Stars can't stop talking about Britney Spears' latest spree of bizarre behavior. Shortly after her Jan. 3 breakdown and two-night stint in the hospital, the fallen pop star skipped a crucial hearing in her child custody case with ex-husband Kevin Federline, which led a court commissioner to rule that Spears can't see her two sons until another hearing in February.
Since then, she's been spotted all over town on the arm of her purported new boyfriend, Adnan Ghalib, going on shopping sprees and hitting Hollywood clubs.
Now, a new batch of celebrities is sounding off on Spears.
Movie star and fellow mom Demi Moore offered some sympathy for Spears, who's been relentlessly followed by the paparazzi and media: "No one has seen it worse than Britney Spears," Moore, 45, told V magazine. "How can anyone see that and think that's an OK way to expect anybody to live, no matter where they're at in their life? ... I do think the boundaries could use a little reshaping, redefining what an invasion of privacy is."
"American Idol" alum Clay Aiken echoed 2007's oft-viewed YouTube plea of die-hard Spears fan Chris Crocker: "We have a presidential election going on, and for whatever reason, this is what people are interested in," he told "Entertainment Tonight," Thursday. "I think that is probably the saddest thing. Leave her alone, just leave her alone."
Rosie O'Donnell, the always opinonated former "View" moderator, weighed in on the Spears situation on her blog, comparing her to another famous woman who was hounded by the paparazzi, Princess Diana. "She will be trying to get away, but they will chase her, just as they chased her into that church yesterday," O'Donnell wrote on her Jan. 15 blog, the day after Spears skipped a child custody hearing to go to lunch and church. "There were dozens of them, jostling their way into the sanctuary, elbowing past each other, just to creep closer to her. Even her last-minute, folded-hand prayers can't be kept sacred. There can be no silent moments in a crowd; no silence, and no secrets."
Former "America's Next Top Model" judge and ex-model Janice Dickinson had harsher words for the pop star and her mom. "My opinion on Britney Spears, is Mrs. [Lynne] Spears should be jailed. Britney's mom is responsible for all this stuff going on," Dickinson told "Access Hollywood," Jan. 13. As for Spears, "I'd slap her silly!" she said. But the former alcohol addict, now in recovery, continued, "I would beg Britney just to give it all up. I would say, 'You're rich enough! Give it up and try to focus on the two boys.' I seriously hope that Britney doesn't kill herself. I seriously hope that she doesn't damage herself."
Business mogul Donald Trump is hardly one to bite his tongue. He added his two cents on "The Insider": "This is Anna Nicole Smith all over again! Someone needs to help her. Five years ago, every teenager wanted to be just like her. She was so incredible, the cleanest, and so beautiful. She was the ultimate teen, and everybody just worshiped her. To see what's unfolding, being carried out in a stretcher, in an ambulance, not even knowing where she was, it's just really very sad."
"Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl had some kinder words for the "Oops… I Did It Again" singer: "I can't possibly imagine what that young girl is going through. ... I just hope ... that even with all this attention, people can find it in their hearts to be compassionate, and not be so judgmental. She is obviously in a great deal of drama and pain, and that's a horrible thing for someone to go through in front of the entire world — and I'm sorry for her." — Heigl to People magazine at the premiere of her new movie, "27 Dresses."
"American Idol" judge Simon Cowell has offered his support for the tabloid train wreck in the past, and her increasingly perturbing state hasn't forced a change of heart: "It looks to me, at the moment, she's out of control. If I sat down with Britney, I would, number one, remind her of all the good things in her life: her kids, her money, her success, everything. I would take her out of where she's living at the moment and tell her to live with her family, normally, for five months. She's welcome to call me any time." — Cowell to People magazine.
Spears' former bodyguard, Tony "Fat Tony" Baretto, offered a more serious, specific perspective on her problems: "There's something that needs to be fixed with Britney. A bodyguard can't do it. An assistant can't do it. And Britney, obviously, can't do it alone. The times that I've seen her use narcotics, maybe made her [mental] condition worsen. I think, definitely, she's got some kind of mental problem." — Baretto to TV's "Extra!"
Another former Spears handler, publicist Lizzie Grubman, piped in with her inner knowledge of the star as well. "Never in a million years would I have believed it would go this way!" Grubman told Us Weekly magazine. "When I first started working with her, she was this humble, sweet little girl … There is still a real girl in there, but she's shutting people out and doesn't want to trust anybody." Grubman said Spears' problems stemmed from the fact that she "didn't have a childhood, which made everything worse."
Former child star Jennifer Love Hewitt, star of TV's "The Ghost Whisperer," tried to sympathize with Spears. "I think that sometimes in this business, stuff happens, and sometimes the only cure for it is to get out. I feel bad, because everyone kind of judges her and splatters her business everywhere. No one goes, 'Why is this happening?' They just judge and judge and judge. It's too bad." — Hewitt to TV's "Extra!"
Of course, anyone who's followed the Spears saga knows that one famous person's opinion apparently wasn't wanted, at least publicly. The Spears family has blasted Dr. Phil McGraw for turning his involvement in the situation into a public affair.
After visiting Britney in the hospital, at the request of the family, McGraw released the following statement:
"As was widely reported this weekend, at the request of concerned family members, I visited Britney Spears in the hospital. The details of that visit will, of course, remain private. We had planned to tape a 'Dr. Phil Now' show tomorrow, focusing not on the tabloid side of Britney's latest problems, but, instead, on the very serious issues surrounding this case. Clearly, it is not just Britney's family, struggling to find a way to protect adult children who cannot be ordered or compelled to seek help. Because the Spears situation is too intense at this time, and out of consideration to the family, I have made the decision not to move forward with the taping at this particular time. Britney and her family are in our prayers, and we ask that they be in yours."