‘Showbiz Tonight’ Special Report: Tears For Spears

‘Showbiz Tonight’ host A.J. Hammer talked to a panel including Tru TV anchor Lisa Bloom, Us Weekly west coast editor Ken Baker, and psychiatrist and addiction expert Reef Kareem about troubles facing Britney Spears’ family members and the role of the star’s mother Lynne on Tuesday (January 8).

Quick to defend the Spears family was Bloom, who told Hammer, “I think we should all have compassion for her just like we would for any mother who’s facing a lot of difficulties in her family. But, by the way, Britney is not a child. She’s 26 years old. She probably is bipolar. I mean every mental health expert who’s talked about her has said she probably has a mental illness. That’s not her mother’s fault. That’s not her father’s fault. That’s a chemical problem.”

But Baker wasn’t so forgiving in wake of Lynne negotiating a reported $1 million payday from OK! magazine for an exclusive on her 16-year-old daughter Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy. “This family had death, disease, dysfunction and divorce. What does that equal – disaster,” Baker added. “It is a complete disaster to begin with so they’re all dealing with their own issues in their own way. And I think that it was just – you look at what Britney is doing today and it is no shock because you know where she came from.”

Meanwhile, Kareem said those pointing to Britney’s possible drug and alcohol issues that run in the family on her father Jamie’s side may be missing the mark. “You know, I think that substance abuse is so hot right now, the whole rehab craze and all of that,” he explained. “And look, I work in rehab as well as mental health. I think it’s a really important problem here in this case. But I think we’re overlooking the primary problem. The primary problem here appears to be a mental health problem. And then you see it’s called comorbidity where you have two diagnoses together. And that’s what we’re seeing here. We’re seeing about 60 to 70 percent of bipolar patients also have a substance problem. So the problem here is not an intervention that we have to do from an addiction standpoint. It’s proper medical care and medical treatment for a mental health problem.” Watch the segment below the fold.

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