Friday, September 28, 2007

Transcript of Tony Barretto on Larry King Live

Britney Spears' Ex-Bodyguard Tells All
Aired September 27, 2007 - 21:00 ET

TONY POTTS, HOST: Tonight, he says he saw Britney Spears doing drugs after she got out of rehab. Now, her former bodyguard in his first live primetime interview with the details you haven't heard on why he fears for her kids and for her life.
Meanwhile, Britney keeps us buzzing.


BRITNEY SPEARS: Oh, you're so cute. Stop. (INAUDIBLE).


POTTS: Now she's inviting the paparazzi along to the ladies room. We've invited some celebrity judges to lay down the law on Britney and on more big names behaving badly, from Lindsay Lohan to Kiefer Sutherland to O.J. Simpson and more.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Hi, everybody.

I'm Tony Potts in for Larry tonight.

Now, we've all watched as Britney Spears made her journey from Mouseketeer to pop tart to troubled divorcee. And tonight we get an inside look at the drama that is Britney Spears' life straight from the man who used to be her bodyguard.

Joining me in studio, former bodyguard Tony Barretto.

He is here with his attorney, Gloria Allred.

Thank you both for being here.

You know, my question to you is, Tony, why would you want to be Britney Spears' bodyguard?

How'd that happen?

TONY BARRETTO, BRITNEY SPEARS' FORMER BODYGUARD IN FIRST LIVE PRIMETIME INTERVIEW: Well, it was a job offer that was given to me and I thought it would be the perfect chance for me to get some training in my field. It was a new field that I was venturing into. And what a great opportunity to work with somebody.

POTTS: And this was from March until May of this year, approximately two months?

BARRETTO: That's correct.

POTTS: Now in that time, you've said that you saw things that you guys both were concerned about -- Britney's behavior, her safety, possibly, for the kids, as well.

Take me through an instance -- I know that she was supposed to play in Anaheim, California, a concert. You guys were looking for her. She was nowhere to be found. You learned that she may be in a hotel room. You knock on the door.

When you knock on that door and it opens, what do you see, Tony?

BARRETTO: Just, you know, the room was completely a mess. It looked like it had been partied in all night. There was food and clothing and alcohol throughout the room. I entered the room for one concern, and that was for Britney's safety. So I began to look around for any possible weapons or things of that nature. And that's with I observed some substance on the table next to the bed.

POTTS: What substance?

BARRETTO: It was a white powdery substance that had a straw next to it. In my professional training, it appeared to be a narcotic.

POTTS: And what did you do then when you saw that?

Did you think in your mind, we need to get her out of here?

BARRETTO: Well, we knew we needed to get her out of there as soon as possible. That was our whole intention of being there. And I just continued to look around for other things, which I saw a pipe on the other nightstand.

POTTS: A crack pipe?

BARRETTO: A pipe -- it was a clear pipe. I don't believe it was a crack pipe. I don't know, it could have been marijuana -- perhaps a methamphetamine pipe. It was very similar to -- those are kind of a similar nature. And, you know, I didn't really take a whole long time to sit there and debate what it was. It was a pipe. It was clear it was a smoking device. Then I moved forward looking for weapons. And we ultimately got her out of the room.

POTTS: Was there anybody else in the room at that time?

BARRETTO: There was an individual there that I identified.

POTTS: Can you identify him?

Gloria, can he?

BARRETTO: I don't know, (INAUDIBLE)?

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR TONY BARRETTO: Well, we'll just say that he was a male.

POTTS: He was a male.

BARRETTO: It was a male.

POTTS: Was he awake, passed out?

BARRETTO: He appeared to either be playing asleep or he was asleep. He didn't pose a threat to me.

POTTS: How long had you been on the job at this point?

BARRETTO: You know, the whole employment was brief, so, perhaps, the third, fourth, fifth week. I don't remember.

POTTS: That's some introduction.

So tell me, you know, Britney Spears prior to that, her conditions. You find her in this hotel room.

What's her condition?

What does she look like?

BARRETTO: She looked like -- she appeared to be under the influence. She was kind of incoherent. She was looking for her cell phone, which we ultimately found. It was in her purse the whole time. She was biting her nails. Her pupils were dilated. She didn't conversate well -- sweating, acting nervously. And, in my professional opinion, I think she was under the influence.

POTTS: So you get her out of there.

Do you have to carry her out or did she go willingly?

BARRETTO: She walked. She walked out with myself and my partner and we got her into her SUV.

POTTS: And then what happened?

BARRETTO: We, you know, headed down Sunset and she wanted -- she said she felt sick and she needed some medication. She wanted the air conditioner to be turned up full blast. And so after that, you know, she started to feel uncomfortable in the SUV with us and she wanted to go into her tour bus -- which we stopped in traffic and got her tour bus next to us and we...

POTTS: You just stopped in traffic.

She's in one car and she wants to get in the tour bus and you stop dead in traffic?


POTTS: On what Boulevard?

BARRETTO: Sunset Boulevard. And that's not uncommon with Britney. I mean...

POTTS: The middle of the day?

BARRETTO: The middle of the day, to stop traffic, you know, I mean -- you've seen plenty of shots with her just doing, you know, things that -- you know, you do what she does, basically, and what she wants to do. And she wanted to go to her tour bus and we provided that for her.

POTTS: And then does she go to the show?

Do you think at any time, jeez, maybe we should take her to the hospital, she looks a little bad?

BARRETTO: My partner was coordinating the logistics of where we were going.

POTTS: What was your role, by the way?

BARRETTO: My role was the big guy and that's why she hired me...

POTTS: You filled that one out pretty well.


BARRETTO: Thank you. You know, she hired me for that purpose. She wanted a big, scary looking guy and I filled that role. Again, my job was to protect her, mainly just, you know, watch over her. Everyone else had a different part, you know, a job. And my partner was taking care of that.

POTTS: When you saw her like this, did you feel -- was she ever around the kids in an instance when she was like that?

BARRETTO: You know, the behavior that she displayed during these times was that -- it was clear that she was under the influence, to me -- parallel to other behavior that she displayed at home. And that's what led me to believe that she was using narcotics, although I've never saw her use narcotics in front of the children.

POTTS: But did you ever see her use drugs personally?


POTTS: How many times?

BARRETTO: Twice. Two occasions. Both were at a Hollywood nightclub. The first happened when, at her private table, she asked that I hold a curtain to cover her private area...

POTTS: Wait, this in the middle of a club.

BARRETTO: Not in the middle. It was more toward the back corner.

POTTS: And she wanted you to hold a curtain up? BARRETTO: Yes. She wanted me to hold a curtain up and I did so for a length of time. And, you know, it was getting difficult after a while to hold a big, heavy curtain up. And I turned, I looked over my shoulder to see if it would be OK to, you know, let go of the curtain, and that's when I noticed she was doing this.

POTTS: And we should explain, I believe, if I'm correct, that you were hired shortly after she came out of rehab?

BARRETTO: Right. Right.

POTTS: So you must have thought it didn't go so well in rehab.

BARRETTO: Well, I mean I tried to keep my personal opinions away from her personal life. Again, I was just there to work.

POTTS: And subsequently you were fired.

For what reason?

BARRETTO: Well, she made it very clear to me that I was terminated because I failed to hear her directive. She dropped a hat -- actually left a music studio and she had a frustrating day of some sort. So she was frustrated. She was made aware of the fact that I'm hard of hearing. That was clear when she hired me...

POTTS: So you're hard of hearing, and she knew that, apparently?

BARRETTO: Oh, definitely. I made that -- I make that, to all my employers, well known, because it is an issue. And, you know, she was made aware of that and she didn't care. She was upset because I didn't hear her say, you know, pick up the hat. And she let me go.

POTTS: Did she tell you or did stuff just end up outside or what happened?

BARRETTO: Yes, well, we -- she told her assistant, who relayed that to my partner and ultimately I had to wait outside. I couldn't enter the grounds to, you know, get my check or anything.

POTTS: So some people, Gloria, might say this a former employee who's disgruntled and has an ax to grind.

How do you counter that?

And maybe he has some sour grapes?

ALLRED: Well, I think that his motives are pure, Tony. And his motive is he wants to protect the children. He gave a declaration in this case under penalty of perjury, that is in the custody battle between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. And he was the only witness to give a declaration about her behavior post-rehabilitation. That's why he was a key witness.

He was there at the courthouse. He was there to be cross-examined by Britney's attorneys, if they wished to call him and attempt to discredit him or undermine his declaration in any way.

POTTS: Why do you think they didn't?

ALLRED: They declined to do so.

POTTS: Why didn't they, do you think?

ALLRED: I think -- I mean I can't read their minds. But my opinion as an attorney who's experienced -- I've been in a law practice for 31 years -- is that they most likely believed that it would be more hurtful to their client to call him to the witness stand than helpful, because had he testified, he might then have opened up even more doors -- more areas that would not have been helpful to their client.

