Britney Spears’ former bodyguard, Tony Barretto, went on a full-fledged media tour this weekend, culminating in a Today show appearance on Monday, telling “Toxic” tales of his former client’s supposed drug-abusing ways.
The robust protector, who worked for Britney for two months following her rehab exit in March, insists he’s coming clean for the sake of Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, but his intentions appear to be more shady than Britney’s behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
"If they were truly in danger, he should’ve spoken immediately and to the authorities, not later and to the media, so that makes me question the veracity of his claims,” Judge Lynn Toler of the MyNetwork program Decision House tells OK!. “If he knew something was going on and he was protecting Britney, I mean, gee, what does that say. But as far as credibility is concerned, the lateness and the parties to whom he speaks really belies credibility.”
For such serious matters concerning the children’s safety — especially that of babies — Tony should have turned to a more suitable and effective place, such as a child care agency, if he truly wanted to make a difference. “[The media] can’t do anything about it, but the court can and they would do so immediately. I don’t see how he’s helping now.”
The claims also comes courtesy of the man himself and his attorney Gloria Allred despite the fact that his court declaration was sealed. Judge Toler surmises that the court hasn’t lifted the ban, meaning Tony could be violating court orders and possibly a nondisclosure agreement between he and Britney as well.
“The fact that he’s talking doesn’t mean that he’s allowed to,” she says. “If he’s talking and the judge has ordered him not to, he’s always subject to a contempt of court charge. He can go to jail or get fined for that. If he’s talking when there’s a nondisclosure agreement, there are usually economic consequences. So just because he’s talking doesn’t mean anything’s changed.”
While it remains unknown, chances are the troubled pop star did have a nondisclosure agreement with Tony because “it’s the celebrity’s job to do it and it has to be done well so it covers all eventualities, but I would say 99 percent of them do.”
The 25-year-old has yet to respond or debunk her ex-human shield’s allegations and the lack of denial is a good thing because a public verbal battle will do nothing to help her cause.
“I would imagine her attorneys are telling her not to say anything,” Judge Toler says, adding that she would advise Britney of the same. “What good would it do? She will do all of her proving, all of her talking in court. [Not responding] probably diminishes her in the public eye because people want to know that, but the people in court know the difference between publicity and evidence.”
Tony’s going to need a lot of it if he wants his claims to make a dent in the custody case. Right now, it’s just his word, which isn’t enough to take the singer down, Judge Toler explains. If Britney fails her court-ordered drug tests and/or more people make the same accusations, then Kevin Federline might want to stock up on more Pampers.
“The court’s going to want more than somebody’s word. One person isn’t enough because that’s a heavy charge and that weighs so heavily in the best interests of the children. That’s a choice the courts have to make, and they don’t take those kind of decisions lightly.”
Still, even if the claims are proven to be true, it won’t be “game over” for Britney yet.
“It’s not determinative,” Judge Toler says. If she’s found to be a habitual drinker, that’s not the end of the inquiry, although that weighs heavily on K-Fed’s side. It’s a big one, but it’s not the last question. It is something that she has to overcome. She has to respond to that immediately if in fact that finding is made and say, ‘I’m changing. I’m dealing with it. I’m getting over it.’ But that’s not the final word. It’s a big part of the pie.”
By Joyce Eng