Drew Barrymore Has “So Much Empathy” for Britney Spears

Drew Barrymore not only empathizes with Britney Spears, she also relates to her.

The actress and talk show host chatted about the perils of early childhood fame during an interview on The Howard Stern Show. When Spears came up in conversation, she recalled her own experience coming of age under the spotlight. Like Spears, Barrymore was also committed to a psychiatric hospital, but at the age of 13 and while under the care of her mother, Jaid Barrymore.

“I have so much empathy toward so many people. I’m sure that people look on and think, ‘These party girls, these privileges, how dare they have feelings about any of this? They’ve put themselves out there, they’ve asked for this—it’s fair fucking game.’ And I just go, ‘They’re humans. They’re just humans,'” said Barrymore.

“It’s hard to grow up in front of people. It’s just hard,” the actress continued. “I was in a place for a year and a half called Van Nuys Psychiatric and you couldn’t mess around in there. If you did, you’d get thrown either in the padded room or get put in stretcher restraints and tied up.”

Looking back, Barrymore has forgiven her mother for the decision, acknowledging that she probably felt at the time she had no other choice.

“This was her last gasp, and I really was out of control, and I forgive her for making this choice,” added Barrymore. “She probably felt like she had nowhere to turn.”

Newfound public interest has surrounded Spears in recent weeks following the premiere of the Hulu and New York Times–produced documentary, Framing Britney Spears. The film details the events and media spectacle that led to the start of Spears’s conservatorship in 2008, which has been controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, ever since.

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