Britney Spears, with whip, at a recent show on her worldwide Circus tour.
Britney Spears visit to Russia is turning into a soap opera as the fallen pop idol has faced death threats and a run-in with the country’s infamous traffic police.
And she hasn’t even gotten to Moscow yet.
Spears may be well-versed in outrunning the paparazzi, juggling frappuccinos and attempting to revive a career whose unraveling will go down in the history books of pop culture. Navigating Russia is another story.
The singer, on her “Circus” tour played her first Russian gig in St. Petersburg on Sunday. She had already made the decision to keep her two young sons far from this stable, peace-loving nation, consigning them to a London hotel room to await her return, after receiving a series of death threats by e-mail.
“Originally, both boys were to accompany Britney but she was against taking them because of these constant threats,” a tour spokesman told British tabloid The Sun last week.
Death threats in Russia? You’d think there were contract killings, or a failure by authorities to take threats seriously and investigate them. Oh wait…
After the St. Petersburg gig, where she played to 15,000 fans at the Ice Palace, Spears immediately left the country, deciding to spend the two nights before her Moscow show in Stockholm instead. A spokesperson in Moscow confirmed that she left the country between gigs.
However, the departure wasn’t quite immediate.
On the way to Pulkovo Airport, eager to get to her private jet after spending just seven hours in St. Petersburg, Spears’ cortege endured that most pleasant of Russian experiences: an encounter with the traffic police.
As the singer’s three Mercedes SUVs turned onto the northern capital’s Murmanskoye Shosse, they were met with a wave of the baton and a shout of “Dokumenty!” Life.ru reported Monday.
Sav EntertainmentThe concert culminates with the song Womanizer and a huge light display.
“He didn’t understand right away what was traveling behind the car and who they were carrying,” a member of Spears’ security service told Life.ru. “It seems he decided that if there were three identical Mercedes on the road, with Moscow plates at that, they had to be checked. Maybe the guys just wanted to make some extra money.”
Luckily, an “international scandal” was averted, Life.ru said, after the police let the cortege pass once they realized that Spears was inside, going so far as to wish her “bon voyage.”
Spears’ car sped up, up and away, only to land in a massive traffic jam caused by a car accident that had killed the driver, backing up the roads for miles and miles.
Welcome to Russia, Britney! Let the Circus begin.
Britney Spears plays Olimpiisky, with opening act Ranetki, on July 21 at 7 p.m. 16 Olimpiisky Prospekt. Metro Prospekt Mira. Tickets range from 2,000 rubles to 15,000 rubles.