DENTAL HYGIENIST her own decline. She's going to be the next Anna Nicole Smith. She's going GROWING PRACTICE in to run herself into the ground.quot; St.... Others are also dismayed by Spears' latest choices. All Top Jobs quot;I was crazy about her before she shaved her head. Now she looks like a About Top Jobs little boy,quot; says James Burrell, 39, an insurance agent who lives in downtown Louisville. He doesn't think she's genuinely unstable, just that her current life circumstances have dragged her down. quot;I think she's just stressed out … all the attention she gets from the paparazzi. The average person couldn't deal with it.quot; Louisville residents Mary Jent, 30, a mental health-care worker, and Kassie Alfred, 27, a nursing student, said they were never big fans, but they've been following Spears' story. quot;She went from an idol to a bad after-school special,quot; Jent says. quot;I think she's just in a rough patch, or a fuzzy patch. No matter how crazy I get, I'm not shaving my head.quot; 2 of 3 4/7/07 5:28 PM
  3. 3. What has happened to Britney Spears? Alfred points out that Spears may be seriously alienating her core audience. quot;The demographic her music is aimed towards wouldn't understand what she's going through, and can't feel sympathy or empathy,quot; Alfred says. Still, they feel she'll survive somehow. quot;People come back from worse,quot; Jent says. The experts also agree that with some serious self-reflection and a commitment to treatment, Britney Spears may yet rise from this epic fall. And most surprisingly, Federline, who almost everyone had pegged as the deadbeat troublemaker in the saga, has stepped up to the plate when it comes to caring for Sean and Jayden and dealing with Britney. quot;Kevin Federline is suddenly looking like a good guy,quot; Pinsky says. quot;He's setting down boundaries appropriately, he's creating leverage and motivation for her to stay in treatment.quot; If K-Fed can come out smelling like roses, Brit can surely re-emerge smarter and stronger. Post a Comment View All Comments i think every female should shave their head bald to show britney that we support her! Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:55 pm I am male, and 42 year old consultant instead of a pop star (whatever THAT is) - but I, like our girl Brit, 1. shave my head 2. am recently divorced 3. have no musical talent 4. would shagg about any member of the opposite sex who meets my stringent requirements (beating heart, no foul odors) leave the poor girl alone, we are kindred spirits! Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:00 am Seriously what is this world coming to. People disgust me. She is human she bleeds red just like you and me. She isnt perfect and no one is, there is no such thing as perfect and I highly doubt she has any real true friends she can trust. Look at how many of her quot;so calledquot; friends are so quick to sell her out for profit and publicity. I honestly feel sorry for her and I know exactly what she is going through. I was in shock when i saw that she shaved her head because that was me. I was going to shave my head once because i just lost it but i didnt and the fact she did really concerned me. The ironic thing about all of this is that im not a fan and have never been but she is a child of God as we all are and people need to leave her alone unless your trying to send her to an early grave. She needs someone real someone she can trust and knows that they care about her as a human and not just because shes britney spears. I hope this gets to a lot of people and you will leave her alone and let her get help and heal. Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:46 am I think Britney should just get over it already. I mean for god's sake I'm going through a divorce, and the custody of my daughter, and you don't see normal people out drinking and partying. If she cared so much about those boys she'd get her sh*t together and grow up. She makes me sick. I guess she thinks this is the only way she can get into the lime light again, well I hate to break it to her, but her career is over, she messed that up the minute she married K-Fed(or K-fag, whichever). She needs to pull her head outta her a** and put those boys first, not her partying and her friends. Because friends come a dime a dozen, your kids last forever. So Britney my message to you: Grow up and stop acting like a child, face your damn problems head on. Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:43 am BRITNEY MADE HER MARK LIVING ON HER BACK SIDE???LIKE MANY OTHERS HAVE!!!! WHO CARES SHES JUST A SLUT!!!!!!!!!!! Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:32 pm Post a Comment View All Comments ^^ Back to top E-mail this Print this Subscribe RSS feeds Home | News | Sports | Business | Features | Travel | Scene | Velocity | Classifieds | Jobs | Cars | Homes | Shopping | Contact Us | Search Classified Partners: Jobs: | Cars: | Apartments: | Shopping: Copyright 2005 The Courier-Journal. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights (updated 3/7/2007). Send questions and comments to The Webmaster. 3 of 3 4/7/07 5:28 PM