Pop superstar Madonna has compared Britney Spears' plight to the suffering people of Africa, calling the press coverage of her problems a "terrible infliction of cruelty".
The Holiday hitmaker - who famously kissed Spears during a performance at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards - wants the paparazzi to stop following the 26-year-old, because it's distressing to see her life documented in such detail.
And the 49-year-old spots similarities between Spears and downtrodden Africans.
She tells MSNBC.com, "It's very painful (seeing pictures of Spears). When you think about the way people treat each other in Africa, about witchcraft and people inflicting cruelty and pain on each other, then come back here and, you know, people taking pictures of people when they're in their homes, being taken to hospitals, or suffering, and selling them, getting energy from them, that's a terrible infliction of cruelty.
"So who's worse off? You know what I mean?"
Earlier this year (08), Spears lost the right to visit her sons Sean Preston, two, and Jayden James, one, after a breakdown at her Beverly Hills home. She has also spent time in a rehabilitation centre and has been plagued by driving offences.