Claudia Winkleman: Take It From Me

'There's only one thing that will make a woman bite, bang her head, scream, take pills and offer everything she has'
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The Independent Online

OK get this. I've got a brilliant film idea. A really "out there" story for you. Trust me, it's wild. You're never going to believe it could happen in real life but you know, just stretch the imagination and yada yada. It's a film, so anything can happen, right?

Alrighty then. So we start with this really successful young girl. She's a pop princess. Let's call her B. She's got this massive hit and is raking it in. She's squeaky clean and says she's a virgin. Whatever. Let's not focus on that bit. No one really believes her anyway, but we're too interested in her red rubber full-length catsuit (seriously) to worry about the details.

She's going out with a bit of a curly-haired geek and they seem really cute together. He's also a singer and he has a freakishly high voice. Anyway, back to our main star...

A year passes and she grows up and tiny alarm bells begin to sound with the public. She breaks up with the nerdy guy and she dances with an albino snake (well, quite) on TV. She gets her boobs done (or she's doing a serious amount of, uh, chest exercises) and she has one crazy night in Vegas where she actually marries someone.

We assume she had one too many piña coladas and everything goes back to normal. Until she decides to get married again. To a man whose name is just a letter. I know. Don't you just love this film already?

This young couple have two small sons really fast and they then split up. And things go downhill. The pop star, America's little angel, seems not to be coping very well. Scenes of the distraught singer having her head shaved circulate throughout the world and it's obvious something is "up". Lawyers stand outside courtrooms and talk about custody of the children and the dad does a photo shoot with his new girlfriend.

Problem is, this is not a film idea. This is happening. The dream movie ending we'd like to see is this young girl arriving at a rehab clinic. She would magically grow back all her hair, she would realise that life was better without drugs and alcohol and she would be seen leaving the centre with a new spring in her step. She'd scoop up her sons and remarry the letter guy and this time they wouldn't sell their wedding to MTV.

Last weekend, when the police found her, she had locked herself in her walk-in cupboard with her two small children. Apparently she was crying and begging "don't take the boys". She also, if we believe what we read, bit one of her ex-husband's security guard's legs when he took her sons from her. The security guard has been on the telly showing the bite marks with pride. She was so insane, he says, that she actually bit through the denim of his jeans. Which is quite extraordinary as on this occasion he chose a thicker, harder-wearing fabric than usual. He hadn't opted for a lighter, brushed cotton, say ABC. According to reports there were more than 100 photographers, six helicopters and 18 camera crews outside her house just waiting to see a glimpse of her.

The girl who had it all is now living a nightmare. On Saturday she was taken to hospital, where apparently she behaved "like a mad person" and had to be restrained to her bed with belts. She banged her head against the wall, repeatedly crying.

She was heard screaming for her sons and the paramedics didn't understand why they couldn't calm her down. She is again, according to reports, on an assortment of prescription drugs. Some wake her up and some send her to sleep. She also apparently offered her ex-husband $100m for the boys.

She's been described as totally crazy, but the hospital has announced that when she was stretchered in at the weekend they gave her a blood test and she was not under the influence of drugs. This is a woman who is falling apart and desperately needs help so they send in the TV therapist Dr Phil. He says that he's deeply concerned for her and he's pleased to announce she's going to film a one-hour special with him this week to see if he can help her. Oh, that's all right then. I was worried there for a second.

I have no idea what's really happening in Britney's life, but the photographs and TV pictures of last weekend are disturbing. I will say only this. The one thing that will make a woman bite through denim, bang her head repeatedly against a wall, scream out at everyone, offer everything that she has and more, and take pills to get to sleep, is if someone takes her children. You take them and we'll rip your eyes out. And before that we'll hide in a cupboard and beg you not to.