Former Las Vegas Strip resident headliner Britney Spears has left the health care clinic she entered in January and was spotted at a luxury resort with her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, over the Easter holiday weekend.
Celebrity news website The Blast has posted photos of Spears and Asghari leaving Montage Beverly Hills resort on Sunday. Spears is shown in a red sundress decorated with small flowers, carrying a black handbag and appearing slightly bedraggled as she and Asghari depart the hotel.
The website also called into question the reasons for Spears’ canceling her 32-show “Domination” residency set for the Park MGM. Spears’ announced she was halting the series to care for her father, Jamie Spears, after he suffered a ruptured colon and was hospitalized for a month in Las Vegas beginning in November.
However, in the most recent account of the decision to halt the residency, the singer was already experiencing serious mental-health issues by the time her father suffered his own emergency health scare.
Spears’ Las Vegas manager Larry Rudolph has not returned a text or phone message seeking comment on the new reports.
Spears, who a decade ago was diagnosed as bipolar, has been under a conservatorship operated by her father since 2008. Reportedly, she was not taking the proper medications in the run-up to the announcement of “Domination” and was not in condition to rehearse for what would be a demanding return to a Strip residency.
As a result, Jamie Spears had considered dropping plans for “Domination” even before he underwent the first of two separate operations to repair his ruptured colon.
However, as The Blast published, “We’re told the decision was made to use Jamie’s illness as the reason for her postponing the Vegas shows. Our source says the story was used to mitigate the press, and the idea of Spears taking care of her father was just ‘damage control.’ One source who worked with the team at the time tells us, the notion that Britney canceled or postponed a multimillion-dollar Vegas show deal to help medically care for her father is ‘complete nonsense.’”
The report continues that after the elder Spears underwent surgery for his ruptured colon, he spent time recovering in the family’s home in Louisiana as Britney stayed in Southern California.
Sources familiar with Spears’ residency preparations say her ticket sales at the 6,500-seat theater were also a concern, with just 30 percent of the total available for her first set of dates in February sold by late December. This, despite an aggressive advertising push after her October announcement. “Domination” was supposed to have opened Valentine’s Day weekend.
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I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination. I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart. However, it’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make. A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand. More information on ticket refunds is available on britneyspears.com. I appreciate your prayers and support for my family during this time. Thank you, and love you all… always.
One source said, simply, “She wasn’t putting in the necessary prep work for the show.”
It is not known whether Spears has been discharged from the treatment center she announced she was entering on April 3. She posted on her Instagram feed that she needed “me time,” but no timeline for Spears’ in-patient care has been made public. Also, she has not posted on social media since being admitted (her mother, Lynne Spears, created waves last week with her own cryptic messages on her Instagram account).
The 37-year-old superstar’s groundbreaking “Piece of Me” residency ran at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood from 2013-17. “Domination” was hyped as an even more extensive production, with Spears guaranteed $500,000 per performance.
However, in retrospect, signs of discord were apparent early: Fans at Spears’ announcement of “Domination” at Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 18 were left disappointed when Spears did not address the hundreds who turned out for the spectacle.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found atreviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1on Instagram.