cry, the beloved spears

Pop superstar Madonna has compared Britney Spears' plight to the suffering people of Africa, calling the press coverage of her problems a "terrible infliction of cruelty".

Pop superstar Madonna has compared Britney Spears' plight to the suffering people of Africa, calling the press coverage of her problems a "terrible infliction of cruelty".

The Holiday hitmaker, who famously kissed Spears during a performance at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, wants the paparazzi to stop following the 26-year-old because it's distressing to see her life documented in such detail.

And the 49-year-old spots similarities between Spears and down-trodden Africans.

She says: "It's very painful [seeing pictures of Spears]. When you think about the way people treat each other in Africa, about witchcraft and people inflicting cruelty and pain on each other, then come back here and, you know, people taking pictures of people when they're in their homes, or suffering, and selling them, getting energy from them, that's a terrible infliction of cruelty.

"So who's worse off? You know what I mean?" - Wenn

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