The “Free Britney” movement gained new steam following the release of The New York Times‘s Hulu docuseries about her conservatorship. An episode was keenly dedicated to Britney Spears’s rises and falls during her decades-long reign in the music industry, including the head-shaving meltdown that reportedly occurred following an argument with ex Kevin Federline as she was being harassed by the never-ending flashing cameras of the paparazzi. In 2003, actor Columbus Short worked with Spears as a dancer and producer, and according to him, they had a brief fling at the time.
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Last year, Short released his autobiography Short Stories where he reportedly detailed a racially-charged incident involving Spears’s parents. Short alleges that while touring in Rome, he and Spears had sex. “I was next to [Britney] while she was on the phone with them crying while she had it on speaker.” He said that he heard someone on the line say, “Why are you f*king that n*gger?” Short added, “Britney looked at me so apologetically, knowing I’d heard it. I shook my head and didn’t say anything, because what was there to say?”
It was a story that Short rehashed earlier this month while on Inside Hollywood. “I wasn’t shocked when it happened. Look where they’re from … they’re from Louisiana. The way it came out was so effortless, like that’s how they speak,” said Short. “I wasn’t shocked and I wasn’t hurt by it, I was just like, ‘Wow, this is, okay, I know who I am around here.’… Because they have Black bodyguards doesn’t mean behind closed doors they don’t use that word.”
“After that I felt like maybe [Britney] was using me to piss them off for some reason. I think she is a really sweet person that was tormented in a position on a high level that I can’t imagine,” he added. “I liken it to Princess Diana. She was the pop princess. Britney couldn’t go nowhere—her world [was] completely controlled in this bubble. There would be times that she would act out, and I don’t blame her. She was trying to find her way… I love Britney to this day… I feel bad for her. I wish the world knew the Britney I knew.”
After Short’s comments circulated, Brtiney’s mother Lynne Spears adamantly denied the incident ever occurred. “I want to be very clear. Those terrible words are not remotely in my vocabulary,” she told Page Six. “I would never say that to anyone, much less my daughter. Ever.” You can watch his interview with Inside Hollywood below.