<p>Britney Spears’ treatment by the paparazzi has come under new focus  </p>

Britney Spears’ treatment by the paparazzi has come under new focus

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Paparazzi who hounded Britney Spears are insisting they have no regrets – and it is not going down well.

While showbiz photographers are hardly known for their sentimentality, their nonchalant responses have drawn fury at a time when the spotlight is again shining on the pop star following a new documentary, Framing Britney Spears.

The New York Times documentary focuses on the #FreeBritney movement and examines Spears’ legal battle with her father Jamie over control of her finances, career and medical care, which he assumed in 2008 at the height of her mental health struggles.

The film has placed renewed attention on the her interactions with the photographers who sought their fortune by documenting her every move at the peak of her fame and subsequent breakdown, no matter how mundane her behaviour or how vulnerable her state appeared to be.

Insider reports that the idea that the paparazzi should feel some culpability for Spears’ woes during that time “all but failed to register as a reasonable question” when put to several people who made money taking photographs of Spears at the time.

Read more: Britney Spears shuts down Tucker Carlson in resurfaced clip

“I’m in it for the money and the history,” Insider reported Los Angeles paparazzo Rick Mendoza as saying over the phone. “You think I give a f*** about somebody getting up on the wrong side of the bed, and they don’t want their photograph taken? I don’t give a s***.”

Mendoza’s history with Spears is infamous. He notably sued the pop star in 2007, alleging that she had deliberately driven over his foot as he tried to photograph her upon her exit from a court hearing in which a judge temporarily suspended her rights to see her children.

In the interview last week, he suggested that the rise of the paparazzi – now largely defunct due to social media – had served to humanise stars.

Hollywood used to control the market. The paparazzi took that away,” Mendoza is reported as saying. “We made them people, too. I’ll show you when they’re taking out their garbage. I’ll show you when they’re picking their nose. Do people want to see that? Obviously yes.”

But Meg Handler, who edited pictures for Village Voice in the late 1990s and then at Star Magazine, where she reports being inundated with Britney photos, told Insider: “Britney was just as involved in when and how she was seen. Those photographers were called. Most of the time, her people called. ‘Britney’s going to be here’, ‘Britney’s going to be there’. That’s how it worked.”

The Princess of Pop’s career coincided with and, to some extent, was arguably fuelled by the meteoric rise of the paparazzi, with the industry booming thanks to the availability of cheaper camera equipment and an explosion of gossip magazines willing to pay handsomely for photographs.

“That’s where you got that pandemonium, that fever ... because there was six figures, potentially, at the end of all that,” said Randy Bauer, whose agency took the images of Spears shaving her head.

“Those things she’ll forever be known for, that was her own doing,” he told Insider. “We were just there documenting that.”

However, some people on social media were less than impressed with the paparazzi response.

But others suggested it was too easy just to blame the paparazzi.

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