So the bottom line is they had their opportunity to try to discredit him, to say he was a disgruntled employee. They presented no evidence to that effect. They didn't cross-examine him.

Therefore, his declaration was received into evidence. The court, when it issued its order in the temporary custody matter, said that based on the evidence, that Miss. Spears is an habitual, frequent and continuous user of controlled substances and alcohol.

Well, what's the evidence the court looked at?

His was the only evidence of that. So apparently the court gave it great weight and apparently did believe him. And I think that's really important, because he's accomplished his goal of helping to protect the kids, because she was ordered, Tony, then -- based on that finding -- to undergo drug testing and not to take drugs or alcohol within 12 hours of having custody of the children, or during the time the children are with her. So at least that's some protection. POTTS: We're going to take a break.

But when we come back, also I want to talk to Tony about the possible suicide of Britney Spears, if he heard anything, if he saw anything and would that ever damage the kids, as well.

Also, when we come back, K-Fed -- what can Tony Barretto tell us about the ex-husband who's battling Britney for their kids.

And, of course, your e-mail questions, when LARRY KING LIVE continues.


SPEARS: Oh, God.

Cool and I'm not really fazed by that much stuff.



POTTS: Welcome back. We are with Tony Barretto.

He is Britney Spears' former bodyguard.

And, also, Tony's attorney, Gloria Allred.

I want to ask you, Tony, about Britney Spears and did you ever fear at any time that you were with her that she may -- she may die, she could possibly die?

BARRETTO: We had some concerns. My partner stressed some concerns that he had. He had worked with her longer than I had. And he had made it apparent to me that there may be a possibility of that. And that was a very stressful day.

POTTS: Any instances when you were with her that she put your -- or her life in danger, her kids' life in danger?

BARRETTO: I think she does that daily. I think that's apparent to the media, to the public, you know, and hopefully to the court, as well. I mean her behavior is just so strange and unpredictable, that we don't ever know what's going to happen.

POTTS: Now I heard this, one time she was driving on the wrong side of the road with the kids in the back of the car?

BARRETTO: Yes, that was -- that was a scary day. It actually, you know, made me almost want to quit that day. She just...


BARRETTO: Well, because, I mean, when there's kids involved, I mean come on. They're -- what are you going to -- the kids cannot do anything for themselves. And we can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do, because she's my client. And how powerless you are and how powerless you feel in that situation.

POTTS: So you're -- are you following behind?

How are you...

BARRETTO: We were. We were following behind her and she -- she didn't give us any directive where we were going. We didn't have any setup plan where we were going. She just drove aimlessly through town on the wrong side of the road, doing illegal U-turns, and ultimately came back home and didn't accomplish anything but endanger herself and the kids. And...

POTTS: Did you think she was ever suicidal?

Did you ever fear that maybe she might do something to herself and the kids?

BARRETTO: Well, I -- well, again, we had some thoughts and concerns about that. My partner was the one who had conveyed to me what his concerns were. And I was concerned, as well, because of his knowledge, you know, personal knowledge of her more so than, you know, mine, because I was new. You know, of course, we were concerned. We were always concerned.

POTTS: One of the things -- let's go to an e-mail right now, because this is a question I had for you anyway. And we had a ton of e-mails about this. "If, indeed, you witnessed the behavior you say, why did you wait to come forward? Why didn't you immediately report it to child protective services and not wait the four months from May until September?

BARRETTO: Well, I think people are assuming that. You know, no one knows the exact facts of this case. That's the reason why I am here today.

There were attempts made.

POTTS: Gloria, there were?

ALLRED: Yes. And...

POTTS: Why can't we...

ALLRED: And I will say this, that I have spoken with county counsel for child protective services and they're certainly aware of our concerns.

POTTS: Did you ever see Kevin Federline, the father?

BARRETTO: I've never met Kevin.

POTTS: Never met him?

BARRETTO: I never met Kevin.

POTTS: In the two months?

BARRETTO: I've never met Kevin. I've met his bodyguard.

POTTS: His bodyguard?


POTTS: Is -- so when you're with Britney, and Britney does have the kids, give me an idea of how much time she actually spends with the kids.

BARRETTO: You know, that's another thing I want to make clear. It was -- not everything was bad. Britney clearly showed her want and will to be with the kids and to love her kids, you know. But there were situations that weren't consistent with that. She would go swimming with her kids. She loved to swim with her kids, shopping with her kids, spend the day with her kids, speak with her kids...

POTTS: Were you concerned, though, if she was a bit out of her mind, that she was going swimming in a pool?

BARRETTO: Well, you know...

POTTS: It's not a really...

BARRETTO: ...again, I can only echo that we were always concerned because her behavior is never consistent. It's (INAUDIBLE)...

POTTS: You can swim, I take it?

BARRETTO: I'm sorry?

POTTS: You can swim.

BARRETTO: I can swim. Absolutely.


BARRETTO: I can swim quite well.

POTTS: I just wanted to make sure.

One more thing I want to ask you about.


POTTS: And I want to see how this played at home for you. I do know that she walked around naked, apparently, in front of you guys.

Was there a speech that they gave you?

I mean how did...

BARRETTO: Yes, I was...

POTTS: You'd be shocked if you didn't know about it.

BARRETTO: Well, when I first came on, I was, you know, talking to my boss and he pretty much gave me the whole what to do thing, you know, the whole speech about what to do when you see her nude.

POTTS: And what do you do?

BARRETTO: Well, he says, hey, you know, you play coy and you be bashful and turn around and, you know, you go about your business. But you don't make it a point that it's, you know, a discomfort you, and you'll keep your job.

POTTS: Really?

And so you're going through all of this. You've been on the job a couple of months.

How does it -- you're married, correct, with a couple of kids?


POTTS: How does this play at home when you go home and you tell your wife well, I'm -- my boss is naked all the time?

It's Britney Spears.

BARRETTO: Well, it's my common law wife and we've been together for a long time. But, nonetheless, she was uncomfortable with it. I mean we had some discussions and some concerns. And, you know, like I said, I was pretty much going to quit. But I felt like I needed to stay there because of the kids. But it really put a very big bearing on my relationship for a while.

POTTS: Did you ever pray for her?

BARRETTO: I always pray for her. I pray for her daily.

POTTS: Really?

BARRETTO: I have the utmost hope for her.

POTTS: And what is that prayer?

What do you say?

BARRETTO: You know, I want her to do well. I want her to reach out to her family. I hope the Spears family is listening and comes together somehow and help their daughter, because she has nobody around her and it's...

POTTS: Is she lonely?

BARRETTO: I think she is. I think she's got some very, very, you know, big issues on her plate here and she needs some help.

POTTS: Gloria, what's next?

ALLRED: Well, I can say that I'm personally concerned about the children. And I'm concerned because the court did find, based on his declaration, that she is a habitual, continuous and frequent user of controlled substances and alcohol.

So I say that the court's decision, then, to leave the children with her under those circumstances, at least 50 percent of the time, I think is not consistent with the court's finding. I think he should have removed the children from her until such time as she could demonstrate to the court that she's no longer a user of those controlled substances and alcohol. That, I think, would have given her a real incentive to clean herself up and get the help that she needs because, obviously, she'd want the children back with her. And that has not yet happened.

POTTS: Well, let's hope she gets some help somehow.

BARRETTO: Absolutely.

ALLRED: Thank you.

POTTS: Tony Barretto, Gloria Allred, thank you. ALLRED: Thank you.

POTTS: Thank you very much.

BARRETTO: Thank you.

POTTS: You know, by the way, LARRY KING LIVE asked the Britney Spears camp for a response to the allegations that have been made by Tony Barretto and we were given this statement by Ms. Spears' attorney, Sorrell Trope: "I don't think it's appropriate for any witness to be expressing their testimony in the media. In addition, in a family law custodial case, only experts are permitted to render opinions and any opinion by lay individuals should be not considered."

Gloria is laughing.

Up next, a shrink, a Hollywood image expert and a journalist who got a firsthand lesson in Britney's meltdown.

Do not go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you handle it, everybody?

SPEARS: Can you handle it?

Can you handle my truth?

Can you?

I don't know.




Welcome back.

And joining me now, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He is the host of "Loveline" and also medical director, department of chemical dependency, Las Encinas Hospital. And assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Clark School of Medicine of USC; also, author of "Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again".

Also joining us, Howard Bragman, longtime celebrity publicist and crisis communications expert. We know why you're here, that's for sure.

And Ruth Hilton, deputy editor of "OK!" magazine. She was present at the July photo shoot which "OK!" chronicled in a cover story titled "Britney's Meltdown."

Reaction right away to Tony Barretto and what he's saying. DR. DREW PINSKY, "LOVELINE" HOST, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR PSYCHIATRY, KECK-USC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Well, my first reaction is, I'm an addictionologist. I run an addiction and recovery center. We treat patients like this all the time. And I must tell you, when I hear the story, it makes me very sad. This is an extremely serious situation psychiatrically and medically. This is somebody with major league addiction. The fact that she had been through treatment and resumed her drug use immediately afterward and actually left treatment -- it seems to me, against medical advice -- that is a horrible prognostic sign.

