Britney Late Because of Security

By | March 27, 2002 at 12:00 AM

One day after fans booed Britney Spears at the London premier of her film, her spokeswoman blamed the brief appearance on security concerns. Many of the 3,000 fans were irate after the pop star’s brief appearance outside the Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square on Monday night, where they had waited hours to see her.

When Spears finally turned up an hour late, she went inside after waving to the crowd for only a few minutes. The 20-year-old singer was quickly whisked into the theater and did not sign any autographs.

British tabloids made a big deal of the snub Tuesday, quoting young fans who had been bitterly disappointed by their idol.

Spears briefly appeared later on the theater’s balcony before the screening of “Crossroads.” But that did not appease many of the fans, who were standing behind barriers below.

A spokeswoman for Spears’ film company, Momentum Pictures, said Tuesday that the singer had wanted to meet her fans but was advised against it to prevent “security” problems.

“It was deemed a security risk by all involved for her to venture too far into the crowds,” the spokeswoman said. “Safety has to be paramount, not just for Britney but for her fans.”

Jane Willis, 35, of Essex, had waited five hours with her 11-year-old daughter, Gemma, to see the star.

“Gemma’s crying her eyes out because she couldn’t see a thing,” Wills 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, 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,” she said.

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