Mara Wilson was "terrified" by "the way people talked about Britney Spears" early in her career.

Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson

The 33-year-old star - who rose to fame as a child star in films like 'Matilda' and 'Mrs. Doubtfire' - is six years younger than the 'Toxic' hitmaker, and she has opened up on the parallels between their experiences growing up in the spotlight.

Writing for The New York Times newspaper, she said: "The way people talked about Britney Spears was terrifying to me then, and it still is now.

"Her story is a striking example of a phenomenon I’ve witnessed for years: Our culture builds these girls up just to destroy them.

"Fortunately people are becoming aware of what we did to Ms. Spears and starting to apologise to her. But we’re still living with the scars."

Mara also detailed her own memories of being sexualised as a child, despite only appearing in family movies and never wearing "anything more revealing than a knee-length sundress".

She added: "That was all intentional: My parents thought I would be safer that way. But it didn't work."

She added: "It was cute when 10-year-olds sent me letters saying they were in love with me. It was not when 50-year-old men did...

"Before I even turned 12, there were images of me on foot fetish websites and photoshopped into child pornography. Every time, I felt ashamed."

However, Mara also reflected on how her life went differently to Britney's despite their "familiar" experiences, and she put that down to the support she received from family and friends.

She said: "I always had my family's support. I knew that I had money put away for me, and it was mine.

"If I needed to escape the public eye, I vanished—safe at home or school."

Meanwhile, Britney's boyfriend Sam Asghari recently spoke out in support of her amid the release of documentary 'Framing Britney Spears' – which delves into her rise to fame, as well as her mental health and legal struggles, and her conservatorship – by vowing to give her the future she "wants and deserves".

The 'Family Business' actor said: "I have always wanted nothing but the best for my better half, and will continue to support her following her dreams and creating the future she wants and deserves.

"I am thankful for all of the love and support she is receiving from her fans all over the world, and I am looking forward to a normal, amazing future together."

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