During her darkest period, Britney Spears was dragged to the hospital for observation, lost custody of her children, smashed a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella, spent all her late-night hours in drugstores, and spoke in a British accent. She did not, however, get arrested.
Christina Aguilera has been arrested, just a few weeks into her dark period. The 30-year-old singer was busted with her boyfriend early this morning in Los Angeles. TMZ reports 25-year-old Matthew Rutler was taken in for driving under the influence and held on $30,000 bail; Aguilera was booked for public intoxication, which a source tells the website meant she was “extremely intoxicated” and “unable to take care of herself.” The star has since been released from custody (she was fingerprinted and placed in a cell) and will not be prosecuted for the misdemeanor, L.A. County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore tells TMZ.
TMZ lists Aguilera’s height and weight at the time of her arrest at 5’2″ and 100 pounds. While this seems like an obnoxious detail to include (and one the website might not publish for a comparable male star), it does indicate the singer’s fragile physical state — according to those figures, her body mass index is 18.3, which falls in the “underweight” range.
Based on the limited details available at press time, it appears that Aguilera’s mega-drunkenness was only discovered because of Rutler’s DUI arrest, though her behavior has become increasingly erratic in recent weeks. The singer filed for divorce from husband Jordan Bratman in October, forgot the words to the National Anthem in early February, and stumbled (after belting a tribute to Aretha Franklin) at the Grammys two weeks ago.
The singer’s downward spiral began last summer, when Aguilera’s first album in four years, “Bionic,” failed to catch on with fans. (The LP has not yet gone gold, meaning it has sold less than 500,000 copies; all her previous English language studio releases have sold platinum — more than 1 million copies.) A “Bionic” tour was nixed, reportedly so Aguilera could rehearse more and focus on promoting the film “Burlesque,” though industry experts theorized soft ticket sales were likely more to blame. Aguilera never rescheduled the dates, and “Burlesque” eventually underwhelmed at the box office, taking in less than $40 million domestically despite a big promotional push around the film’s Aguilera/Cher pairing. One of the songs Aguilera cowrote for the film, “Bound to Me,” did go on to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, but wound up losing to another track from the same movie: “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” which was written by Diane Warren and performed by Cher.