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Courtney Stodden says she feels a “strong connection” to Britney Spears because of her own experiences being bullied as a teen in the spotlight.
In an interview with Fox News this week, Stodden, 26, shared her reaction to the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary and the persistent slut-shaming and mockery she faced during her teenage years. The lingerie model originally made headlines in 2011 at age 16 when she married “Green Mile” actor Doug Hutchison, who was 51 at the time.
The documentary has been the talk of Hollywood and beyond since its Feb. 5 release as it shines a light on the ways Spears was ridiculed by the media, the public and the paparazzi. It also provides a back story to Spears’ infamous 2007 meltdown and her ongoing conservatorship battle against her father, Jamie Spears, and has resulted in Spears’ ex Justin Timberlake and other notable stars issuing public apologies for mistreating her.
Stodden says she had no intention of tuning in to the doc because she was afraid of what it may “trigger.” But once her phone began blowing up with messages, mostly apologies from others who watched it, she gave in.
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“I just recently watched it and I was blown away. I felt such a strong connection to her story especially being a teenage girl hypersexualized and scrutinized at the same time,” Stodden said. “It’s all like my story. It’s scary.”
Courtney Stodden speaks out about the ‘scary’ similarities between her and Britney Spears’ past mistreatment when they were teenagers in the limelight.
(Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
The 26-year-old, who grew up in Ocean Shores, Wash., said she can relate to Spears’ upbringing as a small-town, “Christian girl” and touched on her own fractured relationship with her father.
“My dad and I don’t speak and we haven’t in a really long time. He basically abandoned me when I turned 17. He was also in construction like Britney Spears’ father, an alcoholic and bankrupt. I watched thinking, ‘This is like a mirror,'” Stodden added.
Another “big one” for Stodden was the narrative surrounding Spears’ conservatorship. She said she lost control of her own finances during her marriage to Hutchison.
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“I would do my work and give my money basically to my ex-husband and a few other people who managed me,” Stodden claimed.
An attorney representing <a href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/britney-spears" target="_blank">Britney Spears’</a> father, Jamie Spears (left), spoke out on Thursday to deny allegations he is controlling the pop star.
An attorney representing Britney Spears’ father spoke out on Thursday to deny allegations he is controlling the pop star. “This is a story about a fiercely loving, dedicated and loyal father who rescued his daughter from a life-threatening situation,” she explained. “People were harming her and exploiting her. Jamie saved Britney’s life,” Jamie’s attorney, Vivian Thoreen, said.
Stodden also recalled being the butt of jokes across late-night and national morning talk shows, and even stars she once looked up to.
“I was basically being abused,” Stodden said. “Anderson Cooper, Wendy Williams, Joy Behar, Chrissy Teigen, they basically made me feel like I was this bad person. Anderson Cooper would knock me down nightly on ‘The RidicuList.’ I was getting bullied at the same time by Chrissy Teigen on Twitter sending messages telling me awful things like I’m ‘not pretty, I’m ugly, and I should take a dirt nap — she loved that one,'” Stodden recalled. “I felt like absolute trash.”
Stodden said this “vicious cycle” has continued for years. “I feel like people loved tearing Britney down. I felt next in line as the young, train wreck blonde that everybody could bully,” she added.
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The “Butterfly” singer said she “felt pressure to laugh at myself,” but behind the cameras, she would turn to alcohol.
A post shared by Courtney Stodden (@courtneyastodden)
“I started seeing myself as a character,” she recalled. “I disassociated myself with myself. I would drink and then I would cry.”
During her controversial marriage to Hutchison, Stodden recalled weeping outside of actress Eva Longoria’s house, who lived next door.
“I would go outside at 2 in the morning. I would cry. I was drunk and just so miserable. I would just hide behind her trash cans,” Stodden said. “It would be almost every night from probably 16 to 20 years old.”
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In the mornings after, Stodden said she’d “wake up, put my makeup on, do my hair and then be everyone’s joke all over again, just like Britney.”
Unlike the last two weeks for Spears, Stodden says she hasn’t heard from the high-profile figures who once bullied her.
“To have someone as big as Chrissy not even acknowledge — it’s a f–k you in a way,” she said. “She’s actually a trailblazer for women and it’s kind of scary to me. Even though I received a lot of apologies, you’re not going to get an apology from everyone.”
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A rep for Chrissy Teigen did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Today, Stodden says she’s no longer on an anti-depressant and Xanax and is finally beginning to feel worthy.
“I’m working on music, I’m not using anything to numb myself and I’m starting to believe in myself,” she said. “I’m starting to find my voice.”
Ultimately, Stodden says she’s grateful to see Spears receiving support she’s long deserved.
“I was surprised by the response [to the documentary],” Stodden said. “I do think we have major change still to transpire but I think this is a great start. We, as a society, need to do better especially for young girls growing up in the spotlight. I’m rooting for Britney.”
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