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Melissa Joan Hart Explains Decades Old Teary-Eyed Photo With Britney Spears

The actor revealed on the 'Pod Meets World' podcast how she came to pose with Spears for a photo after a 'Maxim' photoshoot nearly got her fired from 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch.'

Melissa Joan Hart; Britney Spears
Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images; VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Melissa Joan Hart finally explained the tears behind that decades-old photo of herself posing with Britney Spears.

The actor recently opened up on the Pod Meets World podcast and explained that the photo was actually taken on what she called the "worst day of my life."

Hart was at the premiere of her movie Drive Me Crazy, and Spears was in attendance because her song by nearly the same name was in the film's soundtrack.

Hart shared that just moments before posing with Spears, she received a phone call from her lawyer who told her she was being sued and fired from her show Sabrina the Teenage Witch because of her 1999 photoshoot with Maxim.

She told the hosts:

“My lawyer shows up and goes, ‘You did a photo shoot for Maxim magazine?’”
“I'm like, ‘Yes, I did.’ They're like, ‘Well, you're being sued and fired from your show. So don't talk to the press. Don't do anything.’”

Of course, the actor was hysterical, and almost immediately she received a phone call from her mother and producer, as well.

After seeing her in tears, her father, who Hart described as not the "warm and cuddly" type, asked if she was okay and then embraced her, which made her cry even harder.

"He lived in New York while I lived in LA so he wasn't really around for the emotional stuff, and he comes up to me and goes, 'You OK?' I was like, 'No!'"
“I'm like crying even harder because my daddy's hugging me."
“I'm being fired from my show. I was just fired from the movie. I just broke up with my boyfriend.”

And not long after, Spears made her way over for a photo with the sobbing Hart.

You can listen, below.

Listeners of the podcast were completely unaware of the Maxim controversy, and many commented on what a stressful night it must have been for Hart.









Thankfully, the show went on, and the actor was neither sued nor fired.

“Nothing came of it, but of course, in the moment, I didn't know what was going on.”

Hart came to find out that the problem was actually that the magazine used her character's name on the cover instead of the actor's actual name.

“What happened was the magazine wrote ‘Sabrina, your favorite witch without [a stitch]…’”
“I’d never heard of someone being on the cover of a magazine and not using their name, they used Sabrina.”
“In my Archie Comics contract, it said I would never play the character [of Sabrina] naked… so here they were thinking I’m in breach because I’m playing the character."
“That was supposed to be me promoting my movie, it wasn’t supposed to be a character. I had no control over what they wrote on the cover.”

What a stressful moment! We're glad everything—except the photo with Spears—turned out okay.