Look, if we were talking about any other Britney -- Britney Smith -- and said Britney Smith has a severe addiction. Britney Smith may have postpartum depression. Britney Smith has child care issues, a recent divorce, a stressful career, Britney Smith would be in very serious trouble psychiatrically.

I would be concerned for her survival, frankly, both from the standpoint of depression, her psychiatric state and her addictive process. So this is -- this is no fooling. This is the real thing.

POTTS: Howard Bragman, then how do you go in and deal with a client and say, look, you need to clean up your life, you need help?


HOWARD BRAGMAN, LONGTIME CELEBRITY PUBLICIST, CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT: Tragically, in this case, in the last two weeks her manager and her attorney -- a divorce attorney -- both who are very respected, have left her.

POTTS: What does that say to you?

BRAGMAN: It tells me -- the reason that reps leave is twofold. One, they're not listening to you.

And, second, you're afraid that they're going to do damage to themselves and die. And I've had it happen on my watch. And it's the worst thing that can happen.

POTTS: Ruth, what do you think about what you just heard from Tony Barretto?

Does it seem consistent to what you know?

RUTH HILTON, "OK!" MAGAZINE DEPUTY EDITOR, THERE FOR BRITNEY'S PHOTO SHOOT MELTDOWN: It's absolutely consistent with what we saw in the

"OK!" shoot in terms of the erraticness of the behavior. It's really sad. It doesn't surprise me. I wish I could say it would. And even in "OK!" this week, we've got more of the same.

POTTS: Well, yes, I know. Take a look at this. The paparazzi seem to be always in Britney's life. Earlier this week, she popped into a restaurant to use the public restroom. And then she asked a photographer to join her.

We have video provided by

Let's see what transpired.

Take a look.


SPEARS: I agree.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shall I have her bring it to the front or outside?

SPEARS: Right out there. (INAUDIBLE).

SPEARS: Oh, you're so cute.


SPEARS: Stop. You're making me nervous. Oh, God.


SPEARS: You're on.


POTTS: That, to me, is absolutely insane, in one sense, because she knows the paparazzi, and bringing them in.

Is that consistent with the behavior you guys saw at the "OK!" magazine photo shoot?

HILTON: yes, I mean it's very strange. On the one hand, she's been chased by these guys. On the other hand, she's inviting them into her life. You know, the "OK!" shoot, for many reasons, was quite extraordinary, not least because of the paparazzi who were outside. It seems just...

POTTS: So what was...

HILTON: She's oscillating.

POTTS: Give me some details on the meltdown that you saw, her behavior, personally.

HILTON: Well, it was very strange with the "OK!" shoot in the sense that, you know, everything started so well. She had come to us saying, you know, I'm relaunching my career, my album. Let's do a wonderful international shoot. "OK!" has editions around the world. It's a huge global enterprise. POTTS: She was thinking great.

HILTON: Great. So she arrives about 40 minutes late, which is fine. You know, we're used to that. That's actually quite good for most of (INAUDIBLE). I'm sure Howard would agree.


HILTON: And, you know...

BRAGMAN: (INAUDIBLE) my clients.

HILTON: ...again, it's going fine. The first moment we had a bit of a ding was we -- she wanted to use her own hair and makeup. We had got the best hair and makeup, the best photographer, everything, really that style and money can buy. And, you know, we wrestled over that. Then came, obviously, the infamous stuff with the wardrobe. You know, we had this situation in which she rejected the clothes because she felt they were not tight enough, not sexy enough, when it was, you know, all the top designers, from Vera Wang through to Versace through to Zach (INAUDIBLE).

POTTS: But that's not too much bizarre may have behavior, though. I mean stars do that.

HILTON: Well, not -- not so much when you're being asked to style, you know, you give yourself up to the stylists. And then, of course, we have the situation with the dog pooing (ph) all over the Zac Posen gowns, several thousand dollars worth of gown. Then we have the chicken grease incident. I mean, you know, many people will have heard of this, also, where she took her hands, full of chicken grease, after being asked to take her dress off, wiped it down the front, wiped it down the back, threw it off. It was extraordinary.

POTTS: What do you do in a situation like that, when you have a P.R. disaster and people are witnessing it?

BRAGMAN: Well, you know, the disaster shouldn't happen. It's from planning ahead of time. A P.R. person is sort of like a lawyer. You don't put your client in a situation unless you know what's going to happen.

And when you talk about the wardrobe, you talk about the hair, you talk about the makeup -- these are all planned because you don't want any surprises. You have a vision ahead of time of here's how this going to turn out. Here's how she's going to look. And you do not want to wing it at these moments. You've got a client like that, you're scared as hell, because something is seriously wrong here.

POTTS: We're going to take a break.

But I want to let you jump in later. And I also want to ask you, what's the course of action here?

What's the course of treatment?

How can somebody help her?

PINSKY: I've got a plan.

POTTS: All right, coming -- I hope do you.

Coming up, later, our own brand of celebrity justice -- TV judges lay out their sentencing suggestions for stars in trouble.

Back with Dr. Drew, Howard Bragman and Ruth Hilton after a quick break.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She -- she clearly is somebody that can perform, that can do it, and she can sell records. She's done it.

The question is, what will she do to get back to that place?

There are some people who are rooting for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has a huge heart. She is a great person.

SPEARS: I just want more.



POTTS: Hey, welcome back. Glad you're with us. Tony Potts here sitting in for Larry King tonight. Happy to do so. Our guests are Dr. Drew Pinsky, also Howard Bragman, Ruth Hilton.

Dr. Drew, I want to ask you, what's the course of treatment here? Because she's a superstar, nobody around her. Does anybody listen to her?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, "LOVELINE": Yes, well, no one listens to what she needs, unfortunately. There's no enlightened person to step up and say, I'm willing to risk my job, I'm willing to risk my access to you to get what you need. And what she needs, basically is what Lindsay Lohan is doing, is going away for a long period of time in an intensive isolated experience interpersonally where she can have treatment.

It's not something she can do on a weekend. It's not something she can do in a week or even a month. This is a very serious medical and psychiatric problem. And it saddens me greatly to see the condition she's in.

POTTS: How do you get her, though? I mean, how do you get her in the car to rehab?

PINSKY: That's the big question. As we've -- you know, we all have -- I'm sure any of you out there have had experiences with people that have addiction, when they push everybody away, things unravel rather intensively. POTTS: Especially the families.

PINSKY: Especially the family. And the families are the ones sometimes who are going to leverage them into treatment. Oftentimes they have to have a -- this is going to sound awful, but they have sort of near-death experiences before they go OK, OK, I'm ready to do something. Show me the way.

Up until then, they resist, they obfuscate, and they get in the way of treatment.

POTTS: Real quickly, if she is doing drugs but also has a mental problem...


POTTS: Then maybe she will never say...

PINSKY: She has no insight into it. But you know, many addicts these days have dual -- what are called dual diagnoses, they lack insight. There's no doubt there is -- you know, the depression issues. And there are disorders of thought associated with addiction. You don't know what it is until somebody has been sober a couple of months.

POTTS: Howard, every day she is trailed by paparazzi. I've seen it. You live nearby, correct?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST: I live about $5 million down the road from her.


BRAGMAN: And there's probably 20 to 30 SUVs anytime she comes out of her gated community, which is interesting. A lot of big stars live in there, Academy Award winners, some of my clients.

POTTS: They just come out and nobody cares.

BRAGMAN: But they don't care. Britney lives her life in such a way, we're in the reality show culture, OK? And we've taken Paris and Lindsay and we've taken Britney and we follow them like a reality show. And these people do not disappoint us. They're much crazier than anything you could script on TV.

POTTS: I'm hosting a show next week called "Celebrity Expose" on my network. And we have video of what you're talking about with Britney, of eight guys going down the road the wrong way on Mulholland Boulevard, 70 miles an hour to get behind her, all the way down to Century City nearly running over cars. I mean, if there had been a family with two kids in the back around the corner on Mulholland, bam, they would have been gone.

BRAGMAN: I've had friends say with me, and they, what is going on here? This is crazy. And as much as I think she has to own her own responsibility for her issues, I feel really bad that she's hunted like an animal.

POTTS: Ruth, how much is the media giving her a break in a sense when you guys see bad behavior and you hold it for a little because you think, oh, lord? I mean, how do you handle that?

RUTH HILTON, OK! MAGAZINE: Well, I think the bottom line is with Britney, just the factual reporting, which even just the court stuff, like in OK! this week, there is stuff about the judge saying she can't have corporal punishment on her kids, just that level.

POTTS: So what do you think that says?

HILTON: Well, it obviously raises many questions about how she looks after those children as -- you know, as Tony said earlier. You know, you have a situation in which...

POTTS: And look at the kids, look on the videos. This is what killed me was the little kids holding each other's hands. What does that say to you, Dr. Drew?

