Britney Spears is being sued by Dawn Noel, one of Spears' former backup dancers, who is claiming that Spears broke Noel's nose and then backed out of a promise to pay Noel's medical bills. According to NBC News, the lawsuit (which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 5, 2014) is seeking unspecified damages and claims that Noel now has a "permanent disability" that has prevented her from working.
The injury took place on Aug. 19, 2013, at a dance studio in Woodland Hills, Calif., during rehearsals for Spears' "Work Bitch" music video. Noel alleges in the lawsuit that Spears arrived "in a disheveled and confused state" and had difficulty going through basic dance moves.
According to the lawsuit: "After approximately half an hour of rehearsing, as [Noel] stood off to [Spears'] side, Britney twirled in an unbalanced and reckless manner, arms extended out to her sides, and forcefully backhanded [Noel] in the face."
Noel then "heard a cracking sound which they immediately knew to be the sound of [Noel's] nose breaking."
Spears apologized and then kept rehearsing. According to lawsuit, Noel was in such pain that she could no longer keep rehearsing and sought medical treatment. She was diagnosed with having fractures to her nose and then had surgery.
The lawsuit claims that Spears and her Reign Deer Entertainment told Noel that they would pay her medical bills for the injury, but then months later, they told Noel that they would not be paying her medical bills after all.
Spears and her representative are not commenting.
The lawsuit is one of several legal problems that Spears has faced over the years. In 2007, she had a notoriously bitter divorce and custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline. That year, she lost custody of their two sons to Federline. Leading up to losing custody of her sons, she had a very public meltdown, including shaving her head bald and beating a paparazzi photographer's car with an umbrella.
In late January 2008, Spears was involuntarily committed to a hospital psychiatric ward and released about five days later. She was then placed under a conservatorship led by her father, and she remains under the conservatorship.
Spears was also sued for breach of contract and defamation by Sam Lutfi, who claimed that he was her manager in 2007 and early 2008. In 2012, the same year that Spears became a judge on "The X Factor" U.S., Lutfi's lawsuit against Spears went to trial. Spears did not attend the trial, but testimony during the trial revealed that by 2007, Spears had become addicted to meth and had at least one failed attempt at rehab.
Witnesses also testified that Spears' downward spiral began after her 2002 breakup with Justin Timberlake, whom she had dated for three years, because she thought they were going to get married, but he dumped her. There have been rumors that Timberlake broke up with Spears because she cheated on him with his friend Wade Robson, who at the time was a dancer/choreographer who worked with Spears and *NSYNC, the boy band that made Timberlake famous.
A few weeks after the trial's testimony began, Lutfi's lawsuit was dismissed on Nov. 1, 2012, before the jury could deliberate on the case.
Spears lasted just one season on "The X Factor" U.S., during which she got mostly negative reviews from viewers for being a "dull" and "robotic" judge. Shortly after reports surfaced that "The X Factor" would not be renewing her contract (in other words, the show planned to fire her), Spears announced in January 2013 that she was leaving "The X Factor" to focus on her music career.
In December 2013, Spears' eighth studio album, "Britney Jean," was released, and it is her lowest-selling studio album in her career so far. It has failed to go gold or platinum in most countries.
Also in December 2013, Spears began a concert residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. She is expected to continue the residency for at least a year.