Friday, August 10, 2007

Spears Investigated for Parking Lot Collision

Spears Investigated for Parking Lot Collision

HOLLYWOOD - Britney Spears is at the center of a police investigation in Los Angeles after scraping a motorist's car while trying to park her Mercedes-Benz.

The troubled pop superstar accidentally collided with Kim Robard-Rifkin's vehicle on Monday and video paparazzi caught the footage.

Now, police sources confirm a police report has been filed--and she could be charged with a hit-and-run after failing to contact Robard-Rifkin in accordance with California law.

To make matters worse for Spears, she hit the other vehicle not once but twice--after finally parking her car, the singer then opened her door, bashing Robard-Rifkin's SUV.

Parking-Lot Fender Bender for Britney

Oops, she dinged it again. Paparazzi took pictures and videos of a puppy-toting Britney Spears steering her car into another one as she tried to turn into a spot in a Studio City parking lot. Then assessing the damage to her own car only. Then heading off to shop.

But the tale of the tape made it clear to the owner of the parked car just who it was who scraped up her silver Mercedes-Benz.

Kim Robard-Rifkin, 59, told the entertainment Web site on Wednesday that nobody from Spears' camp had contacted her about the damaged car.

"It's sad because I was really hoping she'd step up and be a mensch, be a human being," Robard-Rifkin said. "It was simply like my car didn't matter to her, my inconvenience didn't matter to her."

A video on, taken Monday, shows the 25-year-old pop star (with a puppy on her lap) attempting to park her black convertible and hitting the adjacent car.

Robard-Rifkin, a registered nurse, said she was "sort of amused and sort of shocked" when she learned it was Spears who hit her car, and figured she would hear from the embattled entertainer.

"There were obviously a lot of paparazzi there and what kind of person wouldn't realize that this (would) be on TV and she had to be responsible and contact me," she said.

"I'm not asking for money. I'm not asking for a new car. ... I simply want my car fixed, the same as I would fix somebody's car if I had done that."

Robard-Rifkin filed a police report on Thursday.

An e-mail to Spears spokeswoman at Jive Records was not immediately returned.

Spears' divorce from Kevin Federline became official on July 30. Since February, Spears and Federline, 29, have shared joint custody of their sons, 22-month-old Sean Preston and 10-month-old Jayden James. When the divorce was finalized, a child custody hearing was scheduled for Aug. 14.

Britney Spears

A bubbly, blonde pop music sensation who built a fan base with a girl-next-door sweetness, catchy tunes, flashy dance moves and a magnetic sexual appeal, Britney Spears went from a small-town Louisiana girl to the veritable heir to Madonna's media saturation crown, beginning with the release of her first single in 1998 and holding fast well into the next millennium – and much like Madonna, the attention quickly shifted away from her artistry and focused squarely on her personal dramas....

Full Biography

A bubbly, blonde pop music sensation who built a fan base with a girl-next-door sweetness, catchy tunes, flashy dance moves and a magnetic sexual appeal, Britney Spears went from a small-town Louisiana girl to the veritable heir to Madonna's media saturation crown, beginning with the release of her first single in 1998 and holding fast well into the next millennium – and much like Madonna, the attention quickly shifted away from her artistry and focused squarely on her personal dramas. Starting in 2004, a much mocked marriage to back-up dancer, Kevin Federline, the birth of two babies in quick succession, and a seemingly self-imposed exile from the music industry kept her name in the forefront – though mainly as a gossip curiosity piece.
Born Dec. 2, 1981 in the rural Louisiana town of Kentwood to parents Jamie and Lynne Spears, the young girl started training for her future superstar status as a small child. A skilled dancer and gymnast – as well as a capable singer – Spears had the determination and stamina to get to the top, starting her career in the entertainment industry early – too early, in fact – for producers of the revamped "The Mickey Mouse Club" (The Disney Channel, 1989-1994). Producers of the star-making kiddie show turned down the talented youngster because of her age when she first auditioned in 1990. Mindful of her potential, Spears was hooked up with an agent and temporarily moved with her mother and baby sister to New York City the following year. Here, she starred in the off-Broadway production, "Ruthless," a stage comedy loosely based on "The Bad Seed." Playing the evil but seemingly angelic child was an enjoyable role for the 10-year-old Spears, who next wowed judges with her debut performance on the televised talent competition, "Star Search" (CBS, 1983-2004) in 1992. A year later, she was finally welcomed into the cast of the "Mickey Mouse Club," becoming a part of an elite cast that included future TV star Keri Russell as well as fellow teen pop luminaries Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez of *NSYNC and Christina Aguilera. As part of the ensemble, she could do all the dancing, acting and singing her heart desired, but unfortunately, the show ended its run in the midst of only her second season.

