Britney Spears might have reached her point of recovery but can you believe it’s been ten years since her infamous breakdown? The former Princess of Pop had her fall from grace in 2007 in one of the most talked about downward spirals in Hollywood history. She might have forecasted her issues with her songs like “Lucky” in which she sings, “She’s so lucky, she’s a star, but she cries, cries, cries in her lonely heart thinking, if there’s nothing missing in my life then why do these tears come at night?” That song was a hit when it was released in 2000, but seven years later that seemed to be her fate as she became the girl who appeared to have and lose it all.
It was extremely sad to watch her go from a superstar to a potential has-been. Thankfully, she has bounced back since then. But it’s no secret people want to know about the details of what really happened that allegedly caused her breakdown, what those who worked the closest with her had to say about it, and of course whether her high profile breakup with Justin Timberlake could have had anything to do with it at all. Many of the details of her breakdown are still considered a mystery, but others were released to the public right when it happened. She hinted that her 20s were the worst years of her life when she said, “My 20s were horrible!” during an interview with Lorraine Kelly earlier this year. So let’s take a look at some of the chilling details about Spears and her now infamous breakdown.
15. Sam Lutfi’s Shocking Claims
Her breakdown might have been a decade ago but she was still facing some legal woes because of it. Her former manager Sam Lutfi filed a lawsuit against her after he was accused of being the one to get her hooked on the alleged drugs that she reportedly couldn’t stop using. He also sued after Spears’ mother, Lynne Spears, wrote that he influenced Britney to take drugs in her book. Lutfi claimed in the lawsuit that Britney was already addicted to drugs when he met her in a nightclub. In fact, he said he told her the only way he would work with her is if she stopped using. He said via his lawyer Joe Schleimer, that he often spent 24 hours a day trying to get Britney to stop abusing drugs. The two started working together in mid-2007, just before she publicly spiraled out of control. Their working relationship only lasted for eight months but he wants the money he says he helped her earn during that time frame.
14. Alli Sims’ Claims That The Media Exaggerated It All
If you ask Britney’s cousin, Alli Sims, her epic moments weren’t as bad as the media made them seem. She actually told Access Hollywood when it was still fresh back in 2009, “the media made it appear a lot more insane than it really was.” That brings up the question of what really happened. Still, it was Sims who worked as Britney’s assistant when she was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation and lost custody of her two children; something that Sims describes as “harsh.” As for her relationship with Britney, she also shut down reports that Britney fired her after one year of working together. Apparently ending their working relationship didn’t stop their close friendship…that is until Britney’s dad, who was named her conservator and put in charge of her life, said they couldn’t hang out anymore. “You know, they’re very controlling,” she said of Britney’s parents. “I just stepped back. I’m not going to fight nine lawyers and parents.” She added that she wasn’t the only one who was “cut out” of Britney’s life during that time.
13. Her Message To Fans
There has been speculation that Britney was suffering in silence long before fans and the general public knew that she needed serious help. But she wrote a telling letter for fans just weeks before one of her most talked about moments when she shaved her head. She wrote, “The last couple of years have been quite a ride for me,” she said amid rumors that Jive Records wanted to drop her after her actions didn’t necessarily scream role model. One of her fans sites was actually being shut down as well. “I want you all to know that I do understand all the reasons that went behind making that decision, and I am sad to see it closing. If I were you I’d be unhappy too if I had to read what I’ve been reading every day.” She vowed to fans she would make a comeback sooner than later. But it looks like she wasn’t quite ready for it as she shaved her hair a month later
12. That Time She Did THAT
Yes, we have to talk about the time Britney shaved her hair. She was making headlines about a possible breakdown before then. But at that point it was really no more than rumors that she was yet another child star gone bad. But that moment she made headlines for shaving all of her hair off really raised eyebrows and changed the theme of Britney’s breakdown from usual to unfortunate. Reports say she walked into a salon in Tarzana, Calif. and demanded that a stylist shave all of her hair off. Word is everyone denied her request, so Britney literally took matters, or clippers rather, into her own hands and did it herself. The owner of the salon, Esther Tognozzi, said that Britney showed little emotion until she thought about what her mother would think. In her 2008 documentary Britney: For The Record, she claims it “was just kind of like me going through a little bit of rebellion, or feeling free, or shedding stuff that had happened.” There were also rumors that she shaved her hair because she heard that drugs could be picked up in hair follicles. Poor Britney!
