Adnan Ghalib watched as the superstar singer curled into a ball and wept uncontrollably over boys Sean Preston, eight, and Jayden, seven, saying she wanted to end her life.
Los Angeles-based Adnan, who dated Britney during her darkest days in 2007, also told how she:
- SUFFERED terrible mood swings if she did not see the boys who lived with dad Kevin Federline.
- ENDED up “totally vacant” on prescription drugs taken to mask the pain of missing her kids.
- BINGED on cheesy snacks while sinking 15 cans of Red Bull and smoking 40 cigarettes each day.
- LONGED to escape showbusiness and move with him to England to start their own family.
Paparazzi photographer Adnan, 41, who insists he and Britney, 32, remain “deeply in love”, said: “Christmas Day 2007 was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen.
“Britney was drowning in despair, fighting for breath, feeling her life was slipping away.
“She couldn’t see her kids and wanted cheering up. So we drove from her Beverly Hills home to her rented mansion in Malibu to get away from the city.
“But when we went into the living room the sight of the Christmas tree and gifts for the boys just broke her. She couldn’t stop sobbing.
“I put my arms around her and tried to comfort her but no words were getting through.
“She knelt before the tree and started opening the boys’ presents.
“It was agonising and devastating to see this wonderful, devoted mum reduced to this state.
“She looked forlorn as she unwrapped Sean’s truck, then she slumped on the carpet and bawled her eyes out.
“She was deeply depressed and distressed. The unhappiest person I had ever seen in my life.”
Adnan started dating Britney in October 2007 after months of flirting at media events.
She shot to pop fame as a 16 year old with global smash Baby One More Time in 1998.
But by 2007 she was going through a divorce to second husband Federline.
She also shaved off her hair and attacked a car with an umbrella — then checked into rehab. In September 2007, her bodyguard Tony Baretto told US Child Protection Services Britney was taking crystal meth and cocaine, and drinking whisky while around her children.
A month later an LA court ruled she was a habi
tual user of drugs and alcohol and could only have restricted visiting rights to her boys.
Birmingham-born Adnan added: “She felt she was being punished being away from her children. She told me, ‘If I cannot see the boys, I have no reason to live’.
“Every day was unpredictable. She switched from being happy to sinking into deep depressions. On days the boys visited she would be happy, smiling and singing around the house. It was her ritual to clean their rooms and get out their toys even though the maid had done it.
“Sometimes just before a visit she got a call saying it was off, with little explanation. That would send her over the edge again.
“She would run to her bedroom, slam the door a
nd refused to come out all day — not eating or drinking.
“She would call out the boys’ names as she lay on the bed crying for hours.”
In January 2008 cops were called after she refused to return her sons to Federline.
She was put in psychiatric care for five days.
Adnan said he only ever saw Britney take prescribed drugs — but they were enough to make her “manic, scatty and totally vacant”. He said: “The reason she took them was to numb the pain of not seeing the kids.
“It was mainly Adderall which is like legal speed to my mind. She would have dozens of boxes around the house and take them all the time.
“Staff gave her pills saying, ‘Here are your vitamins’. They certainly didn’t have the effect vitamins have.
“Within a few minutes her pupils were bulging and she would be wound up and frantic.
“She would also drink Red Bull all day, as many as 15 cans. She would talk at you for hours. It seemed the substances suppressed her appetite too. All she wanted to eat was Cheetos and Cheez-It crisps. She was going through 40 cigarettes a day.
“All of sudden, at certain times of day, she’d just stop and crash on the sofa for hours.”
In early 2008, Britney’s dad Jamie was given legal control of her affairs. Then in July she won back joint custody of her sons.
She and Adnan split around the same time. In early 2009 he was hit with a restraining order, issued by Jamie, to keep away from the star.
But Adnan said he saved her life by getting her back with her dad, who she claiming was too controlling.
Adnan said: “When Britney and I first met she vowed to never speak to Jamie again.
“But after I said it could only help with her kids, she agreed.
“When I phoned Jamie to say I was trying to reunite them he burst into tears and blubbed, ‘Thank you, thank you.
“You can have all the money in my bank account. She won’t let me see her’.&rdqu
While Adnan mostly saw Britney at her lowest ebb there were times her happy self shone through.
He said: “Escaping the glare of LA was great for her.
“She became a relaxed, fun-loving young woman.
“One day in Palm Springs she wanted to watch the 1950s US sitcom I Love Lucy at our hotel. She would laugh and smile, and just wanted to be cuddled and held. It was like having a normal girlfriend. We would have room service delivered and just sit laughing at the goofy humour. It was perfect.”
Recalling another getawa
y to Mexico in early 2008, Adnan said: “She told me, ‘I am in love with you’ and said ‘I think I’m pregnant’.
“She seemed very excited and I knew she’d want to keep the child. We rushed to buy a test kit but it proved negative. I could see her heart sink.”
Last Christmas Britney returned to the stage with her Piece of Me residency in Las Vegas.
There are rumours she may retire when the stint ends in 2015, and Adnan is not surprised.
He said: “Britney said she wanted out of showbusiness in 2008. She hated the fame and not being able to go anywhere while being mobbed.
“She told me the Blackout album in 2007 was meant to be h
“She said, ‘I don’t care about the money. I want to be me again, Britney Jean. I love my fans, but I love my boys more’. One time she said, ‘Let’s leave here and move to your home in England’. She was deadly serious.
“Britney had never lived a normal life since being a teenager.”
She is now dating law firm worker David Lucado while Adnan is single and working as a media consultant.
He added: “I know she wants more children and is desperate to find the right person to settle down with. I hope she meets the man who truly makes her happy.”source