Police, rumours and Instagram account: Britney Spears asks her fans to “respect her privacy”

On Tuesday 24 January, police officers knocked on Britney Spears' door after receiving calls from concerned fans. 

How do you recognise a real star? The number of followers? Awards received? No. A star is one whose fans are so worried when she deactivates her Instagram account that they call the police. On Tuesday night, several officers knocked on Britney Spears' door after calls from fans alarmed by the sudden deletion of their idol's Instagram account. Before taking this drastic step, Britney Spears had posted strange messages about a name change - "I changed my name to River Red! [...]" - a new heart tattoo she already regretted, and photos of her romance with Justin Timberlake from 2001. And suddenly, nothing. Britney Spears disappeared from the net with her cryptic messages.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office soon received calls. The county's public information officer told the Los Angeles Times that the sheriff's department "received calls from concerned fans simply because [Spears] had deleted her social media account". He added: "Out of an abundance of caution, we went to her home for a check-up ... and concluded that she was safe and sound".

"Things went a bit too far"

The star gave her version of events on Thursday 27 January, in a message posted on Twitter: "The police never entered my house and when they arrived at my door, they quickly realised there was no problem and left immediately." The star explained that the incident was over-publicised and over-interpreted and lamented the fact that his fans had intruded on his private life: "I love and adore my fans, but this time things went a bit too far and my privacy was invaded. [...] During this time in my life, I really hope that the public and the fans I care so much about can respect my privacy in the future. Love, B." 

After the hashtag #FreeBritney, which was used massively in 2021 to call for the suspension of the singer's guardianship, the hashtag #LeaveBritneyAlone could make a comeback.