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11th Sep 2017

WATCH: The ‘Leave Britney alone’ guy has recorded a special message on the 10th anniversary of his outburst

Good on you, Chris

Nooruddean Choudry

It was about more than just Britney Spears.

Ten years have passed since Chris Cocker uploaded the now infamous YouTube video of himself providing a passionate riposte to Britney Spears haters following her disastrous 2007 VMA rendition of ‘Gimme More’.

Spears was widely slated for the performance, and 19-year-old Crocker was clearly not in a good place when he shared his ‘leave her alone’ rant. It made him a subject of cruel mockery, and a perceived symbol of unhealthy celebrity devotion.

The truth is that the then teenager was going through a lot in his personal life, and as with many, found an escape in music. His raw emotions may have been focused on Britney criticism, but they were tangled up with fear and stress about his own mother.

Crocker explains that she had just returned from the war in Iraq, and as with many veterans, had fallen on hard times. She was struggling with addiction and became homeless. Chris himself needed years of therapy to deal with the impact on his emotional well-being.

A decade on, he thankfully seems far happier and well-adjusted, and shared a positive and helpful message about the lessons he has learned since his unplanned and unwanted type of fame. The main lessons are: the internet is forever, so be careful, and don’t let the haters get to you.

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