PINSKY: That they live in chaos. And that's what that says to me. But listen, it's always a bad thing to take kids away from their patients. I don't think we should be advocating that. And where has Kevin been in these kids' lives? I'm just saying, you know what I mean?

We don't really know what they -- they want their mother. The kids want their mother but they want their mother well. And mom -- I hope if Britney is listening to this or any shows like this, she will at least on behalf of her children go get treatment. But it is going to take many, many months of intensive treatment for her to get well.

POTTS: Howard, can she turn it around?

BRAGMAN: Not until she accepts it. This is not a P.R. problem, this is a life problem. And I'm not seeing any evidence -- you know, you can make a mistake, but she makes the same mistake again and again. The day she was told she had to have mandatory drug testing, she goes out and parties.

POTTS: Yes, she went to a club.

BRAGMAN: There was no feeling of, I did something wrong, maybe I should be introspective. And so no, I have no hope for her right now.

POTTS: I've been with Britney backstage, Gund Arena in Cleveland at various times over the years, not recently. Wonderful gal, fantastic, I saw her playing with her little sister, her mom was backstage, it was a very family atmosphere. And I say to myself, if mom's not around and she was such a great influence on her, what are her chances, Drew?

PINSKY: Her chances are zero if she doesn't get intensive treatment over time. And I'm very concerned about her ability -- I think I've already said it tonight, to survive this, if indeed she doesn't do something to turn it around. And it's not about putting things in her mouth. It's about going away.

I mean, Lindsay Lohan to me is an example of what should be done. You go away in months of treatment. You drop out of sight, no more paparazzi, no more career, it's your health, it's your family, it's your existence you're fighting for, and your children.

POTTS: Isn't this endemic, though, of what happens in Hollywood as long as you can prop a person up? We've seen it since the '40s and '50s. As long as you prop them up and they can still make money, there will be people around them.

BRAGMAN: It's a different world today. And with things like TMZ and camera phones, and the way the world is, the wall between public and private is down. And representatives have to hold themselves accountable for what their client does. And that's why you're seeing so many reps leave their clients.

You saw Lindsay's publicist quit. You see Britney's team quit. It's a different world out there. And anybody who props them up is an enabler, and it's the wrong way to work...


PINSKY: And that's the point. It is a deeper understanding of what this means medically and -- people kind of understand what these things are now and how dangerous they are. They don't think, hey, it's just somebody misbehaving. Just how celebrities behave. No, no. These are very dangerous situations.

And the people that represent the celebrities know that, understand that and have to step up on behalf of their clients.

POTTS: If she gets clean, would you put her on the cover of OK! Magazine and do it...

HILTON: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think everyone still wants Britney to come back. She's one of the few celebrities that truly has global presence. She built herself up over time. We all grew up -- watched her growing up. Some people grew up with her. We love her. We want the old Britney back.

POTTS: You did because you're younger than all of us.


PINSKY: Unfortunately, we are going to get another Anna Nicole if we don't watch out. That's what's going to happen. That's what's going to happen.

POTTS: Dr. Drew, Howard, Ruth, thank you very much.

Well, they dole out the sentences as millions of TV viewers watch. Coming up, a trio of television judges gives us their take on troubled stars who are headed to court. For example, child star turned adult troublemaker Lindsay Lohan, as we just talked about. Find out how they laid down the law on the "Freaky Friday" star and others. That's coming your way next.


POTTS: All right. Welcome back. When your favorite star heads for court, you can't help but wonder if they'll get the star treatment when they go before a judge, right? Well, we wondered the same thing, so we've assembled a panel of television judges to get their thoughts on the most recent batch of bad behavior that's landing so many celebs in court.

So in Miami, we have Judge Alex Ferrer, maybe you know him from television's "Judge Alex" show, he is also a former Florida circuit court judge. In Chicago, we have Greg Mathis. He presides over the "Judge Mathis" show. He is a former high school dropout who ended up presiding over a district court in Michigan. And also in Miami, the newest kid on the block, so to speak, or on the bench, Judge David Young, his TV show is called, maybe you guessed it, the "Judge David Young" show.

How did, David Young, the new guy, actually get his entire name into the title there, you guys? You guys are the veterans. How'd that happen?

JUDGE ALEX FERRER, "JUDGE ALEX": I'm going to have to renegotiate my contract when it comes up. I want my whole name there.

JUDGE GREG MATHIS, "JUDGE MATHIS": And David wants to remind everybody that he's young. That's all.

JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, "THE JUDGE DAVID YOUNG SHOW": I'm just better looking and they're jealous, that's the whole story.

POTTS: Well, thank you guys very much. When you see something like this with a Britney Spears, you see the behavior, you see what's going on, Judge Mathis, what would you do if she came before you in court with all these problems?

MATHIS: I'm known as a tough-love judge who gives second chances. I was known as that on the bench in Detroit. Typically, I would require a person to get a GED or a skilled trade. And if they were drug-addicted, go to drug rehab. In this case, I would certainly order her to go to drug rehab, and quite frankly, based on her performance in the "Video Music Awards," I would order her to get a real skilled trade.

POTTS: Judge Ferrer, what do you think about what you've heard about Britney from her former bodyguard and what Dr. Drew said and others?

FERRER: Well, it's very worrisome. Of course, from a judge's perspective, you're concerned for the welfare of the children. Frankly, judges all over the country are looking at this saying, I've got 100 cases like her and I've 200 that are worse. Probably the saddest thing about being in family court is that sometimes you're looking at a little girl and you're look at the parents and you're thinking this child would be better off raised by wolves., but I have got to give the custody to one of these parents or both parents.

So I think that they are absolutely correct that there's a huge degree of risk here, and ultimately, maybe a contact with the criminal justice system is the only thing that's going to get her on the right track when a judge actually orders her into therapy.

POTTS: Judge Young, let me ask you a question. If you get a normal person who's going through this in your courtroom, that presents a certain amount of issues. But when you put on top of that she's an internationally known star, she's chased by the paparazzi, does that change how you approach things in the courtroom?

YOUNG: Absolutely not. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline need to be in dependency court in California. They need to be ordered into drug rehabilitation. And if they do not abide by the case plan arrived by the people at the Department of Children and Families in California, your children need to be taken away.

The doctor was absolutely right. Until Britney Spears and Kevin Federline get meaningful drug and alcohol treatment, long-term residential care, they are going to be in for a downward spiral and I really feel sorry for the children because they're the ones that's going to suffer.

POTTS: Let's move ahead to another young lady who has been in trouble all over the place here, but she's now in rehab, Lindsay Lohan. Judge Mathis, when you see a young girl like that who had two episodes so close together, we saw the famous video for crashing her car, running like crazy in the middle of the night to somebody's house, when you have a Lindsay Lohan who is so young, has had the instances that have happened so close together, how do you treat a 19- year-old or a 20-year-old who comes into your courthouse -- your courtroom and she wants to get help, she wants to get treatment?

MATHIS: Well, first of all, I try and show some compassion. Let her know that she's not alone, and then educate her on what's going on with her life. Here she's living in Hollywood, all the excesses of the lifestyle that comes with that. I would remind her that this has happened for decades, and there has been sad endings. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, many others lived the life of excesses, and they died by self-destruction.

And then I would order her, quite frankly, as we've discussed, for drug rehabilitation and counseling, residential drug rehabilitation, and I would order her to stay away from the environment like ex-convicts cannot associate with other ex-felons, and so I would give her an order similar to that.

POTTS: All right. When we come back, we'll have more with our judges. We'll talk about O.J., also about Kiefer Sutherland, what he may be facing as well with his latest DUI. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" coming up at the top of the hour. A.C. is standing by in New York with a preview -- Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Tony, thanks. Breaking news tonight on a remarkable story. A ruthless crackdown by government thugs against pro-democracy demonstrators. It's happening in Burma, one of the most repressed and cut-off countries in the world. There have been peaceful demonstrations for days. Now there is blood in the streets. People are risking their lives, demanding freedom. It is a story you need to know about. We'll take you there at the top of the hour.

Also tonight, health care for kids. Tonight, the Senate passed a bill the president vows to veto. We'll tell you why and what it means for millions of kids without insurance. Politicians made a lot of promises on this. We're "Keeping Them Honest." That's at the top of the hour -- Tony.

POTTS: Thank you, Anderson. We'll see you then at the top of the hour.

All right. Coming back, more with our three judges, and we'll hit more celebrities in trouble and what they would do if they showed up in their courtroom. Back in a minute.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another name to add to the celebrity DUI roster, "24" star Kiefer Sutherland...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... Sutherland arrested for suspicion of DUI earlier this morning in L.A.


POTTS: Welcome back. My guests are Judge Alex, Judge Mathis, and also Judge David Young. David Young, I want to go to you. And, you know, your courtroom -- your approach in the courtroom has been called -- you do it with a snap. What would be your snappy, I guess, decision or on Lindsay Lohan and what she has gone through?

