British pop star Lily Allen has leaped to the defence of troubled singer Britney Spears, insisting her bizarre behaviour following her child custody loss was simply her way of "escaping" from the situation.
Spears, 25, has been heavily criticised in the media for going about her everyday business - including a trip to a tanning salon, walking her dog and going for coffee - after a Los Angeles judge ruled the singer must hand over her two sons to her ex, Kevin Federline, earlier this week (01Oct07).
But the Smile hitmaker, 22, sympathises with Spears and believes she is handling her troubles the only way she knows how.
She says, "My heart goes out to her. I feel that she must be in a tough place right now. It's really upsetting.
"I was 19 when I started doing this, so I can't even imagine what it must be like for her. I find it sort of nightmarish on some days, but amazing on others, and I am no way as successful or famous as she is.
"I can't even imagine what it must be like for her. She must feel like: 'God I need to get away.' People must just follow her wherever she goes. She can't get away at all. That must be a huge stress and whatever she does is her way of escaping."
Spears rose to fame after her debut single, Baby One More Time, became a worldwide hit in 1999, when she was aged 17.