When "MMC" called it a day in 1994, the young star-in-the-making returned to Louisiana and attended a private junior/senior high school in nearby McComb, MS, but missed the excitement of the entertainment world. In 1997, she signed with Jive Records, beginning a partnership that would make Spears a household name. In 1998, she toured the malls of America a la teen pop star Tiffany did a decade earlier, getting her bouncy, blonde image into the minds of the people while, at the same time, getting her promo tape into their stereos. Her debut single "...Baby One More Time" was a smash hit in the last days of 1998, thanks, in part, to the provocative schoolgirl uniform-sporting music video that accompanied the catchy and oddly edgy tune. While the fresh-faced teen sensation improbably crooned "My loneliness is killing me," audiences of all ages were transfixed – from middle-aged men creepily fixating on the singer's short plaid kilt and midriff-baring blouse, to seven-year-old girls hopping around the playground, strangely pleading "Hit me baby, one more time." Spears' debut album went multi-platinum while her single stayed at the top of the charts in the first months of 1999. Upping her visibility, Spears' controversial Rolling Stone cover (clad only in a bra and hot pants, surrounded by stuffed animals while talking on the phone) had parent groups up in arms when the overtly sexy image hit stands in April – nearly eight months before the star's 18th birthday. Meanwhile, Spears and her inner circle began a long-standing policy of sending mixed messages, proclaiming the star's commitment to Southern, church-going values and remaining a virgin until she married.

Appearances on a myriad of specials and awards shows and a guest stint on the ABC sitcom "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (ABC/WB, 1996-2003) helped keep her in the minds and hearts of the public in between record releases. When her follow-up effort, Oops!... I Did It Again dropped in 2000, her audience welcomed it with open wallets. Another round of multi-platinum sales were made, and the video for the lead-off title track won the performer more kudos, proving her dance talents with an eye-catching routine in a fetching red vinyl catsuit. When Spears appeared at that year’s “MTV Video Music Awards,” tearing off a man's tuxedo to reveal a flesh colored body suit, her sexy image was solidified. Indeed, it became central to her routinely controversial image, with fans and media debating over lurid topics such as whether or not the young star had received breast implants. Spears' sex appeal was tempered for her more family value-minded fans by her sweet and seemingly chaste relationship with longtime boyfriend (and former Mouseketeer) Justin Timberlake – by then, the lead singer of the hugely popular boy band *NSYNC, which shared the same musical management as Spears. Expressing herself, showing her versatility and growing up in the public eye while losing very few of her original preteen fans, the singer seemed poised to stand the test of time.

Though potential roles in the TV series "Dawson's Creek" (WB, 1998-2003) and the feature "Scary Movie" (2000) came to naught – reportedly due to her busy schedule – new projects with Spears' name attached sprung up frequently. Rumors of her co-starring with hot Latin singer Ricky Martin in a sequel to the 1987 hit musical, "Dirty Dancing," were not realized, but the singer/dancer made another major impression on TV viewers. Following a second erotically charged performance on the 2001 “MTV Music Video Awards,” during which she undulated in a barely-there harem outfit to her new song "I'm a Slave for U" while an albino python wrapped around her neck, viewers of both sexes were blown away yet again by her brazen “barely legal” performance. Britney-mania continued with her saucy performance in the HBO live concert, "Britney Spears: Live in Las Vegas" (2001) – a production that demonstrated her adult sex appeal as much as it did her propensity to lip-synch. Not satisfied with just conquering the music market, Spears tried her hand at publishing, co-authoring with her mother the autobiographical tome Britney Spears' Heart to Heart (2000) and the novel A Mother's Gift (2001) – the latter of which was turned into the ABC Family Channel telepic, "Brave New Girl" (2004), which Spears and her mother co-executive produced.

