Britney Spears’ 2007 breakdown may have been even worse than anyone knew.
In a new documentary, “Britney Spears – Breaking Point,” airing Sunday night, insiders reveal that Spears, now 37, may have had her life in danger — and the people who were paid to protect her safety may have accepted bribes from paparazzi in exchange for access to the singer.
Esther Tognozzi owns the Los Angeles salon where the “Toxic” singer infamously shaved her head in February 2007. In the special, Tognozzi revealed that one of the two bodyguards who’d accompanied Spears to the salon repeatedly opened the blinds to let the horde of photographers outside the shop snap pictures of Spears buzzing off her own hair.
According to Tognozzi, Spears arrived at the salon around closing time. “We were cleaning up and there was a bunch of flashing outside lights and we were wondering, ‘Uh oh, what happened, police, ambulance?’ We looked out and it’s a bunch of white lights flashing and somebody knocked on the door because we always keep the door locked saying: ‘Hey, open the door, Britney Spears wants to come in,’” she recalled.
“And of course, I said: ‘What for?’ And they proceeded to come in, she sat on my chair, I said, ‘What’s up, can I help you?’ She said, ‘I want to shave my hair off.’”
Tognozzi says she tried to talk Spears out of the stunt to no avail. “I said, ‘No, you don’t,’ [and] she said, ‘Oh yes, I do.’”
“She had two bodyguards, supposedly keeping an eye out to make sure the paparazzi were not getting any pictures and one of them kept opening the blinds,” Tognozzi told the The Daily Mail.
“I had blinds at the side of the salon back then. I had a sliding glass door and I kept saying, ‘There’s nobody over there, why do you keep opening up the blinds?’ Well, I found out days later why he was opening the blind because a photographer was hiding there to take pictures,” she added.
“I tried to talk her out of it and I said, ‘You don’t want to do that, tomorrow is a different day, you’ll feel differently tomorrow, let’s talk about it.’”
Tognozzi says while the Spears circus went on, she was also fielding calls from her own brother, who she’d been slated to meet with before Spears sauntered in. When Tognozzi went to take a call, she says, “By the time I came back to her she had grabbed a buzzer and she was testing to see how it was going to feel or look to buzz her hair.”
She continued, “My phone rang again so, as I’m answering my phone I realize she went into that other room, sat in that chair and buzzed half her hair off.”
Tognozzi says she tried to help Spears “fix” the situation atop her head but that Spears didn’t want to change a thing once she shaved her head. She also claims that Spears was happy with her shaved head and recalls the singer saying, “My mom is going to be p—ed.”
Meanwhile, dance studio boss Robert Baker told The Mirror that Spears’ father, Jamie, is likely the reason the singer is still alive today following her psychiatric episodes.
“I’ve known Britney since 1998. I saw her at the height of her fame and saw her struggling when things got tough,” Baker recalled.
“She was spiraling out of control. She was going through the worst time of her life and needed help. Her dad stepped in and gave her the help she needed. If he hadn’t, things could have been very different. I don’t think she would still be with us today.”
In recent months, there has been increasing personal turmoil between Britney and Jamie, as well as her ex-husband (father of her sons Sean and Jayden) Kevin Federline.
Federline obtained a restraining order against Jamie on behalf of himself, Sean and Jayden, after Jamie allegedly put his hands on Sean.
A law enforcement source claimed that Sean allegedly “felt unsafe” and locked himself in a room after an argument with Jamie, but that Jamie managed to break in and allegedly “shook” the boy.
Britney reportedly removed her sons from her father’s home and informed Kevin of the incident. Jamie reportedly won’t be charged in the incident.
Federline recently agreed to 70 percent custody of the children compared to Spears’ 30; they previously shared 50-50 custody.
Britney filed for divorce from the former dancer in November 2006. The split was settled in March 2007. For a while, Kevin maintained custody of the children until Britney stabilized after her widely publicized breakdown.
Jamie served as the pop star’s conservator since 2008, but stepped down after the alleged altercation with Britney’s son, requesting that the singer’s care manager, Jodi Montgomery, step in for him temporarily.
Montgomery will reportedly fill the role until Jan. 31, 2020, at which point it’s speculated that Jamie will try to renew the role.
This past April, she checked into a mental health facility, reportedly due to the stress of her father’s illness. Britney slammed reports that she was committed against her will before she left treatment at the end of that month.
In May, a judge in Britney’s conservatorship case ordered a 730 expert evaluation, a process usually used to determine the mental health and competence of a parent in a divorce case. It was not clear for whom the evaluation was planned.
In May, Britney’s longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, claimed that the pop star’s medications had stopped working around the time that her father fell ill.
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