YOUNG: Well, I agree with Alex what he said about judicial intervention. In Miami I was very successful by working with what's called judicial monitoring probation which basically means an individual was appearing in front of me once a month for 18 months. They were going to N.A. seven days a week. If they would fall off the wagon, then they would be in residential drug treatment.

Studies have shown that if a judge can hang over somebody's head that there are consequences to their actions, you get a better result from the individual. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, there's nothing that has ever been held over their heads to let them know that there is going to be consequences.

Simply serving a 30-day or 60-day jail sentence is not enough for an addict. The court needs to be involved in their lives for 18 months, and studies have shown that 18 months is the key to getting the person on the road to recovery.

POTTS: Judge Mathis, what, then, do you do with Kiefer Sutherland who was busted for DUI in 2004, given a five-year probationary period which, of course, would go to 2009? He was just busted the other day. He is the highest-paid drama actor on television, at three years, I think, $40 million. What do you do to a man like that, he comes into your courtroom this time?

MATHIS: He would go to jail. In the state of Michigan where I presided for five years, those who came before the court with a second DUI charge, it was automatic jail time of up to one year in prison. I don't know if I'd give him that much, but I would certainly give him time in jail that would require in-jail drug and alcohol treatment and counseling.

And then certainly I'd have a psychological analysis because any guy that gets busted a second time with all that money at stake needs psychological analysis.

POTTS: Judge Ferrer, do you agree with Judge Mathis on this one?

FERRERA: I do agree, and sadly, I like Kiefer. I'm sorry to see him in this position. But the reality is, his biggest problem isn't his second DUI, his biggest problem is that it's a probation violation, because when a judge puts somebody on probation, they're saying, I'm trusting you when you say this is an aberration. It's not going to happen again.

When you violate your probation, your problem is not the mandatory jail sentence for the second DUI, which under California law, is frankly quite small. Your problem is the probation violation which is going to result in a significant amount of jail time. So unless his case is weak, it's a big problem.

And when you look at it, the $50 cab ride or $100 cab ride, when you look at what happens the morning after a DUI when you have thousands in bail money, thousands in lawyers' fees, thousands in increased insurance cost, it's a small bargain.

POTTS: Well, look what happened to Paris Hilton. I mean, she violated her probation, but she wasn't even drinking and driving. So you can only imagine...

FERRER: Absolutely.

POTTS: And by the way, the judge in 2004 who sentenced Kiefer to five years' probation is Judge Sauer, the same judge who dealt with Paris Hilton. Let me ask you a question. So in Hollywood, in this area in L.A. now, do you think the judges, Judge Young, are under more pressure by what happened with Paris Hilton, her sentence and the furor around that?

YOUNG: Well, I disagree with Greg and with Alex. I don't know if I would have sentenced Kiefer Sutherland to jail because you don't send someone to jail because they have an illness. Kiefer Sutherland is obviously an alcoholic and has an addiction to alcohol. And that alcoholism needs to be treated.

I think what you need to do, you need to get him in rehab. You need to follow him for 18 months, two years, three years to make sure he's on the right path. If he falls off that path, I think then you send him to custody, but you don't let him just end his sentence in custody. You put him back on probation again.

Judges have got to start doing more therapeutic jurisprudence if we are going to get a hold -- I don't care if you're Paris Hilton, I don't care if you're Joe Shmoe or Jane Doe, judges have got to be involved, judges have got to take these cases seriously and work with the people who are appearing in front of them to help them get a hold of it because it's the judges that can make a difference in people's lives.

And if we give up that responsibility as judges, then we're not being true public servants.

MATHIS: Well, David, I agree with you that it is...

POTTS: Hold on, Judge Mathis, hold on. We'll come back to get you in a minute. We have to take a commercial break. But we want to hear that more judgmental pronouncements of celebrities of some famous celebrities, including O.J. Simpson, when LARRY KING LIVE comes back.


YALE GALANTER, O.J. SIMPSON'S LAWYER: He's thrilled to be out of jail. He's just relieved to be, you know, where he's at now and relaxing and out of custody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, guys. Back up. Let him through.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: O.J., was it a setup, O.J.?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have anything to say?




JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": You know something, I'll tell you something. I don't think O.J. took that whole court thing very seriously the other day. Did you see him in court? Did you see him in court? I think he should have showed the judge a little more -- show that footage from O.J. in court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Simpson, would you stand up, please, Mr. Simpson? Mr. Simpson? Mr. Simpson? Mr. Simpson?

LENO: Exactly. Put the cigar down. Put the cigar down, O.J.


POTTS: Yes, you know, if O.J. is back in the news, there will be O.J. jokes all around the country. Judge Mathis, real quick, I know you want to say something, so go ahead, pick it up.

MATHIS: Yes, I wanted to address the disease issue that Judge Young mentioned, saying that he wouldn't send Sutherland to jail because he believes drug addiction and alcohol addiction is a disease. And, indeed, it is.

However, the crackhead who stole my car in Detroit, he had to go to jail. Why? Because in addition to it being a disease that he continued to exacerbate by his drug use, he need to be punished and deterred from future crime.

And so just as Kiefer Sutherland and the crackhead both would have to go to jail because both have committed a crime, and in this case Kiefer Sutherland has violated his probation.

And lastly, with regard to Judge Alex saying that the violation of probation is a bigger issue, I think we saw in the case of Paris Hilton, she did less than 30 days for violation of probation, when, in fact, as I stated, Michigan has a mandatory sentence that would send them to jail for a lot longer than 30 days.

POTTS: Yes, but we have no room here, so that's the problem here, Judge Mathis. Judge Ferrer, let me ask you a question about O.J. Simpson and the alleged robbery debacle that happened. Seems to be a number of unsavory characters in all of this. Whom do you believe in your courtroom when they stand up and tell you what happened?

FERRER: You know, there is no -- first of all, let me start by saying that O.J. lives not too far from my house. So I'll be very careful on what I say at this point. But the reality is that there is no hard or fast rule on who you believe. You have to listen to every witness. You have to evaluate their credibility while you're observing their demeanor. You have to take into account the motives they may have for lying.

I mean, there are a lot of things in this case that are just strange. The whole taping of every conversation really makes it look like a setup, doesn't excuse what he did. If you commit the crime because somebody planted in your head, hey, it would be a great idea to rob the bank, you still robbed the bank.

But when you're having to convince a jury that they should convict this guy, anything that chips away and builds sympathy for him is dangerous for the prosecution. To their credit, O.J. is not as liked today as he was before.

POTTS: Judge David, let me ask you, you are openly gay. You're on the bench there. What would you do in the case of presiding other Senator Larry Craig's effort to withdraw his guilty plea. Would -- that fact that you're also gay, would that lead you to recuse yourself from that at all? How do you handle that issue?

YOUNG: No, I don't think one's sexual orientation really has anything to do with it. I think the bottom line is, is there enough legal grounds for him to withdraw his guilty plea? And you're talking about a person who writes laws. You're not talking about John Q. Citizen who may have under duress, who may have been having a bad day, acting crazy.

Here's a lawmaker who mailed in his guilty plea. And he did it to cover it up. The guy is a total hypocrite and I would deny his motion and if I could I'd assess court costs against him for taking up and wasting the court's time. The man is just outrageous.

POTTS: Well, I used to go take that trip from L.A. to Seattle that stopped in Minneapolis. I have been in that bathroom many times and I just thought people Minnesota had toe-tapping -- they had good rhythm, for crying out loud. I could have been in front of you guys.

All three of you guys, thank you very much. Judge Mathis, Judge Ferrer, and also Judge David Young, thank you so much for your time.

YOUNG: Thank you. The pleasure is mine.

MATHIS: Thank you.

FERRER: Thank you.

POTTS: All right. That's it for LARRY KING LIVE tonight. Thanks to all of you for joining me and thanks to Larry especially for letting me sit here during the hour. Don't forget to head to Larry's Web site. It is at And then you can download Larry's latest podcast, it's his interview with Jenny McCarthy. It's an amazing story she has to tell about autism and her little boy. It's only available at or of course on iTunes, which I love, by the way.

Now time to turn things over to Anderson Cooper in New York, and "AC360" -- Anderson.

COOPER: Hey, Tony, thanks a lot.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rare Picture Of Britney and Kevin

I think this is from early 2005 judging by Kevin's hair length.

Click to enlarge.


Tony Barretto will appear on Larry King Live

Larry King Live - Tonight's Show

Britney Spears' former bodyguard in his first live, prime-time interview! He says she's done things that make him fear for her kids and her life. Details you haven't heard! Tonight, 9 ET.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Unseen Picture From CSI

Kevin has updated his myspace page again with new pictures, including this previously unseen one from CSI for which he is wearing a pig mask. Visit Kevin's Myspace page here.

Click to enlarge.

Rumor: Kevin Federline backs out of Larry King Live appearance

X17 posted today that they were helping Larry King with pictures of Kevin Federline in preparation for a Larry King Live appearance scheduled yesterday. However they then received a call from an L.A. producer saying that Kevin had canceled at the last minute.


