Britney: Why I snubbed fans
LONDON, England -- Britney Spears was whisked past waiting fans at the London premiere of her movie because of safety fears, according to a spokeswoman for her film company.
The 20-year-old American star enraged a crowd of thousands who had waited for hours in Leicester Square on Monday night by failing to go on a walkabout or sign autographs before the start of her movie Crossroads.
The angry scenes were in stark contrast to the reception received by Tom Cruise at the London premiere of his movie Vanilla Sky in January when, to the delight of fans, he and girlfriend Penelope Cruz embarked on a hour-long walkabout.
He even talked on the mobile phones of some fans.
But a spokeswoman for her film company said on Tuesday she wanted to meet the fans but was advised against it to prevent "security" problems.
A spokeswoman for Momentum Pictures told the Press Association: "Britney Spears's main priority at the Crossroads premiere was to meet and greet her fans.
"It was in fact her decision to go back outside twice to wave to crowds. However after assessing the situation on the ground it was deemed a security risk by all involved for her to venture too far into the crowds.
"Safety has to be paramount, not just for Britney but for her fans."
Although she made a brief appearance on the cinema's balcony, there was no apology for failing to spend more time with fans who were upset by the brief appearance.
Jane Willis said she had travelled with her daughter Gemma, 11, from Essex, to see the star. They had been at the cinema five hours before Spears arrived.
"Gemma's crying her eyes out because she couldn't see a thing," she said.
"How does Britney expect people to go and see her film if she can't be bothered to say hello to her fans?"
Fran Handley, 16, from East Sussex, said she waited for nearly six hours in the hope of getting an autograph.
"All I saw was a flash of sequin and that was it. It wasn't worth my time."
Earlier, Britney gave her strongest on-the-record hint that she had split up with boyfriend Justin Timberlake.
Asked at a press conference if she was currently in an "intense relationship", she coyly replied: "No, I would not say I was in an intense relationship with anyone at the moment."
Later, she told ITV television that she felt entitled to protect her privacy.
"People talk about my private life. That goes with what I do. You have to accept that," she said. "But if they ask about it, I say it's none of your business."
Tabloid reports on both sides of the Atlantic say she and Timberlake have parted ways, and the cover of the April 1 issue of US Weekly magazine trumpets: "Britney & Justin: It's Over."
But Spears recently told MTV that she and Timberlake were still together.
Told during her London press conference that her British fans were placing bets on her one day dating Prince William, she said: "That's nice. To be associated with him is very cool. Who wouldn't want to be a princess?"
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