Did the world's most famous pop star try to avoid annoying paparazzi by staging "secret" nuptials last weekend -- a month ahead of her scheduled dream day in October? Or did she take the media for a ride by staging a fake wedding and selling the pictures in an elaborate hoax?
These were the questions swirling about on Wednesday as People Magazine published "exclusive" wedding photographs and rival Us Weekly claimed it had a document proving the whole thing was a fake.
Spears' New York publicist Leslie Sloane said Spears and Kevin Federline "are married. It is not a fake anything." But Spears admits no wedding license has been filed with authorities.
People Magazine released exclusive pictures of Saturday's wedding at a private house in Los Angeles along with interviews in which Spears, 22, and Federline, 26, gushed about an emotional evening so secret that even the bride's mother was kept in the dark until a few hours beforehand.
"We were being stalked every day, everywhere we went. It made our lives and our families miserable. So the only way we could really avoid all that is to push up the (Oct. 16) wedding date and do it immediately." Federline told People.
But rival Us Weekly claimed it had a legal document signed by Spears and Federline four days before the event proving it was a fake.
The four-page document, which Us Weekly said had been authenticated, said Spears and Federline agreed "to participate in a 'faux' wedding with one another on Sept. 18 ... however they do not intend to and shall not validly marry one another on said date."
Us claimed that arguments over a prenuptial agreement meant that Spears and Federline could not go ahead with a wedding last Saturday.
Us also noted there was the neat timing of Spears' video for her latest single "My Prerogative," which depicts the blond singer and Federline on their wedding day.
"She came up with the concept of the video and it was released (Sept. 16) to go with her wedding. She's all about art imitating life," Us quoted one unidentified source as saying.
People dismissed suggestions it and Britain's OK! magazine paid a reported $2 million for the pictures in a hoax cooked up by Spears to throw the media off the scent of a big wedding bash in the near future.
"No. What's more likely is that a magazine that didn't get the wedding is now crying sour grapes," said People executive editor Larry Hackett.
One thing is clear; Spears and Federline have not yet filed a marriage license as they are required to do within 90 days under California law. They told People they had been legally advised to wait for a grace period after finalizing the prenuptial agreement.
"I know we're not completely legal until we file the license, which we'll do next week. But in a real sense, a spiritual sense, we're married. We're just following our lawyer's advice," Spears told People.
"I believe you marry in your heart and that means much more than a piece of paper," she said.
It was not the first time Spears has confused the media. In January, she wed a former high school sweetheart in Las Vegas and had the marriage annulled three days later.
Speaking of Britney this might be sorta off topic but at the mall yesterday I smelled and tried some of her new perfume 'Curious' and must admit I sorta liked it. I might get a bottle of it when I'm outta my regular and when they put it in a gift set package around Xmas.