LOS ANGELES (CAP) - Amidst the well-wishers, the make-shift shrines and throngs of hopeful paparazzi, one man with a megaphone enthusiastically works the crowd, one fist pumping, one message clear.
"Free Britney now!" a hoarse Tom Cruise yells to the crowd, which politely applauds. The actor has been at it since Sunday, and is vowing to continue his vigil until pop princess Britney Spears is released from the UCLA Medical Center, where she is being treated for manic-depression.
"I know the history of psychiatry, and psychiatry is pseudoscience," Cruise tells CAP New during a brief pause in his campaigning. "They've got her so pumped up on drugs she probably doesn't know what she's doing. Of course she seems crazy, she's on crazy pills! Hahahahahaha!"
It's not the Scientologist's first dust-up with the psychiatric profession. He famously took on Brooke Shields and her postpartum depression back in 2005, and has shown his disdain for the psychiatric couch by abusing any couch he runs across, such as his couch-jumping exhibition on the Oprah Winfrey Show, again in 2005.
"Tom Cruise broke three springs in that couch. Stedman used to NAIL my ass, and I'm talking HARD, on that thing two, three times a week with no problems, and that crazy cracker ruined it jumping on it," Oprah revealed on Entertainment Tonight last year.
"Unbelievable," she added.
But for now, Britney Spears is in Cruise's sights, and if a judge's ruling this week holds up, he could be out here riling up the crowd with his megaphone and his "Free Britney, Y'All" t-shirts for another two weeks.
- Rich Gray