11. Bad Mom Accusations
During all of this, Britney lost custody of her two young boys. There were so many instances that went wrong it was really hard to keep up. But at the end of the day, all of them seemed to point to the notion that Britney should not have custody of her children. From driving around with one of the young boys in her lap to her former bodyguard filing a claim against her with Child Protective Services in Los Angeles, Britney faced lots of backlash for reportedly being a bad mother. What is said to have hit the nail on the head is when she locked herself and one of her sons in the bathroom with her. She refused to come out until police and an ambulance arrived on the scene. She was removed from the home strapped down to a gurney. She lost custody of her children shortly after.
10. Kevin Federline Went Through His Own Depression
Aside from losing her kids, Britney also lost her second husband. She filed for divorce from Kevin Federline in 2006 but their marriage raised eyebrows to begin with. He spoke out about their life together in a telling interview with People magazine at the end of 2008, when Britney seemed to be recovering from her terrible moments. He opened up about that now fateful night when Britney locked herself and the child in the bathroom together. “That whole night is a blur,” he said. “You want to talk about one of my lowest points of depression, that was probably one of them. I was very, very worried for her ‘cause I care about her. That’s the mother of my children.” While he spoke about his thoughts during the breakdown, he didn’t mention what could have led to it. What he did reveal is that he was blindsided when Britney filed for divorce without him knowing. He reiterated in his interview that their relationship had made a turn for the better since then.
9. Undergoing Psychiatric Evaluation
After Britney was rushed to the hospital following the incident in the bathroom, she was held there involuntarily for three days so that she could receive psychiatric evaluation. It was coded as a 5150 Hold, which is in place when authorities feel someone is in danger of hurting themselves or others. The code also states that the “mobile crisis team” who arrives on the scene is the one to make this evaluation in writing. It’s more than safe to say locking herself and her young child in the bathroom can fall under this category. Word is officials were convinced Britney was “under the influence of an unknown substance” when she was taken to the hospital. The actual code says it takes place, “when any person, as a result of mental disorder, is a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled.” Britney revealed in her I Am Britney Jean documentary that she suffered from bipolar disorder.
8. Changing After Her Split With Justin Timberlake
The two might not have spoken in nearly 15 years, but there are rumors that the very public split between Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake is another factor that led to Britney’s breakdown. While they went their separate ways back in 2001, Leon Gladstone, the lawyer for Britney’s dad, Jamie Spears, revealed that her parents recognized a change in her after the breakup. It was described as one that “ended painfully” after the two were more than the “it” couple of the late nineties and early 2000s. While she went on to elope shortly after and Timberlake moved on to A-listers like Cameron Diaz and his current wife, Jessica Biel, it’s safe to say that many wondered if the split with Timberlake played a factor in Britney’s scary moments. I’m thinking it’s kind of a stretch to say that it did, but one can’t deny the notion that her parents possibly saw her downward spiral coming.
7. Proof Of Drug Abuse
News of Britney abusing illegal substances went from speculation and rumors to pretty much fact when it was reported that dogs sniffed out crystal meth in Britney’s home. There are also reports that drug residue was once found in the carpet of her home. As stated above, there are rumors that Britney shaved her head so drugs couldn’t be detected on her person. Word is it was her father, Jamie, who really caused her to change for the better and at least try rehab when he told her she was at risk of not only killing herself but her two sons. Gladstone added in a statement, “It’s a story of a man who actually wanted nothing more for his daughter than to live and be well. It’s a story of a father who has had to step up and take action that he never thought he would have to take…actions that didn’t perhaps endear his daughter to him.”
