I saw Britney Spears plied with pills, drained of cash and descend into hell, says best friend
SINGER Britney Spears collapsed from a suspected overdose after being plied with prescription drugs by her management, her best friend claimed last night.
Speaking out for the first time to defend the star, Sean Phillip said that Britney’s controlling father Jamie did nothing to help as she plunged into addiction to pills and amphetamines.
As the singer fights to overturn Jamie’s controversial conservatorship, Sean told The Sun the recovering alcoholic dad spent years “milking the Britney cash cow”.
And he recalled how Britney was tipped over the edge as she collapsed with exhaustion after a New Year’s Eve gig in 2007.
He claimed the incident sparked her mental collapse, leading to her infamous head-shaving incident.
Sean said: “Jamie only wanted to be Britney’s father when she turned 26 and was a multi-millionaire.
“When she started having problems, he came in — but he had no compassion, and just didn’t seem to care about his daughter’s wellbeing.
“He had every opportunity to stop what was happening to her — her descent into prescription pill addiction — but he didn’t. I believe 100 per cent he was an enabler.”
He went on: “Hollywood has a terrible reputation for doctors and lawyers working together. That’s what killed Michael Jackson. I believe Jamie was in contact and in cahoots with management throughout much of what happened.”
Towards the end of his time with Britney, management stopped paying him.
But he continued to stay with her for free because he had concerns over her well-being.
On Wednesday, Britney told a US court she wants her father Jamie prosecuted for his alleged “conservatorship abuse”.
She told a judge by phone: “I’m here to press charges. I’m angry and I will go there. You’re allowing my dad to ruin my life.”
Following a ruling allowing her to choose her own lawyer in her fight to end the legal arrangement, the singer posted an Instagram video of herself doing cartwheels in celebration.
She added a caption thanking her loyal supporters and using their “#FreeBritney” hashtag. Sean is backing her campaign by giving his inside account of the chaotic years leading up to the conservatorship.
And he revealed how Jamie’s control of the pop icon started even before he was given conservatorship powers.
Sean said: “It was crazy. They took away her credit cards, her phone went, she wasn’t even given the access code to her own house.
“All she had financially — and this is long before the s*** hit the fan, this is before the head shaving incident — all she had was a piece of paper with one credit card number on to pay for things.
“But she didn’t actually have the card in her hands. It was a black Amex which was assigned to her manager’s business. So we would be left with bills for things that we couldn’t really afford.
'IT WAS CRAZY'
“We once stayed at The Standard hotel in Los Angeles, and couldn’t pay for it at the end because we had no means. Stuff like this would happen loads.
“Britney never talked to me about money. But she would ask me, ‘How much did that cost?’.
“When she moved, she asked me a few weeks later, ‘Sean, how much did the house cost?’. And she didn’t know, and I didn’t know either.
“People around her saying, ‘Order this private jet, buy this house, go shopping if you want’, but it’s like, where is the rest of the money going? Is it invested? Is it in a bank account? Right now, I don’t think she has access to knowing.
“I don’t think she knows her net worth. I honestly don’t think she has any idea of how much money she has.”
Jamie was first introduced to Britney through mutual friends in 2003 but initially started working for her as a personal trainer in October 2006.
He claims the superstar was given two pills daily, which he suspected were “uppers” — performance enhancers often used by those with bipolar disorder to control mood swings.
And he believes the singer was a puppet controlled by those paid to look after her.
He witnessed her being given the drugs but never noted the brand name down. He said: “I don’t think I wanted to know.”
Paid around £1,500 a week, Sean soon started taking care of Britney’s day-to-day life, and became one of her most trusted allies. Despite slurs that the Toxic singer, who has sold more than 100million albums, was using drugs, Sean said he never saw her take any illegal class As.
He went on: “Things started becoming uncomfortable when my role turned into a 24-hour job. I was the stylist, I was the babysitter, I was the trainer, I was security, I was the paparazzi liaison officer — begging them to not take pictures of her.
“Then management would chime in just every now and then and be like, ‘Just make sure she takes those pills’.
“And I said, ‘No, I’m not a doctor or nurse. I’m not doing that’. At this stage, Britney wasn’t her normal self. But I never noticed any drug use at all. We would go out to clubs and have a couple of cocktails, but that was it.
“They tried to impose this drugs narrative on her, again, as a means of discrediting her and getting more control over her life.”
Sean, who now works in wildlife and conservation, recalls another shocking incident on New Year’s Eve 2007 in Las Vegas, when Britney’s team covered up a collapse.
He says that after she fainted in Pure nightclub, management tried to give her a suspected amphetamine to get her conscious and functioning again. At the time, representatives for Britney denied the episode and claimed that she had left the club because she was “tired”.
Sean insisted: “The reality is that she was exhausted. She was being worked to the bone, and was in no fit state to still be performing.
“The medication she was on was not helping her at all. She was becoming paranoid like I’d never, ever seen her before. She fainted in the club at the party she was hosting.
“I had to get her out, carrying her over my shoulder with a black suit jacket thrown over her, and stopping people trying to take pictures on their phones.
“By the time we got back upstairs she was fine, but crying hysterically, and so upset. She was saying, ‘Why am I so accessible? Why am I still doing club gigs?’.
“That night, management came up and were trying to give her something, in pill form, and I said, ‘No, it’s not happening’. She was just overwhelmed. I begged for them to let her rest.”
A few days later, Britney went on a rampage and lashed out at a photographer’s car, smacking it with an umbrella. She was descending into chaos.
I had to get her out, carrying her over my shoulder with a black suit jacket thrown over her, and stopping people trying to take pictures on their phones.
Her behaviour in public became increasingly erratic, with boozy nights out with party pals including Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
Meanwhile, her on-stage performances were heavily criticised for being stilted and robotic. Terrifyingly, in January 2008, she was pictured being carted out of her house strapped to a wheeled stretcher.
It was reported she had taken prescription amphetamines and locked herself in the bathroom with youngest son Jayden, as she refused to hand him back to ex-husband Kevin Federline.
Within days, a court deemed her unfit to look after her own affairs, and her father was given control of her estate and all aspects of her career and life.
Sean said: “Britney was just so sweet, kind, loving and fun — and also so much smarter than people gave her credit for.
“Her meltdown wasn’t because she was crazy. It was because what was happening to her was driving her mad. Jamie was known as a raging alcoholic. He seemed largely indifferent about his daughter.
“Management wanted to control and manipulate the energy around her. They just wanted to milk their cash cow.”
Sean said he would get random phone calls from people saying they wanted to help Britney.
He continued: “I remember Mel Gibson was one of them, telling her that Christianity would save her and to turn back to God. It was all quite surreal.”
Sean last saw Britney three weeks ago in Hawaii, when the pair bumped into one another on holiday. He says that she was not the Britney he knew and loved — clearly jaded by an ongoing and hugely public court case.
Speaking about her current legal proceedings and fightback, he said: “I’m happy for her that she is moving forward in the right direction, because I’ve seen too many other people die.
“I’m also really proud of her fans for actually moving this forward, because they really have done a lot to get it to where it is today. I do think that at some point Britney did need guidance, but the conservatorship is ridiculous. It’s simply a money grab.”
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