January 14, 2004 01:00 PM

After she shocked the planet with a trip to a Las Vegas chapel followed by a quick annulment, Britney Spears, long an avid fan of the photo-op, suddenly got camera-shy.

But Spears’s reps vehemently deny recent talk that the pop princess is in rehab — adding that the singer is simply plunging back into work, PEOPLE reports in its latest issue, on newsstands Friday.

Once Spears’s Jan. 3 marriage to childhood pal Jason Alexander was over, the uncoupled pair retreated to separate corners in search of privacy. Britney was photographed leaving Las Vegas after the wedding, then didn’t pop up in public until Jan. 8 in Tampa, where she took in a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from a private press box with three female friends. And no, she wasn’t scouting locations for her own three-ring circus.

According to her reps, Spears is preparing for a concert tour and an upcoming Showtime special. Spears also will have a role in the film version of “A Mother’s Gift,” a book she wrote with her mother, Lynne. They also say she’ll soon call MTV’s “TRL” to promote her new single, but they won’t divulge her location.

Alexander was lying low too, not that he seemed all broken up by the end of his brief marriage. Alexander has used his Camaro as a decoy to help him dodge the media spotlight, but he has been spotted out at his usual bar haunts in Hammond, La., playing pool, dancing and laughing with pals.

Wearing a brown suede jacket, striped shirt, jeans, earring, gold necklace and sandals, Alexander joked with friends and strangers alike at one of his favorite hangouts recently. “I wore flip-flops to my wedding!” Alexander laughed. Says good buddy Jared Prescott: “He’s a great guy and he’s been though a lot, but he’s doing great.”

That said, Alexander has also been consulting with an agent and an adviser, former pro football player Michael Jackson, who says Alexander won’t be talking to the press until there is a “meeting of minds of all parties.” Stay tuned.

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