Britney Spears's deposition at the hands of Kevin Federline lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan has been an emotionally difficult experience that has only just begun, Kaplan tells PEOPLE.
"We are going over things that are very, very gut-wrenching," Kaplan said Monday night, speaking outside of Katsuya restaurant in Brentwood. He declined to discuss specifics of the questioning, but said, "Just to revisit them even in your own mind would not be pleasurable."
"It's not something anyone would enjoy," he says.
Spear has a spotty record with past deposition dates in the custody case, missing numerous appointments and sitting for only 14 minutes on Jan. 3. Kaplan is expected to be grilling Spears, 26, about past drug and alcohol use, her failure to comply with court orders and any other subject relating to her fitness as a parent.
After a meltdown and brief forced hospitalization, Spears lost visitation rights with sons Preston, 2, and Jayden, 1. Ex-husband Federline, 29, has sole legal and physical custody.
Even Monday's session was in doubt.
"She was about 50 minutes late," he says. "After an hour I would have been over it. I was prepared to terminate had she not showed at that time."
Spears was spotted biting her fingernails when arriving to Kaplan's Century City Plaza office. After spending more than two hours there, Spears appeared tense and lit up a cigarette behind the wheel of her Mercedes before driving through Beverly Hills listening to Madonna on the stereo.
The deposition on a national holiday Monday was booked after the shortened deposition on Jan. 3. The holiday booking was done to accommodate busy lawyer schedules, says Kaplan, and it "did dovetail into allowing this to be a low-profile appearance."
Kaplan says there will further depositions in the unspecified future, claiming that he has only worked through "2 percent" of his questions.
"There is a lot of work to be done," he says. But he adds he was heartened by the idea of even having the meeting in the first place.
"She came for her deposition, that's great," says Kaplan. "Showing up is form over substance."
Britney Headed Back To Court; Kaplan Says She's 'Not The Enemy'
It appears Britney Spears will be in court tomorrow – at least according to her pal Sam Lutfi.
Sam has told Access Hollywood Brit will indeed head to court on Wednesday.
She will reportedly go before the judge to ask for her visitation rights to be restored with her two boys – Sean Preston and Jayden James.
No word yet on whether Kevin Federline will be present at the Wednesday hearing.
On Monday, Britney showed up for her scheduled deposition with Kevin’s attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan. Accompanied by her lawyer, Tara Scott and Lutfi, Britney spent approximately two hours behind closed doors with Kaplan.
Following the deposition, Kaplan spoke with Access Hollywood about his session with the pop star.
“It's not a very enjoyable thing and nobody says, ‘God, I have nothing to do, let's go be deposed.’ But it was progress. It took a lot of time. It was slow going but hopefully there will be further sessions in order to complete what we have to discover,” Kaplan told Access.
And while Britney was at Kaplan’s offices for about two hours on Monday, the attorney told Access not all of that time was spent answering questions.
“I think there was probably about 45 minutes of actual cross-examination, which is better than fourteen minutes,” Kaplan noted, citing his last deposition with Britney, which she left after only 14 minutes.
Despite all her recent troubles and public exploits, Kevin’s camp is hopefully Britney will once again be part of her children’s lives.
“Well, that’s the hope and the expectation,” Kaplan revealed. “There are certain things that have to be done by her in order to make everyone comfortable and to answer any unresolved questions so that we don't have to worry about anything that occurred a few weeks ago being something other than a [disgusting] event. She is not the enemy. She is not being viewed as the enemy and what is being done, even though it may be unpopular with her, is to make sure that she can be a full participant going forward in the future.”
Last week, LA Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon extended the suspension of Britney's visitation rights when she failed to appear in court.
She eventually showed up, however, turned around and left before ever entering the building.
Brit Wants Therapeutic Visitation
Posted Jan 22nd 2008 12:09PM by TMZ Staff
TMZ has learned Britney Spears' lawyers will go to court tomorrow and ask Commissioner Scott Gordon to allow Brit "monitored visitation in a therapeutic setting."
TMZ has learned Brit's family and professionals in her life have been planning a "creative way" to get Britney mental help. As TMZ first reported, Britney has some sort of bipolar disorder. We know the plan is not involuntary commitment -- under the law she's simply not a candidate. It's not voluntarily commitment either -- Brit has refused to do that. The family and professionals have devised a different way of getting her evaluated and hopefully treated.
But there's a rub, which we'll explain in the next post.
The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow at 8:30 AM. Don't know if Brit and K-Fed will show, but it's certainly not out of the question.
Brit Wants What Judge Has Already Ordered
Posted Jan 22nd 2008 12:28PM by TMZ Staff
TMZ has learned Commissioner Scott Gordon has repeatedly ordered Britney Spears to undergo a psychological evaluation but she has refused to comply.
We're told the Commish has issued multiple orders -- known as a 730 evaluation. Now, as we just reported, Brit's family and professionals have devised a plan to get her mental health help in a "creative way." But given his previous orders, the Commish may not be receptive, and almost certainly K-Fed's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, will object.
Evaluating bipolar disorder is a long process. If it's done pursuant to a 730 evaluation, the results are submitted to the court. If the Commish were to accept the alternative form of treatment, a doctor-patient privilege could prevent certain information from making its way to the court (unless the privilege is waived).
Here's the likely scenario based on what we're hearing: K-Fed (and probably the court) will not want Brit to bypass the 730 evaluation process. That could make it unlikely for Brit's lawyers to win a bid to regain visitation in a therapeutic setting.
We'll be live streaming video at the courthouse tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.