Britney Spears attends the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton. Valerie Macon/AFP
Pop princess Britney Spears took to Instagram Wednesday amid swirling rumours she was being held against her will in a mental facility, telling her 22 million followers: "All is well."
"Hi guys. Just checking in with all of you who are concerned about me. All is well," the 37-year-old "Toxic" singer said in a brief video message.
"My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately, so I just needed time to deal, but don't worry I'll be back very soon."
Entertainment website TMZ and industry bible "Variety" reported last month that Spears had voluntarily checked into a mental health facility as she dealt with a number of personal issues.
The Mississippi native had announced earlier this year she was taking a break from her Las Vegas residency to concentrate on her father's declining health.
"My situation is unique, but I promise I'm doing what's best at this moment,
A hiatus in social media activity sparked a number of unfounded conspiracy theories about the singer being held against her will at a "wellness centre," many posted alongside the hashtag #FreeBritney.
There was even a protest on Monday outside the city hall in West Hollywood, California, where fans brandished placards bearing the hashtag and demanding her release.
Spears accompanied her Instagram video with a caption expressing frustration over "just so many things crazy things being said" and complaining that her family was receiving death threats.
"My situation is unique, but I promise I'm doing what's best at this moment," she wrote, without directly addressing the mental health facility rumours.
The artist hit the headlines 11 years ago when she was rushed to a psychiatric unit after a prolonged public meltdown during which she had shaved her head, filed for divorce and attacked a photographer's car with an umbrella.
In a rare public sighting that appeared to give the lie to the recent rumours, Spears was seen buying frozen yogurt with her bodyguard in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday, People magazine reported.
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