After much build-up, at last the young diva made her big-screen acting debut – with a healthy dash of the more proven skill, singing – in "Crossroads" (2002). Directed by Tamra Davis, the critically panned flick focused on three childhood friends on a road trip of self-discovery. Neither the mawkish film nor Spears' candy-coated, “aw-shucks” performance were exactly Oscar material, but it did appeal to a certain audience of die-hard Spears fans – namely the preteen and teen female and occasional smitten male. A blight on an otherwise world-conquering 2002 – including opening her own New York restaurant NYLA (which became a spectacular failure) and continuing to tour around the globe –was Spears’ very public break-up with Timberlake, amid sordid rumors of infidelity on her part. On the defensive, Timberlake rather ungentlemanly confirmed to much feigned shock that he and Spears had, indeed, put an end to her much-discussed virginity (as well as latter outing her as the cheater in his future solo hit single and video, “Cry Me a River”). Amidst all the professional solo triumphs and personal set-backs, she found time for a brief cameo in the comedy hit, "Austin Powers: Goldmember" and to record songs for a variety of film soundtracks.

By 2003-04, the media saturation of Spears and her fellow teeny-bopper idols (including Aguilera, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC) resulted in the beginnings of the inevitable backlash, with the singer making news more for her personal escapades than professional activities. In a move many saw as desperate for all parties involved, Spears made headlines when, during an appearance on the 2003 “MTV Music Video Awards,” she opened the show in a musical sequence opposite her idol Madonna and her reported rival Aguilera, in which she shared a lip-lock with the Material Girl. That was followed by the release of her fourth album, In the Zone, in which the singer further pushed provocative boundaries in an obvious attempt to establish herself as a grown-up artist and to capitalize on her always buzzed-about sexpot charms. The album received a critical drubbing in most quarters and did not entirely live up to commercial expectations. The disc still provided hit singles, including the ubiquitous dance floor favorite "Toxic" and its controversial, overtly sexy music video, which was briefly relegated to late-night-only airings on MTV. Oddly, during the promotional period for the album, Spears appeared in many increasingly provocative, skin-baring photographs, including a recreation of a 1960s-era Angie Dickinson shot with her bare bottom peaking out of a strategically stretched sweater for the cover of Esquire, yet she claimed in interviews she did not approve the shots, still trying to project – albeit, unconvincingly at this point – an innocent, girl-next-door persona.

The wild child beneath the surface was bubbling over into her public persona, with the mainstream and tabloid press endlessly chronicling every juicy aspect of her behavior – which allegedly included late night partying and hook-ups with celebrity lotharios Fred Durst and Colin Farrell. The dam seemingly broke loose in January of 2004, when the singer shocked fans with a surprise marriage to her childhood friend Jason Alexander in an apparently booze-fueled New Year's Eve wedding in Las Vegas – something she called "a joke that had gone too far." The marriage was annulled within 55 hours (with a lucrative pay-off to Alexander), but that did not stop Spears' shocking second rush to the altar later that same year – this time to seemingly gold-digging back-up dancer, Kevin Federline. This union was not without its controversy either, as at the start of their romance, Federline was an expectant father involved in a relationship with actress Shar Jackson – who had already bore him one child not long before. Their engagement was announced in June, with plans for a fall 2004 wedding. Somewhere between romances, Spears continued to self-promote with faux-revelatory documentary specials on MTV, ABC and E! networks, and she performed a surprisingly uninspired live version of her universally panned Onyx Hotel tour for the HBO special "Britney Spears: Live in Miami" (2004). The blonde idol pulled out of the final leg of her poorly received tour after injuring her knee in June of that year, requiring surgery and four months of recuperation (she also admitted that her head "really wasn't into" the tour).

