Three of Britney Spears' former security guards have sued the singer, alleging that she did not pay them overtime and caused them to miss out on meals. Meanwhile, a Brooklyn, New York, art gallery has been deluged with angry e-mails over a controversial sculpture of the pop star.
Lonnie D. Jones, Randy Jones and Silas Dukes are asking for compensation for unpaid overtime and penalties for alleged labor-law violations from Spears, according to a Los Angeles Times report. All three were let go on November 30, according to the suit. The filing also alleges that the guards did not receive their final paychecks as required by state labor laws. The paper could not reach Spears' attorney for comment.
And, if you haven't seen it yet, consider yourself warned. The life-size sculpture by artist Daniel Edwards of a naked, pregnant Britney crouching face-down on a bearskin rug while giving birth, titled "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston," is causing headaches for Brooklyn's Capla Kesting Fine Art Gallery before it has even been unveiled.
"This is a new take on pro-life. Pro-lifers normally promote bloody images of abortion. This is the image of birth," artist Edwards said of the sculpture, according to The Associated Press. Edwards courted controversy last year with his sculpture of baseball great Ted Williams' severed head.
The Britney sculpture will be accompanied by a display case filled with pro-life materials. Gallery co-owner David Kesting said he's already received more than 3,000 e-mails from around the world over the past week, equally divided between pro-choice and pro-life opinions.
"We also got calls from Tokyo, England, France. Some people are upset that Britney is being used for this subject matter," Kesting said, according to AP. "Others who are pro-life thought this was degrading to their movement. And some pro-choice people were upset that this is a pro-life monument." The gallery is hiring extra security guards for the free exhibit, which opens April 7 and runs for two weeks.
Edwards has neither spoken to nor met Spears and said he modeled the sculpture from photographs. "I admire her. This is an idealized figure," he said. "Everyone is coming at me with anger and venom, but I depicted her as she has depicted herself — seductively. Suddenly, she's a mom. ... I wouldn't march with either pro-life or pro-choice advocates. This is not meant to be political."