A court commissioner on Tuesday agreed to hear arguments that legal filings in the bitter child custody battle between troubled pop star Britney Spears and her ex-husband Kevin Federline should be open to the media.
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline in a composite image. Spears and her second husband have finalized their divorce and agreed to share custody of their two young sons, court papers showed on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon set a September 14 hearing date for lawyers from celebrity magazine People and local television station KNBC to argue that court records should be made public.
Lawyers for Spears and Federline oppose the idea and on July 30, when the couple's divorce was finalized, their attorneys won a conditional order to keep the records sealed. That order stays in place for now.
Spears and Federline are battling over custody of their sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, who turn 2 years of age and 1 year old in September, respectively.
But in recent months, the public behavior of Spears has grown ever more erratic, and on Tuesday, Federline's lawyer Mark V. Kaplan confirmed his client was seeking greater custody than the current 50:50 agreement.
Outside the hearing, Kaplan told reporters Federline wanted the two boys "isolated from risks," and denied recent published reports that Federline was seeking more money from the former teen singing sensation.
"This has nothing to do with money," Kaplan said.
A separate hearing on modifying the child custody arrangement was set for September 17.
Spears, 25, rose to pop stardom as a child on cable television's The Disney Channel and as a teenager and young adult became a singing sensation, recording hit songs like "Oops ... I Did It Again."
She married Federline, 29, in October 2004, and filed for divorce in November of last year.
Recent published reports have had Spears firing staff, fighting family members, canceling photo shoots, lip-syncing songs and stripping down to bra and see-through panties for an ocean swim.
A spree of high-profile partying landed her in rehab this past spring.
(Agencies via China Daily August 16, 2007)