Andy Cohen still remembers meeting Britney Spears — and her very “creepy” handler.
The “Watch What Happens Live” host recently shared that he flew to Los Angeles for a listening party for Spears’ 2016 album “Glory” in hopes of building rapport with the star to one day get her on his show. When Cohen arrived, however, the “Toxic” singer had mysterious company.
“I get there, and this woman was there, and it was like Britney was her captive,” he recalled on his “Radio Andy” show posted Thursday. “She was her captor. I’m not gonna mention her name because I don’t want to get sued, but it was really creepy.”
Spears was placed in a conservatorship under her father and others in 2008. The controversial legal arrangement limited her own bodily autonomy, financial decisions and career choices.
Cohen said that Spears had yet to “come out” about the conservatorship when they met. He had asked his friends, producers Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, what to expect.
“They were shooting an hourlong documentary on Britney for MTV or VH1 at the time … but they said, ‘There’s this woman who is at Britney’s side at all times and she basically tells her what to do and where to go and it’s really creepy,’” Cohen said.
Cohen experienced this himself while onstage with Spears and musician will.i.am at the L.A. event, as the woman was “whispering in her ear” before every question he asked Spears. He said Spears responded to her instructions with mere murmurs.
“I remember they brought me in to meet Britney before the interview, and I was in some room, and they brought Britney a birthday cake and they’re like, ‘Happy Birthday, Britney! Surprise!’ and Britney goes, ‘It’s not my birthday. My birthday was last month,’” he recalled.
Cohen added: “It was clearly for the cameras, and it was just all so weird.”
While the surreal interview never aired, Cohen noted that Spears mentions her handler “by name” in her new memoir “The Woman in Me” and chronicles “how much she hated her.” The book hit shelves Tuesday and has already spawned countless headlines.
Spears shares in the book about her mental health struggles, former relationship with Justin Timberlake and the overwhelming nature of her conservatorship, which was terminated in court in 2021 amid a virulent #FreeBritney social media campaign.
Spears commented on the publication of her memoir last week on Instagram.
She wrote: “This is actually a book I didn’t know needed to be written… although some might be offended, it has given me closure on all things for a better future!!! Hopefully I can enlighten people who feel particularly alone in most cases or hurt or misunderstood.”
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