Britney Spears’ Custody Fight: Today’s Secret Witness

Posted on Sep 17, 2007 in Celebrity Justice

britneymtv1.jpgGloria Allred represents a “secret witness” who filed a declaration in Britney Spears’ custody fight with Kevin Federline, a man who she reportedly described to FoxNews as, “[y]ou may recognize him as we walk into court, but maybe not.  He is not famous.  He’s just someone who’s concerned about the kids.”  Needless to say, the declaration helps K-Fed and hurts Britney.

What is all this about a secret witness?  Isn’t this America?  How can someone just write something down, and use it against Britney?  Isn’t that unfair?  What about due process?

The “declaration” is a sworn statement, which under California law will be filed in the record, and count as evidence for the judge (called a “commissioner” in this proceeding) to consider, along with all the other evidence presented in the custody case.

While it’s not weighed as heavily as testimony on the stand, or in a deposition, the person did have to swear that the contents are factually accurate.  It counts.

Britney’s team has two choices: let it ride, or call this guy to the stand, to question him about the written statement.  Britney’s weapon against this Secret Witness Statement is to have her attorneys question him under oath, forcing the guy to take the stand and defend what he’s claimed as truth.

The risk for Britney?  Britney may make this guy’s statements even more credible, by bringing him to the courtroom and letting him tell his tale on the stand.  That testimony will carry more weight that the paper he’s signed.  His words can become more powerful, if he survives the confrontation.

On the other hand, if he’s embellished or outright lied, then Britney can expose him as deceptive and totally discredit everything he’s put into words, on paper or under oath.

The option?  Let it alone.  Discredit the paper as being worthless, because the man was never confronted and may have his own ax to grind with her.  She doesn’t have to call him to the stand.  She can ask why didn’t K-Fed, if he was so credible, and leave it at that.

Britney’s chosen option one: the Mystery Man is taking the stand this morning to face the cross-examination of Spears’ attorney, Laura Wasser.   Why?  Sounds like what is written in that declaration is too damaging to let it go unchallenged.  Sounds like it’s so harmful to Britney that to let it sit there wouldn’t make sense: it’s gotta be seriously inflamatory.  (On Friday afternoon, Britney’s attorney filed a motion to seal up the file, which would prevent the media from seeing this Declaration.)

So, what’s up?  What will he say?  Rumors are that he will testify to having witnessed Britney doing drugs in front of her children.

And, undoubtedly he’ll be ready for Wasser’s questioning: Gloria Allred is his attorney. Gloria Allred has already prepared him for this onslaught, as well as confirmed for herself that this statement is valid before she, as an officer of the court, ever filed it.  Gloria Allred isn’t going to file something frivolous, especially in this high-profile case.

One more thing.  If the judge reads the morning papers, he’ll also know that Britney purportedly smeared food all over her face while dining at the Chateau Marmont, and was promptly kicked out of the restaurant.   Judges are only human, and this isn’t good for Britney to have served to the Commissioner with his morning coffee.

Think how much different it would be if he had read about her shopping for her children, like Christina Aguilera did this weekend, or better yet, taking at least one of her sons on an outing to a toy store, like Angelina Jolie did last week with daughter Zahara.

Public perception is not evidence, and the judge should not rule based upon media comparisons.  But everyone’s human and this comparison of publicity coverage can be damaging to Britney, nevertheless.  Plus, if K-Fed’s lawyers work it right, some of this can become admissible in a proceeding whose focus is the best interests of the children.

It’s not looking good for Britney.

Which may be why she’s trying to settle with K-Fed, allegedly offering him millions if he’ll make a deal with her over custody, and drop the court proceedings.   Since they’re in court this morning, sounds like negotiations fell thru.  Maybe K-Fed is more concerned about the kids than the cash.�

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