LOS ANGELES – Britney Spears appears on the cover of the March issue of Blender magazine in a "composite photo" that uses her head on someone else's body.
In the image, Britney looks like the perfect pop princess that once upon a time existed. But according to Blender's sources, the strange singer spiraled into her dark world well before K-Fed came along.
"Ever since the break-up with Justin Timberlake, she's in a mad world," a friend told the magazine.
After four years, Justin and Britney ended their romantic relationship abruptly in March 2002 following whispers that Spears was seeing their choreographer and mutual friend, Wade Robson.
It also seems as though Britney’s own bloodline has a lot to answer for in terms of the pressure that was placed on her as a youngster.
From her tender tween years as a Mouseketeer, Spears reportedly supported her family financially. A former manager of the music mama told the mag that this position taught Brit from an early age "not to trust."
But as we all question what on earth the "Crazy" crooner is doing dating a paparazzo (one of the very people responsible for her problematic public image), an insider has told Pop Tarts that this, too, can be attributed to her childhood.
"Aside from Justin, Britney can't let herself fall for a man who shares the same star status as herself. Deep down she doesn’t think she deserves someone of class and caliber," said our source.
"Back in the day, Britney could have had any man she desired; she was even invited to Buckingham Palace to visit the princess. But she pretty much turned every offer away. She seems to believe that she has to be the one supporting her other half and someone else having money would be intimidating.
"Again we are seeing Britney buying cars etc. for Adnan; money gives her the control that she is lacking in other areas of her life."
Well, one area of her life that isn't lacking at present is visits from the LAPD. The officials were called to her mad mansion Monday evening to control the packs of prying paps outside, all trying to get the low-down on an apparent fight between Spears and her purported manager/friend Sam Lutfi.
Lutfi (like most of the men Brit surrounds herself with) has been taking advantage of the media spotlight, even making calls to TV host Barbara Walters about the single mom's mental condition.
"Britney is the type of girl who needs a man in her life," added the insider. "But unfortunately, she seems to choose ones that use her for their own fame."
Sarah Jessica Parker Swears Off 'Sex'
Sarah Jessica Parker may have recently wrapped one of the most anticipated flicks in film history, but the "Sex in the City" starlet refuses to even make mention of the Manolo-mad movie.
Parker was in Park City to promote "Smart People" at the Sundance Film Festival, but press were given several pre-warnings not to utter a sound about Big or the Big Apple-based film.
"Sarah just doesn't want to talk about it," an insider told Tarts. "There is so much talk about it right now that it really doesn't need plugging."
Incidentally, another pal of co-star Kristin Davis said our Charlotte is keeping her lips zipped, even with her close friends and family. But is all this silence just part of their master PR plan?
"Nobody is talking, which is interesting," added our source. "By doing it this way they will actually get more press because it will keep up the buzz and the hype."
However, one thing SJP was happy to talk to Pop Tarts about was her desire to improve her IQ.
"I could really improve my IQ -- I would like to write down thoughts. I never really wrote a paper that I was proud of because I could never really organize my thoughts as expected," added the brunette. "All I could do was the opening of a paragraph at school, but I think that speaks to a bigger part of the brain issue. Organizing your thoughts -- I could really work on that."
So while Sarah wouldn't talk "Sex," her costar Dennis Quaid wouldn't talk twins. (Pop Tarts popped Quaid at the Boost Mobile Gifting Lounge and Kari Feinstein's, but he was adamant that he would not pick out a single item without his wife's seal of approval, and even when she was running late, Quaid would simply stand still and wait.)
Tom Arnold 'Hates' Sharon Stone
Rumors have been running rampant for years that Sharon Stone is, well, not the easiest person to work with.
But Tom Arnold took the crowded Hennessy Lounge at Sundance by surprise when he came right out with his feelings toward the "Basic Instinct" siren.
Pop Tarts was told that "The Final Season" star spotted a picture of Stone on the wall and immediately started screaming: "She is a crazy, psycho b---h! I hate her!" (According to our spy, Tom went on for at least 15 minutes in front of the packed lounge about how he would never work with Stone again. EVER.)
Mr. Arnold, didn’t your mama ever tell you that "hate" is a very strong word and should be used only with caution? The two star together in the Sundance film "The Year of Getting to Know Us" -- and we’re wondering how well those two got to know each other on set … ouch.
Heidi Klum Set to Get Hearts Racing
Heidi Klum is a woman of many talents, and now the Victoria's Secret "Angel" is putting her ethereal blessings toward keeping us all alive.
Pop Tarts has been told that Klum will be walking the red carpet in red at this year's Academy Awards as "the body" of Diet Coke's new partnership with the Heart Truth, a national awareness campaign focusing on women's heart health.
The leggy lingerie lady is even giving that red Oscars frock by Galliano away in a sweepstakes on mycokerewards.com
Spotted or Snapped a Star? Got a Good Scoop? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.