Friday, December 28, 2007

The Year Of Britney's Fall

Britney starts the new year off accurately forecast what the next 12 months would hold. Britney Spears rang in 2007 by hosting a blowout bash in Las Vegas. Just after midnight she reportedly collapsed at the party. Tap-danced then-manager Larry Rudolph to the Associated Press, "She was not drunk. She was just tired and falling asleep." She also wrote a “Letter of Truth” on her website.

"My mom is going to freak." Those were supposedly the first words a blubbery Britney uttered after shaving off her matted, musty extensions at a salon in Tarzana, Calif. Those words were the first to show Britney was bottoming-out and that consequences were not something so understood. For fans the night of February 21 when Brit enraged and fuzzy headed walloping a paparazzo's car with an umbrella, ostensibly because ex Kevin Federline refused to let her into his home to see their sons proved he was a crazy. Then she entered rehab.

Brit checked out of Promises on March 20 and she reached an initial divorce settlement with Kevin over their two years of not-so-holy matrimony.

Still fuming over being sent to rehab, Britney parted ways with manager Larry Rudolph, whom she then proceeded to take a swipe at in yet another "Letter of Truth."

Britney attempted a so-called comeback mini-tour, which amounted to little more than her lip-synching while doing jazz hands and flailing around for about 15 minutes in a denim miniskirt, pink bra, ripped fishnets, pleather boots and Yeti-like white coat. It may have proved she wanted to try, but it also showed what we would see four months later at the MTV Video Music Awards.

"I'm praying for her right now. I hope she gets all the help she needs." So sneered a seemingly sarcastic Spears just days after she made a paparazzi-documented production out of confronting mom Lynne and angrily presenting her with a letter that purportedly warned her to stay away from Sean and Jayden if she was taking any medication that could impair her judgment (yes, again with the foreshadowing).

Only Britney could turn a puff piece with the usually up-with-celebrity magazine OK! into a "heartbreaking" cover story about her dizzying downward spiral. On July 19, she showed up for an interview and photo shoot that quickly turned into a fiasco. The authority-eschewing tabloid magnet apparently decided to use her borrowed, designer pink silk gown to willfully wiping her greasy fingers all over it after the wardrobe person asked her to take it off while she ate lunch. Later Brit’s Yorkie puppy London used a $6,700 Zac Posen dress to poop on and if that was not enough, left with no usable shots allegedly taking more than $20,000 in clothing and accessories with her.

But this was just the most blatant example of her increasingly erratic behavior. A day earlier, she went for an impromptu dip on a beach in Malibu, California, where she stripped down to a pink bra and dangerous-when-wet panties as a pack of gleeful photographers clicked away.

Kevin, who wisely stayed out of the limelight, finally decided to take action. Less than two weeks after his divorce from Britney was finalized, a concerned K-Fed filed for primary custody of Sean Preston and Jayden James, with his savvy legal pit bulls serving subpoenas to current and former members of Britney's inner circle. It was a busy month for Kevin, who also found gainful employment playing an rocker on One Tree Hill.

That was painfully obvious from the opening moments of her so-called performance of "Gimme More." As the camera zoomed in on her bad hair extensions, her slow-moving mouth failed to lip synch along to the opening line, "It's Britney, b**ch." As for choice of clothing for the big comeback the New York Post said: "Spears was stuffed into a spangled bra and hot pants and jiggled like Jell-O as she sleepwalked through the song. She didn't seem to care that she danced like she had a pantload ..."

A week after her VMA crash and burn, the judge in her custody case labeled her a "habitual, frequent and continuous" user of alcohol and drugs and ordered her to undergo random testing. Days later, she was slapped with a hit-and-run charge stemming from a paparazzi-captured incident in August when she pulled into a parking spot and dinged another car's bumper (she failed to leave a note). Brit was also cited for driving without a valid California license but imprudently continued to chauffeur her sons around in full view of the paparazzi.

The judge, fed up with Britney's failure to comply with his orders for drug testing and obtaining a license, stripped her of shared custody and ordered her to have a monitor present when with her kids. If Spears was upset by the ruling, she didn't show it, even skipping a critical court date. When she finally did appear in court, she was on her best self-destructive behavior. During a hearing Oct. 11, the muddled mess of a mother was "extremely sarcastic," "contentious, argumentative and condescending" with the judge, according to By the end of the month, Britney's visitation with Sean and Jayden was reduced even further, with the monitor telling the court she "rarely engaged with [her] children in either conversation or play." One bright spot: The bygone pop starlet's endlessly in-the-works album, Blackout, was finally released and nabbed the No. 2 spot on the charts.

With her album fizzling faster than a day Britney received more bad news: Her favorite mother-son activity -- driving her sons while the paparazzi snapped their picture had been nixed. The judge handed down the order after she was caught on video running a red light -- possibly while texting -- with Sean and Jayden strapped in the backseat.

Still, Britney's lack of maternal instinct didn't stop the tabloids from speculating on her family planning. In Touch Weekly put on its cover, "Yes, she's pregnant! Ultrasounds, her excited e-mails to friends -- now the father of Britney's third child confirms it's true." (It has yet to be proven true.)

So what if Brit can't see her kids without supervision? Why party, of course! On December 1 Brit whoop it up for her 26th birthday, when she took over a Sharon Stone-hosted shindig and scored oodles of swag, including several fur coats. The night was notable for the reappearance of Britney’s frenemy Paris Hilton, who partied into the wee hours with her. Four days later, hundreds of pages of court documents related to Brit and Kevin’s custody battle were released, revealing that the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services still had concerns "regarding the safety and welfare of the children if the children are left in the mother's care."

Chances are she won't be babysitting for 16-year-old sister Jamie Lynn, who announced her pregnancy with an OK! cover story on December 18. While Britney was said to be "frantic" over the news, she soon calmed down enough to do a little shopping for her little sis. reports she bought Jamie Lynn a $500 gift basket from L.A. baby boutique Petit Tresor along with a note that read "Dear J.L., We love you! Brit, Sean and Jayden."

2008: What do we expect from Britney after this year? Who knows. Let’s just hope for the sake of Sean and Jayden things get better.


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