Entertainment behind the scenes
The trial of Britney Spears for driving without a license has ended, and even though the singer failed to win a not guilty verdict, she nearly got its legal equivalent with a hung jury, the prosecutors’ decision not to seek a retrial and the judge’s dismissal of the charge.
But it didn’t come easy – or cheap — as most misdemeanor cases do. And it begs the question of why so much money was spent to try Britney for driving without a license.
Prosecutors have said the case only came to trial because Spears and her legal team refused a plea bargain – unlike the overwhelming majority of defendants in her situation. Prosecutor Michael Amerian had said the city offered Spears a year of probation and a $150 fine, or no probation and a $1,000 fine.
But if convicted Spears would have had a misdemeanor on her record, and the pop star did not want that, said her defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan.
How much money was spent to try the once-troubled singer who got popped by the cops for driving without a license?
The trial of Britney Spears on a relatively minor charge of driving without a California license finally got under way on Thursday.
But finding an unbiased jury in a case in which virtually everyone in Los Angeles knows, or knows of, the 26 year-old pop star took almost as long as the trial itself is expected to last.
Britney Spears is making her comeback — again. First step: release a catchy single. And so, on Friday Britney’s song “Womanizer” finally hit airwaves, four days after its scheduled release and a week after a snippet was leaked.
The song is an upbeat if slightly repetitive electropop number lasting about 3:40. It comes off Spears’ album “Circus,” which is set to be released on her 27th birthday on Dec. 2. The song was produced by The Outsyders, a group based in Atlanta.
It has lyrics that include: “You say I’m crazy/ I got your crazy/You’re nothing but a womanizer” In the song’s chorus, Britney sings, “Boy, don’t try to front/I-I know just-just what you are/Womanizer, you’re a womanizer, baby.”
It remains to be seen what Britney’s fans think of the song, but it’s definitely catchy. In a snap judgment, the Los Angeles Times music blog Soundboard reached the conclusion that “Britney is back. She actually seems to be awake this time.”
Last year in late August, Britney released a song, “Gimme More,” which was also billed as a “comeback” tunes after months of Britney finding herself making headlines for erratic behavior. At that time, she was embroiled in a bitter custody battle over her two sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline.
Radio stations were supposed to start playing Britney Spears’ new single “Womanizer” on Monday. But instead the pop star’s record label pushed back the release by a week.
The last minute delay comes after a 37-second segment of “Womanizer” was leaked and played on the Web site of a Nashville, Tennessee, radio station on Friday. The leak had a short life that day, as Spears’ record label, Zomba Label Group/Jive Records, told the station to take the song off its site.
Wendy Washington, a spokeswoman for the record company, said on Monday that the single’s release was pushed back.
“Yes, the mix is being finalized and is expected to be done within a week,” Washington said.
The leaked segment of “Womanizer” was not an immediate hit with commentators on the Web. The site Hollyscoop.com said the fake song “Candy From Strangers,” posted online last week by a Spears impostor, was more catchy than the leaked song from Spears herself.
The single is off Spears’ album “Circus,” which is scheduled to be released on the pop star’s 27th birthday on Dec. 2.
Spears has a lot riding on the album, because after a turbulent public meltdown last year she appears to have gotten her life back on track, giving her the chance to make what could be the biggest comeback in years in the rollercoaster music business.
(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis)
Was it Britney, or wasn’t it?
Two songs that sounded like new work from the revitalized pop princess circulated briefly on the Internet this week, but only one of them was real.
Less than 40 seconds of a song called “Womanizer” made its way to the Web site for Nashville, Tennessee, radio station 107.5 The River on Friday – but it was soon taken down.
More than a year after being charged for driving without a California license, authorities have set an Oct. 15 trial date for the pop singer on the relatively minor offence.
It’s always possible that case could be settled before then, but so far that has not happened — prompting speculation on the Internet that Spears is being treated harsher than most in her situation.
Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the L.A. City Attorney’s Office, said those facing the same charge as Spears typically settle the case by agreeing to probation and a fine.
”We’re just looking for a fair outcome to this case. If they want to take it to trial then that’s where we’ll go,” Mateljan said, referring to Spears’ legal team. “We’re treating it like any other case.”
The case stems from an Aug. 6, 2007, incident in which Spears scuffed another car in a parking lot as she was being trailed by dozens of paparazzi at a time when she was going through a very public meltdown.
Lynne Spears has taken much of the blame for the recent woes of daughters Britney and Jamie Lynn, both in her memoir “Through the Storm” and in a television interview.
“As a mother, don’t we always blame ourselves?” she said. “I took a lot of the blame. I took all the blame. The personality I have, it’s always my fault.”
The Hollywood hearthrob Brad Pitt has overtaken Paris Hilton as the most dangerous celebrity to search for in cyberpace, according to the second annual study of by Internet security company McAfee.
The company found Web users searching for “Brad Pitt,” “Brad Pitt downloads,” and Brad Pitt wallpaper, screen savers and pictures had an 18 percent chance of having their computer infected with online threats, such as spyware, spam, phishing, adware, viruses and other malware.
For the second year in a row, Britney Spears took center stage at Sunday’s event, winning all three categories in which she was nominated, including the coveted video of the year.
Unfortunately, her triumph could be overshadowed by the failure of MTV’s hype machine.
It appears the emotional scars from Britney Spears’ much maligned performance on MTV’s Video Music Awards last year haven’t healed quite yet. After weeks of ”will she or won’t she” speculation about whether Spears will perform again this year, her manager told Ryan Seacrest on Monday that she will not.
“Britney Spears will not be performing at the VMAs this year. I’m telling you officially and unequivocally,” said manager Larry Rudolf on Seacrest’s KISS-FM morning radio show in Los Angeles.