Unscheduled court session yesterday

Pic: Sorrell Trope, Britney's new attorney

Lawyers Meet in Spears' Custody Dispute

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attorneys for Britney Spears and Kevin Federline were back in court Monday in an ongoing custody dispute involving the pair's children.

Federline's lawyer, Mark V. Kaplan, said the unscheduled court session was called to "refine certain areas" of a judge's previous order in the case. He would not elaborate.

Spears' attorney, Sorrell Trope, confirmed in a telephone interview that the hearing involved issues related to the custody case. He declined to comment further.

The court hearing came days after city prosecutors charged Spears with misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run and driving without a valid license, claiming she smashed her car into another in a parking lot in August.

Kaplan said he does not expect the filing of the misdemeanor charges last week to have any impact on the upcoming hearing dates on Federline's request to increase his custody time with the former couple's two young sons. They divide time with the children equally.

The first hearing date is Nov. 26, but the second date has been delayed from Dec. 18 to early January, Kaplan said.

Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon, who held Monday's in-chambers session with the lawyers, is presiding over the custody dispute. He issued orders last week directing Spears to undergo random testing twice a week after finding she is involved in "habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol."

If convicted on the driving changes, Spears could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each count. Authorities said the accident occurred Aug. 6, when she was filmed by paparazzi steering her car into another vehicle as she tried to turn into a spot in a parking lot. Spears was scheduled to be arraigned in that case Oct. 10, but she is not required to appear.

Spears, 25, and ex-husband Federline, 29, are the parents of Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Tony Barretto interviewed by Today

Video: Tony Barretto on the Today show

Britney’s bodyguard talking, for sake of her kids
In exclusive interview, Tony Barretto alleges Spears abused illegal drugs

By Mike Celizic contributor
Updated: 54 minutes ago

A former bodyguard who told a Los Angeles judge about Britney Spears’ alleged substance abuse and bizarre behavior wants nothing more than to know that the troubled pop star’s young children are safe.

“I’m not here to destroy Britney. I’m here for the kids,” Tony Barretto told TODAY co-host Matt Lauer during an exclusive interview Monday. “I’m here to speak out on their behalf.”

Last week, a Los Angeles judge determined that Spears has engaged in the “habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol” and ordered her to take parenting classes and undergo random drug and alcohol testing twice a week.

The ruling was in connection with the court battle between Spears and her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, over primary custody of the couple’s two children, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1.

Barretto has come forward as the “secret witness” who made a declaration to the court testifying to Spears’ drug and alcohol abuse and other bizarre and dangerous behavior. The details of the declaration are sealed, but Barretto has talked about Spears driving into oncoming traffic with her children in the car, walking around her house nude, screaming and acting irrationally, allegedly doing illegal drugs in a nightclub on two occasions and drinking.

Another judge later charged her with misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving without a license for a traffic accident in a parking lot that she did not report.

Barretto’s attorney, Gloria Allred, said that his declaration was the only testimony speaking to Spears’ behavior after she left rehab earlier this year.

“I think the judge gave [his testimony] great weight,” she said, adding that Spears’ attorneys did not challenge him in court.

Barretto, a 6-foot-7 giant of a man, worked for Spears for less than three months and was fired, he says, for failing to hear her order him to pick up her hat, which she had dropped. He said revenge is not a motivation.

“I think it would be inhuman for someone to make those allegations,” he said.

Reluctant witness

Barretto has said he was reluctant to come forward, fearful of being identified and pursued by the tabloid press, but, he told Lauer, he felt he needed to speak out.

“I just wanted to make sure the public and the court and her fans know the truth, and it’s very hard to get that point across,” he said.

He talked about two occasions at a Los Angeles nightclub when he saw her doing drugs.

“One was at her table. She had me hold up a curtain to make her area private,” he said. “At one point it was getting kind of hard to continue to hold the curtain for such a long period of time. The attempt was to look over and get her approval to let go of the curtain, at which point, I noticed what she was doing.”

He said the second incident was at the same Los Angeles club.

“The other occasion, we escorted her to a private rest room upstairs that was secured for her,” he continued. “She was in there for some time alone, and I was waiting for her outside the door. I thought it would be appropriate to check on her, and I knocked and peeked in and I observed this behavior.”

Barretto has said that she was using a white powdery substance that he assumed to be either cocaine or methamphetamine. He said he also frequently saw her drinking Jack Daniel’s and Coke, but wouldn’t offer an opinion about whether she was abusing alcohol.

“That’s one’s personal opinion,” he said. “I don’t know if abuse is the correct language. I have seen her drink alcohol and that would be up to the courts to decide whether it was abuse or a drink.”

He also confirmed that he once found her apparently under the influence of drugs and alcohol in a hotel room.

It’s about the kids

Barretto has also said that Spears had little enthusiasm for parenting and frequently left her children with her bodyguards to care for. He did say that he never saw her use drugs in front of the children.

As a father himself, Barretto said that motivated him to make sure her sons came to no harm.

“My frustrations at times when I worked for her was not being able to protect them from her, and I have accomplished that now,” he said.

“I’m just happy that the judge has stepped in and put some elements in place to give her hope.”

Barretto said it was impossible for anyone in her circle to get through to Spears.

“It was almost forbidden to talk to her about her personal life,” he said. “Britney doesn’t listen to nobody. That’s apparent.”


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Britney's ex-bodyguard tells his story

Tony Barretto, Britney's ex-bodyguard who was the "secret witness" that recently filed a declaration in the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline custody battle which alleges "nudity, drug use and safety issues post-rehab" has told his story to News Of the World (a video message can be found there). While normally News Of The World is a terrible source, I believe the story in this case as it is a direct interview. It also matches some comments left be people on this blog who have been close the situation.

It reminds me of an editorial that appeared in That Other Blog on February 23, 2007, written anonymously by someone who has been through something similar to Britney, apparently a neighbor of hers at the time. Britney was in rehab when it was written. I have just reread it and it's quite remarkable how right this person was. It talks about substance abuse, rehab, being a "brand", paparazzi, and basically the pressures that Britney and many other celebrities have faced. It was a turning point for me when I read it back in February. I think it's worth reading along with the story Tony tells below (this is actually the version from, which is shorter and I find easier to read. News of the World has more information if interested):

If Britney doesn't do something quick she will lose her children
Last updated at 22:27pm on 22nd September 2007

Standing 6ft 7in tall and weighing more than 32 stone, Tony Barretto is a born bodyguard.

His strength, his power and his intimidating physique have never been questioned – and neither has his loyalty.

He would, as he put it, 'have taken a bullet' for Britney Spears and her children.

In three months working for her, Barretto grew genuinely fond of the troubled singer, often caring for the two boys when Britney was unwell, otherwise engaged, or plain 'out of it'.

There was screaming, there was shouting, there was selfishness on an epic scale, but such things are all in a day's work for a professional minder.

So what could prompt this softly-spoken 27-year-old to become the 'secret witness' whose testimony under oath so gravely damaged Britney's child-custody battle last week?

His revelations, kept under seal by the judge, went unchallenged in court, seriously hurting Britney's chances of keeping the children.

But while some may suppose him to be motivated by revenge against an employer who dispensed with his services earlier this year, Tony Barretto has a different story to tell.

And it is all the more explosive for its heartfelt sincerity.

Today, for the first time, Barretto speaks about the fear, the heartache and, at times, the sheer horrors of working alongside Britney.

He fears not just for her future, but for all those close to her.

Barretto, a former private investigator and celebrity bodyguard, from Ventura, California, claims he saw Britney abuse narcotics and alcohol and that she neglected her children to the point of putting them at serious physical risk.

Indeed the frequent screaming bouts and episodes of depression left him fearing the singer might kill herself or even harm her children Preston, aged two, and Jayden, one.

It is a portrait of a troubled life that raises disturbing questions, not just about her chaotic private life, but about her suitability as a role model to millions of teenagers.

Scarcely a day goes by without fawning coverage of her antics in the world media.

Spears has been a wreck ever since filing for divorce from husband Kevin Federline last November.

Her self-destructive behaviour and wild partying led her to shave off her hair in February – an episode that has never been fully explained – and to seek help in a 'rehab clinic' the following month.

And that was when Barretto became involved, hired, as one of her four bodyguards on March 26, days after she left rehab.

He quickly found that protecting the singer was the least of his duties.

'I was surprised to find how much the job involved looking after her kids,' he says.

'She was always passing the kids along to us. If they were happy, she was happy. If they weren't happy, she was passing them on to the nanny or the security staff.

'We were the only family around her. She'd call a doctor to come out if they cried too much.

'She'd say: “Can you grab the baby, honey?” She always called me “baby” or “honey”. I don't think she ever learned my name.

'She'd tell me, “We're going for a tan. Can you take the baby?” And then she'd walk off. She wouldn't really ask me; she'd just leave.'

If Britney was imperiously self-indulgent, Barretto also found more disturbing traits.

