Britney's "Rocky Moment"
Thu, 04 Jan 2007 11:16:37
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While his client retreats to an exclusive Arizona spa for some much-needed R&R, Britney Spears' manager is logging some serious overtime, trying to quell rumors that the newly single pop star is clashing with her record company, alienating fans, partying too hard -- and just taking a spa vacation, not starting rehab.
Larry Rudolph, who managed Spears' career until 2003, was rehired just two months ago, on the same day Spears filed for divorce from Kevin Federline. He's been doing damage control ever since, answering questions about his client's dubious choice of party pals (Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan), fashion statements (short skirts and no underwear), and mothering skills (um, none, as far as anyone can tell).
Most recently, he was forced to explain why Spears apparently passed out at a New Year's Eve party in Las Vegas and had to be carried out of the nightclub. His explanation: Spears was just sleepy. "She got tired in a club, and we took her back to her room," Rudolph told USA Today. "Suddenly, I'm hearing words like 'collapsed' and 'passed out.'"
Although Rudolph acknowledges that Spears' social activity has harmed her image -- "from what [the fans] have been seeing and hearing, I understand the disappointment" -- he vehemently denied a recent report by New York Post columnist Cindy Adams that Spears' label, Jive Records, is also unhappy with their star. According to Adams, Jive is concerned that Britney's new songs aren't up to snuff and that her behavior is causing a fan backlash that will hurt sales.
Rudolph, predictably, says that's bunk. Addressing Adams directly, Rudolph said, "I don't know where your information came from, but I can only tell you we're in the middle of recording an album." A representative for Jive echoed his assertion: "Britney is in the middle of recording. We will have an album in 2007."
"She understands what's going on right now, and she calls it her 'rocky moment,'" says Rudolph. "She sees this as a challenge, that some fans may be questioning her, [and] she's taking all the right steps. Britney Spears will be back and absolutely at the top of the entertainment industry very soon."
For some fans, however, the comeback isn't coming soon enough. The founder of Spears' largest unofficial fan site, World of Britney, has announced that he'll be closing the site down this month. "I've not been happy with the way she's portraying herself," explains Ruben Garay, who's run the site since 2000 and logged more than 30 million fan visits in 2005. Still, he believes that "if her music is good, her comeback will be successful."
--The ARTISTdirect Staff