Britney’s Baldening: The Play-by-Play

Anna Nicole who?

Man, in all honesty, I have nothing but pure sympathy for Britney Spears right now. I’m done being snarky. I’m done making jokes. Britney. Please get help.

Sigh.

So here’s the run-down of Brit’s bald-tastic evening:

At 7 pm, she hit up Esther’s Haircutting Studio in Tarzana, Califonia. Paparazzi reports indicate that she was crying in her car outside the salon for at least ten minutes before going in. The salon was closed, but she had called someone to open it up and let her in. Says an employee there: “She just walked in and said she wanted to shave her head. Esther has been in the business for 30 years and said, ‘I’m not doing that.’ But Britney was set on having her head shaved so she started doing it herself.” The salon provided the tools, then helped her even it out when she was done. Says Esther, the owner: “She just looked in the mirror and said with tears in her eyes, ‘Oh, my God, I shaved it all off. My mom is going to be so upset with me.'”

Half an hour later, after a crowd had gathered, she headed a little ways east on the 101 to Body & Soul Tattoo in Sherman Oaks. On the way into the tattoo parlor, X17 captured this video of her (scroll to the bottom of their page), which is really sad to watch. A photog asked her why she cut her hair like that. “Because of you,” she says, and then she kind of starts to lose it. “Who are you?” she says. “I know your face.” Then she quickly looks away. And it’s out of nowhere and it doesn’t make any sense in this context. Britney must know the faces of lots of these photog guys. She’s high, and even in the grainy video you can see how sad her eyes are.

At Body & Soul, she gets a tat (of red-and-pink lips) on her wrist and then goes in the back to have some more ink done (a black-white-and-pink cross on her lower hip). An employee there reportedly asked her why she’d shaved her head. “I don’t want anyone touching me. I’m tired of everybody touching me,” she responded.

Adds the employee: “She wasn’t making sense at all and you could tell she’s not in a good place at all, and that she is totally freaking out.”

Britney’s ridiculously hard-working rep, Larry Rudolph, issued this statement post-shave: “Britney has been through a tragic thing that hopefully will never happen again, shaving her hair was a sort of therapeutic thing for her.”

Britney’s recent decision to leave Miami early (“because something happened,” says an unhelpful source) and fly back to L.A. (in coach on American Airlines, no less), and confirmed reports that she briefly stopped into Cedars Sinai hospital early Saturday morning (again with employees there reporting that she seemed “out of it”), and her rep’s ominous “tragic thing” statement has the Internet abuzz with rumors that she was raped while in Miami. I certainly hope that’s not the case, but I guess the pieces do all kind of fit together. Certainly something set this girl off. Her aunt died in late January, which is of course difficult, but if that were the “tragic thing” in question, her rep would have said so. Her mom flew out from Louisiana to L.A. to be with her. Something fucked up is going on here.

Also, for anyone still interested, People magazine has confirmed that the overseas rehab center at which Britney spent nearly 24 full hours was Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre in Antigua.

I’m done being mean to Britney. Lars, T, you do what you want, but I’m taking a few days off from making fun of her. Whatever she’s going through, it’s a total, unmanageable hell for her, and my heart absolutely goes out to her. In the aftermath of Anna Nicole’s death, it’s easy to remember that what is at one point a mockable celebrity drug problem can turn overnight into a tragic celebrity death problem. Britney has two very young kids who need a mother, and she has a family and friends who truly love her, and she has her whole life ahead of her. I think what I’m going to do at this point is pray for her.

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