'There was a time when I thought she was going to hurt the kids,' he confirms rubbing the dark eyes behind the spectacles.

'She sent the nanny home. She sent her best friend and personal assistant, Alli Sims, home. Britney hates to be alone, so this was worrying.

'One of the bodyguards who had been with her longest said she was beginning to shut down as she had just before she shaved her head.

He said she'd been talking about suicide then, and this was the same. Britney was sobbing. She screamed.'

Sensing danger, his colleague said: 'I'm worried about the kids. Don't let her go swimming with them.'

'Shocked, I asked, “Is she going to drown them?” He said, “I don't know.” I started to cry. How am I supposed to protect someone like that?'

Fortunately, they stayed out of the water – and safe from a mother clearly under stress.

Barretto believes her recent problems stem from the divorce with Federline.

'She wanted Kevin back, and she wouldn't have it that he is gone,' he explains.

'I think she was screaming in frustration. She lost the love of her life.

I think she's scarred from this.

She calls him and tries to be passive, but it usually turns into yelling matches.

She flung her phone out of the car during one argument. Then she borrowed my partner's phone, and smashed that during another row.'

Others, however, believe that the tantrums, the selfishness and the ever more frequent bouts of despair have deeper roots.

This, after all, is a girl who grew up on a Louisiana trailer park among the poorest of the American poor, to a family which, if desperate to succeed, was also prone to violence.

Put on a treadmill of singing lessons, dance lessons and auditions, she was then dragged thousands of miles around America as her parents looked for a showbiz opening.

Eventually it came, in the shape of the massive hits Oops! I Did It Again and ...Baby One More Time, in which the teenager played out a sexually loaded parody of teenage innocence.

A celebrity lifestyle – of sorts, at least – quickly followed.

Britney's £6million hilltop home sits in the exclusive gated community of The Summit, boasting spectacular views across the San Fernando Valley in California.

A guard house blocks the main gate, and visitors have to cross a second fence before they reach the house itself.

'It was surprisingly homely,' recalls Barretto.

'It's very dark inside. There isn't a lot of lighting. She spends much of her time in the bedroom, but there were several living rooms tastefully decorated. It was very comfortable.'

And with the celebrity house comes the servants – in the shape of her bodyguards who must have cigarettes and lighters permanently at the ready.

'I was at her beck and call to do whatever she asked,' he says.

'I often watched her kids, and helped her install an antique chandelier. Another guard once did her laundry.

'She doesn't treat her staff like slaves, but she's so self-obsessed that she doesn't think about the people around her.'

Among Barretto's many tasks was fetching her wake-up coffee, and Britney is a creature of routine.

'Typically she wakes around one or two in the afternoon,' he says. 'We get her two drinks from Starbucks: a hot large vanilla latte, and a cold mocha Frappuccino. We'd ask if she wants a hot or a cold.

'She goes tanning almost daily in Bel Air, on a UV tanning bed. Then she'll decide whether to have a manicure there.

'She loves sushi, so she'll often have that for breakfast, even though it's lunchtime.

'Through the day she snacks on crisps, and loves Coke, Special K cereal and Red Bull energy drinks.

'When she goes shopping sometimes we'll close down the whole store, other times an entire aisle.

'She likes to rent cars and drive them around. She wanted the newest Jaguar, but was upset that it wasn't white. We only found a black one.

'In the afternoon she'd come home and swim. Then she'd go out to dinner and a club.'

Britney tolerates the paparazzi, who reciprocate by feeding her parking meters and getting her coffees.

She is routinely pictured with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, often in states of undress.

There is no shortage of money.

According to Barretto, she carries no cash, like the Queen, although this is probably the only point of comparison. 'She only has a solid titanium credit card with no limit,' says Barretto.

'She could buy a jet if she wanted. Her bodyguards carry cash for her. She buys things, we pay.'

But no amount of money, it seems, will solve her current woes.

'She's unpredictable. No one knows what she'll do next. That's what scared me. I don't know what caused her screaming, whether it was drugs or mental instability. She'd be wailing, making no sense. It was worse at night.

'She'd scream and guards would run to check on her, just in case it was a snake or an intruder.

'I'd ask how she was, and she'd say, “I'm OK.” Sometimes the baby was in the room when she screamed, and the guards would grab him.

'We had a security room beside the main house, with a couch and TV, and she'd frequently bring the kids in there to hang out with us.

'We'd say, “We're not bodyguarding; we're babysitting.” But we were babysitting Britney, as well as her kids.

'There were times when she spent very little time with them, some days less than an hour. And she's not very good at knowing whether they eat or need changing. I don't think I ever saw her feed her kids at home.

'Once she took the kids to the dance studio and didn't bring any food for them. She sent someone out to get them soup and crackers.

'She'd smoke around the house, and though she wouldn't smoke in front of the children, her clothes absorbed the smoke and I'm sure that made the baby cry.

'In my opinion, it was a child taking care of children. I wouldn't have her as a babysitter.

'The harder it was to comfort them, the likelier we'd end up with the children. She had a low attention span. She'd become bored with anything.'

Whether from boredom or some more deep-seated need, she turned to drugs, says Barretto.

'I've seen her take narcotics in nightclubs on only two occasions, but her drugged behaviour – fidgety, nervous, jumpy – I've seen at her home, too, so I assume she was on drugs at home,' he says.

'At the club, she was snorting a powdery substance, which I assume to be cocaine or methamphetamine.

'The first time she was at Teddy's nightclub in Hollywood in April, in a private booth.

'She asked me to hold the curtains up around it. After 20 minutes I looked over my shoulder, and she was snorting something out of her hand with a straw.

'One night I opened the restroom door after she'd been in there half an hour, and saw her snorting from a straw again.'

Barretto never saw Britney buy drugs, but says: 'She'd sneak out of the house on her own without security. Sometimes she'd be gone till the next morning. It was an unspoken subject, just as nobody ever asked her about drugs.'

Britney spent a month being treated for her addictions at Promises clinic in Malibu, but Barretto says: 'Rehab did her no good at all.

'I think she leads a secret lifestyle and hides it from those she doesn't trust. She gets upset with the notion of having to go there.'

Alcohol, too, appears a problem.

'She was supposed to be sober after rehab, but she loved her Jack Daniels and Coke,' says Barretto.

He claims: 'She'd always drink it in a Styrofoam cup, so nobody could see what she was drinking.

'I'd order for her, and the waitress would hand me the drink. Britney would walk upstairs to a private restroom to drink it.

'She'd have a pint glass filled with Jack Daniels and Coke. I hated it, because we had to go up and down those stairs all night so she could drink in secret.

'When she asked for a Jack and Coke, we'd give her mostly Coke, with just a dash of Jack on top. She was still crazy, but more manageable. We were essentially the puppeteers managing this poor young lady, trying to save her from herself.'

Drink and drugs combined dangerously on May 2 this year, as Britney launched a series of brief comeback concerts in California.

An emotional entanglement with rock wildman Howie Day, who Britney had met in rehab, sent her even further off the rails.

'She was, in my opinion, close to an overdose,' says Barretto.

'She was supposed to be performing in concert at Anaheim that night, but she'd been out with this guy and hadn't come home. We finally found her in The Mondrian hotel in West Hollywood.'

Britney's fling with Day, the 26-year-old lead singer of Collide, presented unique problems for the security team.

In 2004, Day was arrested for allegedly locking a female fan in a bathroom after she refused his sexual advances.

He then broke the cell phone of another woman trying to call police, according to a criminal complaint.

History looked as though it was about to repeat itself.

Britney's security chief found that the rock star would not let Britney out of the room.

'We finally found the room. We didn't know if he was armed. I told my partner, “Your job is to get Britney. I'll control the guy. I'm a big guy. I'll take a shot.” I'd take a bullet for her.

'We entered and the room was a mess. Dozens of bottles of hard liquor from the mini-bar were mostly empty.

'There were cigarettes, and what appeared to be narcotics next to the bed, straws and a powder that appeared to be cocaine. Across the room was a glass pipe for smoking drugs.

'He was on the bed in his boxers. Her eyes were huge. She was upset, kept shaking, biting her nails and sweating. She was really high. My partner said she was the worst he'd ever seen.'

Barretto coaxed Britney on to the tour bus headed to her concert, but en route she began to fade. Britney performed that night, but lip-synced the wrong words, and was out of it, said observers.

'On the way home her behaviour was weird. She was still fidgeting, wound down the car window and screamed, “I'm a rock star” at passing cars.

'She talked in weird voices, and was sweating. It was drugs – and she displayed the same behaviour at other times in front of the kids.

'I've seen her go to a salon and put on fake acrylic nails, pay for them, and she'll have bitten them off by the time she comes home.'

Even when Britney dumped Day, her behaviour remained erratic.

Despite having four bodyguards, a fleet of cars in her garage and more in storage, she enjoys driving herself around Los Angeles with the paparazzi in wild pursuit.

