Director/photographer David LaChapelle stepped into the #FreeBrittney fray yesterday (April 29, 2019) with a lengthy comment on an Instagram post featuring footage from a scrapped video for Britney Spears 2016 single “Make Me” featuring G-Eazy.
Short clips and stills from the video surfaced in 2016, but last week the entire video surfaced on social media.
After initially denying any association with the video, LaChapelle then claimed the video making the rounds wasn’t his edit. LaChapelle wrote, “This is some of my footage, this is not my edit. I find it very suspect that the video was ‘leaked’ while Britney was ‘away,'” a reference to the time Spears spent in a mental health facility starting from the first week of April until April 25, 2019.
Prior to entering the facility, Spears had been caring for her ill 66-year-old father, who has been a conservator of Spears’ affairs and estate since 2008.
Initially it appeared LaChapelle was criticizing the person who leaked the video. He wrote, “The video/song wasn’t released because Britney didn’t like it. Her voice as an artist, should be respected.”
He then went on to describe the 37-year-old’s behavior on the set for the video as “off.” LaChapelle added, “The only direction Britney ever gave me for this video is for me to film her in the cage. At the time I didn’t understand why would you want to be filmed in a cage? At first I envisioned to film her as a tigress, but she wanted to be filmed more timid, like a kitten. For everyone on my team, at least, we could tell something was off.”
Chapelle wrote the only direction she provided on set was “that she wanted to die in the video.” He added, “Looking back now it seems to me these were cry’s for help, that she wanted to communicate through her videos.”
He then explain he’s worked with Spears since she was a teenager and has always thought there were issues. He explained, “I have known Britney since she was 17. I shot her first cover, Rolling Stone, it was shot in Louisiana at her family home, filled with her pageant trophies. I could tell even back then something wasn’t right.”
It’s not clear whether LaChapelle was offering his opinion on her mental health or was taking a position on the “free Britney” movement started by fans who believe she’s being held and controlled against her will.
After Spears left the mental health facility, she checked in with her fans on Instagram. Looking fatigued, Spears stated she was well and also warned her fans not to believe the rumors that were circulating. She wrote, “There’s rumors, death threats to my family and my team, and just so many things crazy things being said. I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that’s happening is just making it harder for me. Don’t believe everything you read and hear.”
Spears went on to blame former manager Sam Lufti for starting the rumors. She wrote, “These fake emails everywhere were crafted by Sam Lutfi years ago… I did not write them. He was pretending to be me and communicating with my team with a fake email address.”
On Twitter, Lufti denied writing the emails and pinned the blame for them on Spears’ current manager, Lou Taylor. Obtained by The Blast, the three emails show Spears’ name in the address. In the emails, she speaks critically of her father and Taylor.
Below check out LaChapelle’s comment, Spears’ video and the original “Make Me” video.