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The Tart Turned Trainwreck

Preparing an hour on the legacy of someone so young is a challenge — unless they've lived a life like Britney Spears.

It takes a lot to shock me — but with this story I've actually had to stop and wonder what's going on in the freshly self-shaven head of one of the world's most recognized superstars.

There's no way to know for sure, but one interesting way to get an idea of what Britney's thinking is to talk to people who have been in the same situation. So, my crew and I took off to talk to those who had a lot of attention at a very young age.

We went to Los Angeles to interview teen pop sensation Debbie — now Deborah — Gibson. She hasn't had the problems with drugs or alcohol, but we had a lot to talk about for several hours in a Beverly Hills hotel suite. Gibson was candid about the pressures of performing, topping herself, and being sexy long before it feels natural.

The next day, I'm was back in the same grueling suite (ha!) for a long talk with former Partridge Family member Danny Bonaduce. He recalls a parade that he attended with Susan Dey and David Cassidy, where a riot broke out.

"It shook Susan up pretty badly. The crowd was ripping her clothes off. Just to have a piece of her costume. Me? I was 10. I thought it was cool," Bonaduce admitted.

His most intriguing stories are all about the rehab facility that he and Britney both attended — the Promises center in Malibu. Danny was there a few years ago — he said the gates and walls around Promises are to keep photographers out, not to keep patients in.He says despite the posh descriptions, it's kind of a dump, albeit on a nice piece of property. He told us that there are a lot of meetings and since some take place outside the gates, patients are bused to them.

Big mistake, according to Danny. He noticed three bars on the way to one AA meeting, and knew that those were the first places he was going when he got out of rehab. He also said the gates and walls around Promises are to keep photographers out, not patients in.

"You can leave whenever you want, it's just that at forty grand most people stick around because you don't get your money back," he said.

Others with advice and guidance for Britney include Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest, Smokey Robinson, Tom Arnold, and country legend Tanya Tucker. Tucker's rough and tumble success includes a stint at Betty Ford and a very abusive relationship with Glen Campbell. Tucker is a close family friend of the Spears and says Britney needs to take a year off. She also says the next album she releases will be the biggest of her career.

But in the end, the best advice may come from Bonaduce. "The first time you go to rehab it's for someone else. Your wife, your girlfriend, your parents or because the court orders it. The second time is for yourself."

Lets hope once is enough for Britney Spears.


This Weekend, watch: Britney Spears: Toxic Exposure — March 24, 9 p.m., March 25, 4 p.m. ET.

Britney Spears went from sexy superstar to trashy tabloid tease! Now, can the poptart turned train wreck recover? We investigate how the singing sensation spun out of control!


Bill McCuddy joined FOX News Channel in August 1996 and currently serves as an entertainment correspondent.


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