'She'd put the kids at risk by driving on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic for no reason at all, along windy roads up in the hills. I was in the car behind, going, “Oh my God!” The kids were in the back seat.

'She ended up making illegal U-turns, going through red lights. She almost got hit twice on the wrong side of the road. I was sweating.'

Last week, Britney was charged with hit-and-run and driving without a licence.

It came as no surprise to Barretto, who was with Britney when she took her California driver's test earlier this year – and failed.

'We took her to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to take her driving test,' he recalls.

'They took her to a private room, but she didn't pass. She failed the written test horribly. She got only three answers correct out of 35. She was too intimidated to take the test again.

'But she kept driving with the kids. She gets stopped by the police, and they make her get out and go over to the passenger side so a friend can drive.

'She may have a valid licence in Louisiana, but I don't think she has one here. On one occasion she left home driving with Jack Daniels in a Styrofoam cup. Fortunately she wasn't stopped by the police then.

'One morning she asked us to get a private jet to take her to Puerto Rico. It was £30,000, with a £20,000 cancellation fee. That afternoon she was ready to go, but at the last minute said she never asked us to get a jet. She paid the cancellation fee.

'She'd driven to the Four Seasons hotel hundreds of times, but one day she got lost. Another time she parked outside a sushi restaurant, then came out and couldn't find her car, though it hadn't moved.

'She smokes a lot, but one day she opened the door to the green room at one concert and gave me her cigarettes and lighter. She said, “Can you take these for me, honey? I'm quitting smoking.” An hour later she had somebody digging through the trash to get them back.'

Despite her celebrity, Britney is insecure, even in her own home.

'She always seemed concerned about her look,' says Barretto. 'We always took pictures of her before she went out every day.

'She'd ask, “Do I look nice, y'all?” We didn't want to put her down. Even though she looked a sight, we'd say she looked great.'

The job had strange perks, Barretto admits. 'She was often naked, and would tease people provocatively. She'd walk around the house naked.

'I got the grand view at the Millennium Dance Studios in North Hollywood, where she was rehearsing for her comeback concert tour.

'She wanted to change clothes, so she just dropped her pants and was completely exposed. Jesus, my wife wouldn't do that in front of me. I felt very uncomfortable, and turned around. I was embarrassed for her.

'She took photos of herself topless holding flowers over her breasts during a break at a recording studio: just immature, borderline mental instability.

'One night at a club she came up and started dancing with me. My back was to her, and she rubbed her front and breasts against my butt and ran her hands down my back.

'My partner radioed me, “She wants to dance. You dance.” When I turned around she turned and put her butt on me, bumping and grinding. I wasn't aroused. I was embarrassed.'

The weirdness began for Barretto when he was given the Spears House Rules on the day he was hired.

'Never look at her bottom,' he says.

'She doesn't wear underwear, and sometimes getting out of the car she's exposed – though I know she owns underwear, because I've seen it.

'I was briefed on how to react when I saw her nude, because she often walks around the house naked. I was told to act coy and shy, because if you look like you enjoy it, you're a pervert.'

Before joining Britney, Barretto worked as a bounty hunter for a bail bonds service, but has also done some 'celebrity protection' he says.

For all his tough-man image, Barretto is slightly hard of hearing, as he had explained to Britney from the beginning. But it was a weakness that led to his eventual dismissal.

On May 17, he was fired, for failing to pick up a hat Britney dropped, after she asked him three times.

'I didn't hear her the first time,' he explains.

'The second, I only heard “Pick it up,” but couldn't see it. She got mad. I picked it up and handed it to her.

'When we returned home I wasn't allowed on the property,' he says sadly.

'I had to wait outside, my belongings were brought out to me, and I was given a cheque.

'At some point I lost her trust, I don't know how, and that's why I'm gone.

'I think she has a mental problem. I think and I pray she can be helped. I'm an optimist.

'She needs her family back, someone who loves her. She needs to be loved and guided in the right direction. She's immature. She has been babied so much, she doesn't accept responsibility because she's had everything so easy.

'I think perhaps she's scared. She likes to think she's invincible – “I'm Britney, bitch! I can do what I want!” – but that could be a fa├žade.

'She cares about her career, but she has a problem that she can't control.'

After Barretto's legal declaration last week, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon ruled Britney is a 'habitual, frequent and continuous' user of drink and drugs, and ordered her to undergo twice-weekly random testing to keep shared custody of her children.

'I'm so happy with the judge's decision, because it gives more structure to her life,' says Barretto.

'If she doesn't do something quick, in the next month or two, I think she'll lose her children. Now's the time to prove herself to her fans, as well as her children. I hope somebody's near and watching her at this time.

'She's in a position today that far exceeds the worst when I was with her.

Something terrible might happen ...or something great. The kids love her. Then again, they loved me, too.

'I've seen some pictures of her recently. She doesn't look happy — but that's OK. She needs help. I hope she gets it. I want to see her succeed.

'I was raised without a mum and dad. My grandparents took me away from my parents because they had me at a very young age.

'I don't want that for Britney's kids. I wish Britney the best.'

Friday, September 21, 2007

Kevin Federline's attorney interviewed by Today

Attorney: Federline just wants what’s best for kids
Britney Spears’ less-famous ex-husband is not after money, his lawyer says

By Mike Celizic contributor
Updated: 11:18 a.m. CT Sept 21, 2007

Kevin Federline’s fight for primary custody of the two children he had with Britney Spears isn’t about money but about the welfare of the kids, his divorce attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, told TODAY in an exclusive interview Friday.

“I want to put to rest these allegations we’ve heard that he wants more money, and that’s why he’s doing this,” Kaplan told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira. “There is no request before the court for any modification of any support ordered in this case.”

On Monday, a court in Los Angeles came down hard on Spears, finding that she is a habitual and frequent user of controlled substances and alcohol. Judge Scott M. Gordon ordered the pop singer to undergo random drug testing twice a week and spend eight hours a week with a parenting coach.

Vieira asked Kaplan whether the ruling represents a victory for Federline, who is seeking primary custody of the two toddlers, Sean Preston and Jayden James.

“I don’t think Kevin looks at this as a victory, or is getting any pleasure out of it,” Kaplan said. “I think what Kevin is looking for is something to stabilize the environment the kids are in. And I think that is what the judge did.

“I think the judge said, ‘I’m not sure what’s going on. There are some very serious allegations here. And I am going to make orders that stabilize the environment until we can have a custody evaluation completed,’ ” Kaplan said.

Gordon did not change the 50-50 custody split Federline and Spears share, but did order both to abstain from using alcohol or controlled substances within 12 hours of being with their children. The two must undergo co-parenting counseling together, complete a “Parenting Without Conflict” program and refrain from using corporal punishment to discipline the children.

“What does that say in terms of how the court considers his parenting?” Vieira asked.

“The courses that they were told to take are standard courses in any contested custody case in California,” Kaplan replied, saying that ordering both parents to take such courses is normal procedure in such cases.

Federline has been reported in the media to be requesting a 70-30 custody split, but Kaplan said that’s not true, because courts don’t use such numbers. “He wants primary custody,” Kaplan said. “However that plays out numerically is how it plays out.”

K-Fed and Spears married in October 2004. They filed for divorce last November and Federline was initially said to be seeking $70 million as a settlement. The divorce was finalized in July under terms that have not been disclosed.

While the celebrity couple continues to duke it out over the children, they’ve been rich fodder for the tabloids. Spears in particular has been awash in controversy, from shaving her head to going partying without her underwear to her inept performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Federline, too, has frequently been photographed while out on the town.

“At what point do you as a lawyer say to your client, ‘You know what? At the very best, it doesn’t look good. You’re fighting for your kids. Maybe you should go home to them instead of going out clubbing,’ ” Vieira asked Kaplan.

Kaplan said that can be an issue when either his client or Spears has physical custody of the children. But, he said, it shouldn’t matter when they don’t.

“I think they are entitled to enjoy their lives, as long as when they are out publicly they are doing it with moderation and there is no concern about the alcohol that is part of the order,” Kaplan said.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kevin spends an evening with Justin Timberlake

Wednesday September 19th: KFed with his entourage/security team made a flashy exit from the Staples Center last night with too much pap over exposure.

Video from Splash News:

Kevin Federline can be seen walking to the underground garage for VIPs at Justin Timberlake's concert at The Staples Center in L.A. Kevin is asked by the paparazzo if he thinks Britney Spears is an unfit mother and also what he thinks about the custody process and if it is messed up. Kevin then has a big smile on his face as he meets up with 'Dancing With The Stars' Joey Fatone in his car. Kevin and crew then walk up to the entrance to the garage. The group then frisked by security before they walk down the ramp.

Pics from (click image for full size):

After the concert, is reporting that Kevin went to Club Ritual in Hollywood. Here is a TMZ video of him leaving Club Ritual at 2:30 AM.

That Other Blog ( is reporting that Kevin was at Justin's private party at the Ritual, and shows this video. We also have a video of Kevin leaving Club Ritual:

YouTube link