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Early Saturday evening, stashed away in the back of her father’s Escalade, Britney Spears snuck out of her gated Studio City community to grab a bite to eat, not with her family or Adnan Ghalib or even — heaven forbid — Sam Lutfi, but with none other than Oscar-winning director, actor and producer Mel Gibson.

The pair met for a meal at nearby Romanov Restaurant and Lounge on Ventura Blvd., where they dined on some high-priced Russian eats for around two hours.

So what is the connection between these unlikely dinner pals? The most likely culprit is super-powered L.A. attorney Blair Berk, who not only counts Brit’s dad Jamie Spears as a client, but who infamously saved Mel from drowning in hot legal water after his 2006 DUI arrest. And while Berk is not representing the conservatorship directly, she has been involved in the restraining order against Sam, which will be discussed in court on Monday.

Could the two have been discussing an upcoming project? "It’s unlikely that they were talking about working together on anything specific," an industry insider tells OK!. "Although Mel has used a lot of inexperienced actors in his last two films."

More likely, says the insider, Mel was sharing some of his insight into how to handle the negative press — something he became all-too-well acquainted with following his embarrassing arrest over two years ago. "He understands what she’s going through," explains the source. "And he certainly has advice on how to not let it destroy your life."

In fact, in 2006, the Braveheart star had plenty to say about the singer. "I feel compassion for someone like Britney," Mel said. "She never gets a moment… Your heart goes out to her because I’m positive that, at her core, she’s a good woman."

Of course, it is possible that Mel was giving Brit a little pep talk about bringing the mother of two into the fold of his ultra-conservative Church of the Holy Family in Malibu. If so, it wouldn’t be the first time that Britney, who was raised a Southern Baptist, has attempted to explore other religious beliefs.

In 2004, the pop star briefly dabbled with Kabbalah, even tattooing her neck with symbols tied to the religion. Of course, as reported the other day by OK!, that ink appears to have been recently erased.

(video courtesy hollywood.tv)

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