Video: Gloria Allred speaks to the press
Video: Britney with Tony - April 26, 2007
Tony Barretto, a former bodyguard for Britney Spears, filed a declaration in the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline custody battle which alleges "nudity, drug use and safety issues post-rehab."
Gloria Allred, Barretto's attorney, said in a press conference today that Brit's former hired muscle was prepared to testify under oath today, but that neither the court nor Britney's attorneys chose to cross-examine him. She said his declaration went "unrefuted and unchallenged."
Barretto started working for Britney when she got out of rehab, and was fired on May 17 because, said Allred, "He did not hear her when he was asked to pick up her hat."
Barretto, himself the father of young children, came forward, Allred says, because while working for Britney, he became "very concerned" about the safety of her two boys. Allred also said that she has spoken to County Counsel for Child Protective Services about Barretto's concerns.
Mystery Witness Revealed, Claims Concern for Brit's Kids
Monday September 17, 2007
Attorney Gloria Allred has produced her mystery witness in the Federline v. Spears custody case, a former Brit bodyguard, Tony Barretto.
Allred and Barretto held a press conference moments ago outside of a Los Angeles courtroom where they appeared today to see if Barretto would testify in the former couple's custody battle.
Allred told reporters:
"Today we came to court with a key and secret witness in the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline custody battle. Our client's name is Tony Barretto. He was employed as a bodyguard for Ms. Spears from the time she came out of rehab until May 17th. During that time he was in her home on a full time basis, drove Ms. Spears to various appointments and observed her behavior inside of her home, outside of her home and around her children."
"During that time he became very concerned about the children and their safety. Though he was reluctant to come forward amd become embroiled in her custody dispute he decided to do so because of his concern about the safety and well being of the children. He is a father of young children himself."
"We are shocked that Ms. Spears' attorneys chose not to cross examine our client as to the substance of his declaration. Our client was prepared to testify on issues of nudity by Ms Spears, drug use and safety issues involving the children post rehab."
Earlier today, Spears' attorney Laura Wasser filed papers with the court to remove herself from the case. Marci Levine will represent Spears moving forward in her custody battle with ex Federline.
Former Britney Spears Bodyguard Alleges 'Drug Use'
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2007 04:30 PM EDT
By Ken Lee and Howard Breuer
A former Britney Spears bodyguard was the much-hyped "secret witness" in her custody battle with Kevin Federline on Monday.
Tony Barretto, 28, was prepared to testify about "issues of nudity by Ms. Spears, drug use and safety issues involving the children" that he witnessed as her bodyguard before she fired him on May 17, says Barretto's attorney, Gloria Allred, who brought him to court. Instead of testifying, his written allegations were entered into court as evidence.
Spears's lawyer, Laura Wasser strongly denied allegations of drug use by Spears. "He isn't a credible witness," said attorney Wasser after a two-hour closed-door hearing on Monday.
The hearing, meanwhile, was the last for Wasser, who stated she's officially stepping aside as Spears's attorney. Spears's new lawyer will be Marci Levine. "Britney will be in excellent hands" with Levine, Wasser said.
"I don't want anyone to perceive that we're dumping Britney," Wasser added. "In a lot of attorney-client relationships, there comes a time when some fresh blood is necessary."
Wasser also confirmed that Spears and Federline's current 50-50 custody arrangement for Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, will remain in effect for now.
Federline, 29, is seeking primary physical custody of the couple's two children.
Sources close to Federline have repeatedly denied that the former backup dancer is motivated by money, though the more custody time he has with the kids, the more child support payments he could receive.
Court documents released Aug. 30 show that Spears's income is $737,868 a month, while Federline has no "net income after business expenses," and his spousal support of $20,000 a month ends in November.
According to Wasser, many of the pop star's associates have already been deposed after being issued subpoenas to testify about Spears's parenting skills.
Federline's lawyer, Mark Vicent Kaplan, has stated that his next legal moves depend on what information he gathers against Spears in those depositions.
At the last hearing on Sept. 4, it was revealed that Spears has been cleared of recent complaints to child welfare workers.
Gloria Allred (Tony Barretto's attorney):
Laura Wasser (Britney Spears' former attorney):
Mark Vincent Kaplan (Kevin Federline's attorney):