For about 12 years, now, Britney Spears' life has been under her dad's control, to the continuing horror of her countless fans.
There was a time in 2007 when she was so micro-managed that she did the one thing that she could to take back control: she shaved her head.
In a stunning new documentary, an eyewitness claims that Britney's bodyguards betrayed her to the paparazzi.
A vital part of the classic hero's journey is the descent into the underworld -- a symbolic low point of the story.
For Britney Spears, that was 2007, when relentless media attention led to her shaving her head
There's now a documentary out about the incident.
Breaking Point premiered on UK Channel 5, and includes a seriously unnerving claim about how the world came to see all of those pics of Britney.
What no one ever talks about is the salon where Britney shaved her head, which is owned by Esther Tognozzi.
But Esther was interviewed for the documentary, and describes exactly what he recalls witnessing.
It's interesting enough hearing about Britney's demeanor and determination.
What she reveals about the bodyguards, however, is enough to horrify and enrage Britney's beloved fans.
"There was a bunch of flashing outside lights and we were wondering, ‘Uh oh, what happened, police, ambulance?’" Esther describes.
"We looked out and it’s a bunch of white lights flashing and somebody knocked on the door," she narrates.
Esther recalls a voice "saying: ‘Hey, open the door, Britney Spears wants to come in."
"And of course, I said: ‘What for?’" she continues.
"And they proceeded to come in," Esther says. "She sat on my chair, I said, ‘What’s up, can I help you?’ She said, ‘I want to shave my hair off.’"
She recalls: "I said, ‘No, you don’t,’ [and] she said, ‘Oh yes, I do.’"
"She had two bodyguards, supposedly keeping an eye out to make sure the paparazzi were not getting any pictures," Esther notes.
She then accuses: "And one of them kept opening the blinds."
"I had blinds at the side of the salon back then. I had a sliding glass door," Esther describes.
She adds: "And I kept saying, ‘There’s nobody over there, why do you keep opening up the blinds?’"
"Well, I found out days later why he was opening the blinds," Esther accuses.
She says that it was "because a photographer was hiding there to take pictures."
"I tried to talk her out of it," Esther says of Britney shaving her head.
She recalls: "I said, ‘You don’t want to do that, tomorrow is a different day, you’ll feel differently tomorrow, let’s talk about it…'".
"My phone rang again," Esther says. "Ss I’m answering my phone I realize she went into that other room, sat in that chair and buzzed half her hair off."
And that was that.
At the moment, Breaking Point is a little tricky to watch outside of the British Isles.
It's not tricky if you know how to use a VPN to change your apparent location or, of course, know alternative means of viewing things.
If you're looking for pointers, a Millennial may be more helpful than Gen Z, most of whom grew up with streaming and had less of a need for alternatives.
We here at THG are of course not recommending that anyone take illegal measures to watch. We're sure that it will air on our side of the pond soon.
Some have interpreted Esther's story as accusing Britney's bodyguards of accepting bribes from photographers to not do their jobs.
Another more likely theory is a little simpler ... but somehow worse.
It has long been reported that Britney's managers and handlers would contact tabloids to tell them where she would be around 2007.
This would mean that her bodyguards took orders from her managers and ignored her wishes.
This plot to keep her face on magazines may contributed to her massive and worrying downward spiral.
The constant photography and micromanagement of Britney's every move is not irrelevant to her decision to shave off her head.
She complained that every time that she wanted to leave the house, people would fuss about getting her hair just perfect.
(Perfect for the photos that they knew would be taken)
Shaving her head was about reclaiming a bit of her power and independence after being treated like an object and not a person.