As a newly married woman in September of 2004, Spears increasingly found herself the subject of snarky bloggers and tabloid magazines. Much of it she brought on herself, as she was constantly photographed leaving gas station bathrooms barefoot and chowing down on Cheetos while cruising around town in a number of luxury vehicles. Worse yet, she often looking disheveled and messy coming in and out of seemingly every fast food restaurant in the greater Los Angeles area. And interestingly enough to the public – she seemed not to care what people thought of her or her new husband. This was most apparent when Spears and Federline sold home movies taken during their courtship to UPN, resulting in the May, 2005 premiere of their reality show, "Britney & Kevin: Chaotic" – complete with the questionable catchphrase: “Can you handle our truth?” By this time, it seemed the answer was no – and that no one cared to. Critics were less than kind, to say the least. In fact, the show made the couple an even bigger laughing stock than before, what with the constant stream of nonsensical baby-talk, mugging close-ups and uncomfortable pawing of one another. But Spears seemed happy – especially after giving birth to her first child, Sean Preston in September, 2005.

Not long after her son’s birth, however, Spears found that the media had zeroed in on something more sensitive than her fashion sense or choice in men – her mothering skills. In a quick succession of scandalous incidents, starting in early 2006, Spears was photographed driving with her infant son on her lap; with her infant son in the wrong car seat, facing the wrong way in a convertible – and finally – tripping on a NYC street, almost dropping the baby, while teetering on heels and trying to hold onto a glass of water. The public lambasting of Spears as bad mom was at an all time high that spring – enough that by the third incident in New York, some celebrity first-time mothers and organizations stuck up for her, especially after video footage shot through a restaurant window hit the internet, clearly showing Spears clinging to her baby and crying after the tripping incident. By the fall, the public scorn seemed to shift and redirect toward Federline – especially after he was spotted all over L.A. and Vegas, partying with cronies, while his wife, now pregnant with their second son was M.I.A. When a bedraggled Spears was forced to do damage control by sobbing to Matt Lauer on a notorious “Dateline NBC” interview in June, fans began counting down the days until Spears come to her senses and left the man they considered the ruin of the old Britney. The week the wannabe rapper released his first album, Playing with Fire – to a unanimous and expected critical beatdown – the public got its wish. On Nov. 7, Spears filed for divorce from Federline, citing “irreconcilable differences” and asking for physical and legal custody of one-year-old Sean and two-month-old Jayden, but for Federline to receive reasonable visitation rights. Spears gave the date of separation as the day before – the same day she flaunted her revamped post-pregnancy physique during a surprise appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” (CBS, 1993- ).

Following her divorce announcement, Spears made news of a different kind. Free from her troubled marriage, the singer began a seemingly non-stop series of nights-on-the-town – first, with fellow party girl, Paris Hilton, then by herself or with new friends. When Spears was shot on three different occasions getting out of cars sans underwear, she became the toast of celebrity blogs and late night comics the world over – many of whom seemingly relished Spears' new out-of-control lifestyle. Her parenting again was called into question, as everyone – including her estranged husband, who was now, looking more and more the stable parent – wondered who was at home, minding the boys while Spears hit the club scene. Her partying ways continued into the new year, along with rumors of lesbian behavior dropped by her brief boyfriend, model Isaac Cohen, who spilled the beans to the press of her supposed sexual appetites. During the months of nighttime cavorting, Spears changed her hair color repeatedly – and after a one-day stint in rehab for undisclosed reasons – shaved it off altogether, leaving fans in shock at her radical appearance. The weekend after photos of a bald Spears hit the media, the troubled star checked herself into rehab for another one-day stint, only to take off with no explanation. Only days later, after an alleged confrontation with Federline, who reportedly threatened to take the boys away if she did not reenter rehab, Spears once again entered Promises Malibu, her mother Lynne driving her back again.


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