Despite calls for changes in the existing custody agreement between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, the judge in the case ruled today that things are (basically) to stay the same.
Today’s emergency hearing dealt primarily with the pop star’s apparent inability to respond in a timely fashion to calls from the testing facility for her court-ordered random drug tests. According to K-Fed’s attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, who told the judge that the singer exists in a “parallel universe,” Brit has not responded properly to 8 out of 14 attempts (each “failed” attempt consists of three phone calls from the facility within a one-hour period).
Britney’s excuse? Aside from her lawyer, Anne Kiley, calling the testing facility “corrupt” and the facility’s head a “liar,” it appears that Britney’s biggest problem is the time at which the facility calls.
“She’s a pop star and you can’t expect her to be awake at 7 or 8 in the morning,” Kiley told the court. When the judge pointed out that he had “no doubt” that Ms. Kiley would respond in a timely manner at that hour, she retorted, “But you’re not a pop star with a number one album!”
Rather than point out that Britney’s album was actually a distant number two on this week’s Billboard list, the judge said, “This isn’t about who’s a rock star… We’re all bending over backwards to get her to behave like ordinary people.”
Also at issue is Britney’s apparent cell phone issues. Both Kaplan and the judge mentioned problems of changed phone numbers, lost phones, assistants answering and then hanging up, calls being forwarded to random numbers and so on.
“Is there a special section in the family code dedicated to Ms. Spears?” asked Kaplan. “Should the lab be on standby for when she calls and says, ‘I’m up now, I’m ready to receive visitors?’ “
After a recess, during which the court was unable to secure a new testing facility, Kaplan asked that Britney no longer be allowed to drive the boys, and that if she’s in the car with them, another person must drive. The judge shot this idea down, stating that it would in effect be a change to the custody ruling, but not without a bit of scolding for the beleaguered songstress.
“She’s a mom. She needs to take responsibility,” explained the judge. “It’s not about Britney Spears getting up at 8:30 a.m. It’s about a court order… Do you want a tech standing by for her? Like a fireman ready to go when she’s ready?”
In closing, the judge stressed the need for Britney and her attorney to come up with a dedicated number on which the singer could be reached at all times. “You can change the number every day,” explained the judge, saying that she must let Kaplan and the testing facility know of the change. Explained the judge: “It comes down to, you get the call, you respond to the call, you get tested.”