The unlikely friendship that sprang up between Britney Spears and Mel Gibson in the wake of the pop star's much publicised woes has been further cemented with a joint family holiday. The Australian actor is playing host to the Toxic singer and her father on his remote Costa Rica ranch this week.
Braveheart star Mel's sprawling cattle farm on the country's northern Pacific coast would seem the perfect place to unwind away from the stresses of privacy-challenged LA. Located in an area of outstanding beauty, the 163-hectare property encompasses rugged forests and tranquil beaches.
In March Britney and devout Christian and father-of-seven Mel, who has faced his own share of personal trials, were seen dining together. Friends explained that the actor, who's admitted to being manic depressive, had become friendly with his former Malibu neighbour out of "an act of human kindness".
"Mel and his wife Robin clearly saw a woman in crisis and wanted to extend themselves in any way possible," the source said.
"They are among a handful of people in the world who understand the kind of intense attention that Britney goes through and how to keep one's family intact and out of the limelight," added the pal.
The group are understood to have travelled to the central American country on a private jet on Thursday, planning to return to California early next week.