One day after Spears’s painful MTV performance, American Youtuber Chris Crocker took to his account to post a video asking people to “Leave Britney Alone!” He defended the performance and explained that he didn’t want Spears to spiral out of control, similar to how Anna Nicole Smith had.
At the end of the video, Crocker became intensely emotional. The internet, being the internet, mocked him for his high-pitched plea, and “Leave Britney Alone!” became a viral video for all the wrong reasons, and all over the internet, people parodied it relentlessly. Even someone trying to get others off her back went poorly for Britney.
Keep the Cameras Away
Some of the rules Lufti came up with were for the paparazzi. He drew up a code of conduct for them that included keeping off her private property, not following her into shops, and not run red lights chasing her. They also had to save her a parking space if they knew where she was going.
If – and only if – they complied with these rules, they would be allowed to see Britney's itinerary for the day. Despite all of Lufti's efforts, things would take a lot longer for Spears to right the ship. Another big blow was just around the corner.
Among all of this, somehow, Spears released her fifth album, "Blackout." Many hoped it would mark a return to the singer's spotlight and a way to escape her troubles. She performed her new single “Gimme More” at the 2007 MTV Music Awards, where she has always been welcomed with open arms, though it didn't go as she had planned.
The "New York Times" panned the performance, calling it a fiasco. The "Toronto Star" said Britney was “lumbering, in slow motion, as if somebody had poured cement into her streetwalker boots.” David Willis of the BBC said it would go down as one of the worst MTV performances of all time.
A New Relationship
In a short time, Spears had divorced Federline, released a new album that had only generally favorable reviews, made a disastrous MTV performance, had multiple public meltdowns, and several violent outbursts. She begged the cameras to keep away, and so when it was revealed that she was dating British photographer Adnan Ghalib, plenty of people were surprised.
The pair found themselves on camera several times between 2007 and 2008, and tabloids loved it. According to them, Spears feuded with Ghalib's parents. Of course, Ghalib was married at the time, which made it even more scandalous for the paparazzi.
Losing the Kids
Through all of these changes, trials, and upheavals, Spears and Federline's divorce proceedings continued. At the center stage, where their two children and the custody battle for them. In late 2007, a picture featuring Spears driving both of her sons around – despite her suspended license – made the rounds, and a judge granted full custody to Federline.
Sadly, Britney had to hand over Sean Preston and Jayden James to her ex-husband and was allowed scheduled visits that were few and far between. This directly led to Spears's next big breakdown and a huge change in her life.