Britney and Kevin Fight to Keep Custody Battle Private
Tuesday August 14, 2007
Lawyers for Britney Spears and Kevin Federline were in a Los Angeles family courtroom Tuesday morning, arguing that their ongoing custody case should remain sealed from the public.
An attorney for several media outlets filed an objection to Mark Vincent Kaplan's request to seal the records relating to his August 8 filing which requested that the court grant Federline primary custody of sons Sean Preston, 23 months, and Jayden James, 11 months. The motion in opposition of the seal states, "if public court business is conducted in private, it becomes impossible to expose corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, prejudice, and favoritism."
A hearing to evaluate the objections was set for August 14.
Outside the courthouse, Spears' lawyer Laura Wasser told Usmagazine.com, "The public's right to know is not outweighed by Federline's right to keep his kids safe. You have got to wonder why the public interest in this case is so great."
K-Fed's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, spoke at length about today's hearing and his client's aims. About the media's objection to the sealing of documents, he told the press, "Anytime you have a case with a minor child it is important that the children be protected."
On the topic of the initial decision to file for more custody, Kaplan explained, "Kevin is convinced that the more time he spends with the kids the more insulated they are from risk."
And what about the recent subpoenas of Spears' cousin Alli Sims and former bodyguard Daimon Shippen? Kaplan said, "Kevin is pursuing relevant information from all relevant sources...There will be others [subpoenaed] but I won't say who." He added, telling Us, "There is a significant strategy in place that Kevin is going to pursue whatever he needs to do to protect his kids."
Britney's Custody Defense Exhibit A: Us!
Posted Aug 14th 2007 2:14PM by TMZ Staff
Video: Britney's attorney comments on today's hearing
The attorneys for Britney Spears and Kevin Federline want to keep the custody proceedings between them private -- to avoid the kind of scene that took place outside court today.
Today's hearing was a bunch of nothing -- Britney and Fed-Ex weren't even there. So imagine the surprise of disso-queen Laura Wasser, who challenged a cacophony of photogs who stalked her down the street. "Britney and Kevin join in trying to keep the documents regarding their children private," Wasser opined. "And if you look around, you guys will understand why that is." Oh snap, she means us!
When one photog pressed Wasser about what might be in the custody documents, Wasser shot back, "There are things in there that aren't anybody else's business except for the families." But hey -- Britney's hoo-hoo isn't anyone else's business and we see that all the time!
K-Fed's Attorney: Kids Are Less at Risk With Him
Posted Aug 14th 2007 3:30PM by TMZ Staff
Video: Kevin's attorney speaks
While Britney Spears' attorney was railing against the media, Kevin Federline's attorney was doing some of the same -- from behind a bank of microphones.
Mark Vincent Kaplan echoed Wasser's sentiments outside of court today, agreeing that all matters of custody between Brit and K-Fed should be kept private and out of the media -- particularly things like their respective schedules. Given Britney's late night party habits, the paps know where the boys won't be -- with her!
When Kaplan was asked if the Fed-Ex is worried about his kids being in danger, Kaplan said simply, "Kevin is concerned that the more time the children are with him, he feels the more insulated they are from risks that would otherwise be possibly visited upon them."
While Kaplan wouldn't get into what he meant by "risks," he probably meant this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and ...
Britney, Kevin Seek Media Blackout
by Gina Serpe
Tue, 14 Aug 2007 12:19:31 PM PDT
With a custody battle in full swing, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline don't agree on much these days.
But on Tuesday, the ex-Chaotic tandem did find some common ground: They want to keep the details of their legal jostling under lock and key.
So far, so good.
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon said he wouldn't immediately unseal any court documents, but at the behest of an attorney representing media interests, he agreed to consider allowing the public access to the paperwork.
"They're appropriate participants here," Gordon said of a petition filed by People magazine and Los Angeles' NBC affiliate, KNBC-TV.
Alonzo Wickers IV, an attorney representing the press outlets, argued that at least some of the documents pertaining to the case should be made public.
Because of the minor children, 23-month-old Sean Preston and 11-month old Jayden James, Gordon granted a conditional seal on July 30.
But Wickers said that the release of basic information about child and spousal support would not cause harm to the kids. He had no problem with documents containing medical records, telephone numbers and other personal information being kept private.
"I think it's an area where there's not a lot of law," Gordon said in court, scheduling a subsequent hearing on the matter to allow attorneys for Spears and Federline time to make their case.
Outside court, Federline attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan said he and Spears' lawyer, Laura A. Wasser, want the court documents permanently sealed to protect the children.
He also got a plug in for his client, saying the boys are more "isolated from risks" when they're with Federline than when they're with their mother.
"This has nothing to do with money," Kaplan said. "It never has."
To make his point, Kaplan has already subpoenaed Spears sidekick Alli Sims and former bodyguard Daimon Shippen to testify on the pop star's fitness as a parent.
September is shaping up to big a busy month for Spears and Federline. Jayden turns one on Sept. 12, Gordon set a hearing on the media request for Sept. 14—the same day Sean celebrates his second birthday—and the next custody hearing takes place three days later.
Spears, 25, and Federline, 29, officially ended their marriage a week ago, signing off on a divorce settlement that included joint custody of the boys.
However, days later, Federline dispatched Kaplan back to court to file papers seeking primary physical custody of their sons.