Britney Spears may be many things, but “goofy,” her lawyers insist, is not one of them.
The pop singer fired off a $20 million lawsuit Monday against Us Weekly over a column in its Oct. 17 issue that said Spears and husband Kevin Federline feared “raunchy footage” of their bedroom exploits would be made public.
The “X-rated tape” does not exist, the lawsuit says.
Spears’ camp seems as offended by the “Hot Stuff” column’s reportage of a “racy” video as by its statement that the entertainer and her spouse were “acting goofy the whole time” they screened it for lawyers. The same article said those in on the legal confab–a confab the singer’s team denies took place–were torn between laughter and disgust upon viewing the footage.
“The article clearly exposes [Spears] to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy,” the lawsuit says.
Spears maintains (a) there is no Pam-and-Tommy tape (b) there was no threatened leak (c) there was no viewing party for lawyers (d) “there was no laughter, disgust or goofy behavior while watching the video…because they did not watch any video…because there is no such video.”
The lawsuit, putting a finer point on it, brands the Us article a “despicable work of fiction comprised of blatant lies from beginning to end.”
The magazine did not respond to requests for comment. On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that the magazine was standing behind the story. The lawsuit notes that Us previously rejected Spears’ request for a retraction.
When it comes to celebrity literature, Spears, 24, is more of a People person than an Us devotee. While the former has devoted covers to Spears-sanctioned coverage of her wedding and the birth of her son, the latter has questioned the status, legal and otherwise, of her marriage to Federline.
In March, Spears penned an open letter to the “false tabloids,” defined, in her opinion, by Us Weekly, In Touch, Star “and other desperate magazines” (but presumably not People). “I’m really concerned about the people you hire to work at your companies,” she wrote on her Website. “I’d like them to ask themselves the question, ‘What am I lying to myself about?’ Is it that you are 50 pounds overweight?”
“Until you face what is going on in your life,” Spears concluded, “I guess you’ll remain a false tabloid.”
Of late, the “false tabloids” have been on a Spears-Federline divorce watch, moving Spears’ publicist last week to refute the coverage about divisions between the singer and the aspiring rapper with a statement claiming the two “are as normal as other couples. They fight and they make up.”
In a completely non-goofy manner, of course.