It’s no secret that Britney Spears has had issues in the past with a wild lifestyle, alcohol problems, and mental breakdown. John Sundahl, a close friend who Britney credits with helping her through her most difficult times, has unfortunately passed away this week. His helicopter was shot down by the Taliban while he was working in Afghanistan.
As a teen, Britney was a sweet girl with a golden singing voice, and a decent role model for others around her age. Once Spears reached adulthood, however, she flew off the handle and went bat crap crazy for a while. It’s not uncommon with child stars. Miley Cyrus comes to mind as the most recent sweetheart-turned-rebel.
Contact Music reminds us that the instability Britney had been dealing with for some time culminated in a mental breakdown in 2007. Spears divorced husband, Kevin Federline, and subsequently lost custody of her two sons due to being heavily intoxicated in their presence early in 2008. Well, that would drive anyone over the brink.
Britney Spears was placed in the care of her father, Jamie Spears, and began a journey back to good health and better decisions. Britney is no longer viewed as the hot mess she once was.
The Mirror reports that during the time when Spears was at her worst, Britney met John Sundahl at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He played a vital role in encouraging Spears to clean up her life. Though they dated briefly, the relationship was better suited to friendship, and they remained close comrades. John spoke about aiding Britney.
“I told her, ‘If you fall off the wagon I don’t think you’ll live. I told her, ‘If you don’t want to get sober for yourself, do it for your kids’. She truly wants to stop what she’s doing, and she has changed her life in another direction. She doesn’t get drunk every night and pass out.”
Alcohol and drug abuse is often started due to some kind of emotional pain that is too hard to work through. Kudos to Britney Spears for clawing her way out of that lifestyle and becoming a healthier person, for herself and her family.
Spears is reportedly devastated by the news of her friend’s death. John Sundahl had been working as a private pilot, transporting officials across the country. His helicopter was shot down by the Taliban near Kabul. His brother, Karl, has spoken about his death.
“John was on a journey from Kabul when he was shot at and killed. We were told by the State that John had died, they told us the Taliban did it…We know Britney’s upset too. John was still good friends with Britney, he talked to her regularly. They dated for a while but always kept in touch afterwards.”
Britney’s sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, sent out a post on Twitter that Britney retweeted. It’s a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Appropriate, since yesterday was Dr. King’s holiday. One must wonder, however, if the post was in honor of John Sundahl.
The death of John Sundahl is certainly a tragedy. As his brother, Karl, mentions, John was trying to repair the country and help people. His work was honorable, and he will be remembered as such. Britney Spears will surely grieve the loss.
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