Vile paparazzo took upskirt pictures of Britney Spears to prove she wasn’t pregnant
A photographer who trailed Britney Spears in the throes of her public breakdown has described how little the paparazzi cared for her mental health or dignity.
The New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears has ignited scrutiny of how the media treated Britney during her well-publicised struggles.
In particular, documentary filmmakers examined how a swarm of paparazzi endlessly buzzed around Britney, documenting her every move.
And one such photographer, Nick Stern, has spoken out about the “culture of male toxicity and bravado” of the 2000s paparazzi in an interview with Glamour magazine.
“Britney Spears was not treated as a person,” Stern said. “She was treated as a commodity or even a consumable.
“That she was there to serve a purpose as subject for a supply of pictures.”
‘Britney is not pregnant… Period.’
Stern, who consulted the Times for the documentary, worked at one of the world’s largest and most influential photographic agencies, Splash News. He said he ultimately quit over the treatment Spears received from the press.
“I was only on team Britney for about a week until I realised actually what was going on,” he explained, “and what was going on was very wrong.”
For Stern and many photographers like him at the time, the daily drill was almost always the same. He says paparazzi would arrive at her house “at first light” before pursuing her every move, trailing her car at “dangerous” speeds.
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The final straw for Stern came when a photographer took an upskirt picture of Britney while rumours were swirling that she was pregnant.
“One of the photographers had got a photograph up Britney’s skirt with her bloodstained underwear. And they put the picture out and the caption was, ‘Britney is not pregnant… Period.'”
He added: “I was lost for words.”
As well as the toxic treatment she received from paparazzi, Framing Britney Spears touched on the sexist backlash the star received after her break-up with Justin Timberlake, prompting an apology from the singer.
It also examined her ongoing conservatorship battle. Shortly after the film aired, the star won a small victory in court as a judge denied her father Jamie Spears the right to delegate investment powers for her estate.
Britney is attempting to remove her father from the conservatorship, which oversees her personal, business and financial affairs.