6. Her 24 Hours in Rehab
Now, we do have to recognize that Britney at least tried to go to rehab, even if she didn’t last 24 hours. She checked into the center but according to reports refused to stay any longer than a day. She went to the 24-hour Rapid Dry program in Antigua at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre. Her manager at the time, Larry Rudolph, confirmed the news with People magazine and said, “Britney Spears has voluntarily checked herself into an undisclosed rehab facility today. We ask that the media respect her privacy as well as those of her family and friends at this time.” This came after she shaved her head and was seen partying night after night. After checking into Crossroads Center she went to the Promises rehab center in Malibu. There are reports she went back to rehab in 2015 and completed it after being treated for prescription drug abuse. It’s clear she was ready to make a change for the good…and one that would stick.
5. That Umbrella Incident
Britney’s breakdown turned physical very early on. The first time we saw an even more shocking side of her is when she used an umbrella to smash in a paparazzo’s car—a Ford Explorer to be exact. Apparently Daniel Ramos was asking way too many questions and Britney had had enough. It came just after she was spotted rocking her shaved head look for the first time. The story is that Alli Sims told them to leave her alone but Britney had already reached her breaking point. She did apologize and said on her website, “I was preparing my character for a role in a movie where the husband never plays his part so they switch places accidentally. I take all my roles very seriously and got a little carried away. Unfortunately I didn’t get the part.” She left the umbrella behind and it was up for sale earlier this year. She also reportedly ran over a paparazzo’s foot one time.
4. Did Her Failed Marriages Play A Part?
Word of Britney’s breakdown date back all the way to 2004 when she revealed she married her childhood friend, Jason Alexander, in Las Vegas. The two annulled their marriage after 55 hours. He has said that her family was livid that the two didn’t get a prenup. But it’s safe to say Britney was determined to find love because later that year she and Kevin Federline tied the knot. He was a background dancer and Britney was given a major side eye considering Federline’s now ex, actress Shar Jackson, was pregnant with his child at the time. Well that marriage only lasted for a couple of years. And that seemed to be a factor in her breakdown. But the year after her split, she even started dating a member of the paparazzi, Adnan Ghalib. Could it be that Britney was looking for love in all the wrong places? I’m no expert but it seems she was attempting to fill some sort of void.
3. Dr. Phil’s Scary Analysis
There has been some speculation that Britney suffered from bipolar disorder, and that is said to be what could have caused her breakdown. While she confirmed in her documentary that she does turn into someone else if she doesn’t monitor it, Dr. Phil possibly hinted at it years before. He went to visit her in the hospital and said that it, “convinced [me] more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention.” He even opted out of airing a special about Britney on his daytime talk show because he said the “situation is too intense at this time.” One insider told People magazine that, “there is no question she is bipolar…she’s had manic episodes for years.” That’s extremely sad to hear but at least there is some type of direction that gave Britney the help she needed. It just took a little longer than most, especially her family, probably hoped it would.
2. That Aggressive Mall Incident
Britney’s breakdown went even more public when she had an episode in a mall that was reported in early 2008. She literally lashed out when one of her credit cards was declined in a mall. She threw a bottle of soda on the floor, added tissues into the mix, started spitting and dare I say growling at one point. She rushed out of the store only to be followed by fans who still wanted to snap a photo with her. Instead, Britney snapped and said, “I don’t want her talking to me!” before she spoke to the girl anyway and said, “I don’t know who you think I am, but I’m not that person.” It was clear that Britney wanted to have an image as far away from her Oops! I Did It Again and Mickey Mouse Club days as possible. And she succeeded at that for sure – but it was not a good extreme to run toward.
1. Did She Simply Have Enough?
Britney’s breakdown is known as the most public and notable one in Hollywood history. Now, she has a residency in Las Vegas and has been pretty stable for at least a couple of years. But word is she simply had enough, and that is what could have led to her moments. One friend revealed, “For years, everyone manipulated Britney. There was always a little game. If she didn’t want to come out of the trailer, the label would come to me, saying, ‘Please talk to Britney, make sure she performs, and we’ll take you on a shopping spree.’ Now this is her time play.” It was also said that being mistreated caused Britney to enter into a state of paranoia. “She goes through people like she goes through dogs,” the friend said. “There’s one instant with everyone where she freaks out and suddenly says, ‘I don’t trust you, and I don’t know what’s going on.’”