Dancing half-naked with a python, shaving her head and giving photographers a flash of her nether-regions as she steps out of the car. We all know Britney’s life hasn’t followed the ‘normal’ path of many of her US Bible belt childhood pals.But with her latest publicity nightmare of sexual harassment allegations from an ex-security officer, things aren’t getting better for the star.
Upon the release of Slave 4U in 2001, we saw a different side to butter-wouldn’t-melt Britney. Feeling the wrath of the Bible Belt across the Southern states of the USA she denounced her previous virginity pledge, split with clean-cut mate Justin Timberlake (cue Cry Me a River video to get her back) and oozed sex appeal. Performing near-nude with a python and gyrating with a chair in her music videos swiftly followed.
Childhood sweetheart Jason Alexander probably couldn’t quite believe his luck in 2004, when a sozzled Britney married the unlikely lad in a quickie Las Vegas ceremony in the early hours of the morning.Thankfully, this management-disaster did stay in Vegas – they quickly got their boozy nuptials annulled.
After meeting and marrying dancer Kevin Federline in 2004, Britney made the ultimate showbiz decision to put her life on TV.Britney and Kevin: Chaotic was everything it sounded like and revealed a more troubled and strange Britney than the sweet one the world had got used to.One scene saw a slurring Britney waffling about how Back to the Future was real. Another featured her doing handstands on a table for no particular reason.
A messy divorce, post-child weight gain and negative press in 2006 saw Britney’s personal life go pop, as she was snapped partying in nightclubs while her children were at home. Boozing with wild childs like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, she was often snapped – and criticised – for not wearing knickers. But Paris quickly responded to criticism on her blog, saying: “Britney loves her kids to death. She goes home every night to her babies and partying has not come in the way of her parenting.”
We all felt for Britney’s post-baby bod struggles but she certainly wasn’t following a usual A-lister diet. The star, who had always had a taste for junk food, just couldn’t stop getting snapped with a burger, fries or calorific Starbucks Frappuccinos. Her diet secret wasn’t safe with the world.
It can’t be easy being a celebrity mother, with the watchful eyes of the world constantly evaluating your child-rearing methods – but Britney wasn’t helping herself. In 2006, she was snapped driving with toddler son Sean on her lap, but claimed the paparazzi stalkers were to blame. She responded: “I instinctively took measures to get my baby and me out of harm’s way, but the paparazzi continued to stalk us,”
Her pop comeback seemed as promising as her flame red PVC catsuit had back in the day. New album Circus debuting at No1 on America’s Billboard Chart and she looked like she was eating more fruit and veg. But her new slimline bod and edgy songs didn’t match up to a ready-made pop career back on track.
Critics slammed Britney’s live performances as being rough around the edges, out of time and badly lip-synced – anti-climaxing with her opening performance of Gimme More at the VMAs.
It was the most documented hair-do news since The Rachel came into fashion. In true pop princess style, Britney couldn’t just fall off the wagon and land herself in rehab like any other troubled star.
She had to go out in style – hairstyle. After a turbulent few months in 2007, things hit rock bottom. The star, looking dazed and wide-eyed, headed to a tattoo parlour in LA and got her hair shaved completely in full view of the paparazzi lenses.
The star was hospitalised twice in the following year for erratic behaviour and briefly lost custody of her two sons.