Monday, September 24, 2007

Britney Spears Former Bodyguard Continues Talking

A former bodyguard for Britney Spears, who worked for her after her release from rehab in March and was the much-hyped "secret witness" in Britney and Kevin Federline's custody case. Now he is now making the media rounds, and he says he witnessed Britney using drugs on two occasions. "They were both in a nightclub in Los Angeles," bodyguard Tony Barretto, who protected Britney for two months before being fired, said on Monday's Today show. "The incident happened at her table. She had me hold up a curtain, to make her area private." Barretto, who also spoke to Britain's News of the World in an interview published Sunday, added, "The other occasion was when we escorted her to a private restroom upstairs which we secured for her. She was in there for some time alone ... I thought it would be appropriate to check on her. ... I observed this behavior."

Speaking to Today host Matt Lauer with his attorney, Gloria Allred, at his side, Barretto was asked if he found Britney appearing to be "completely strung out" in a Los Angeles hotel room. Lauer also noted that Britney lives in Los Angeles, suggesting that her being in a hotel room in a city where she already lived qualified as questionable behavior. "Did you also see evidence of drug use in that hotel?" Lauer inquired. "I did," said Barretto, who said he was frustrated in not being able to step in and offer help. "It was almost forbidden to talk about her personal life," he said. "Britney doesn't listen to nobody. I mean, that's apparent."

Asked if he ever saw Britney use drugs or abuse alcohol in front of her children, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, Barretto replied, "I have never seen her use drugs in the presence of her children. ... Alcohol? ... I don't know if 'abuse' is the correct language. I have seen her use alcohol."

Allred said Barretto's only motivation for giving interviews about his former employer was because he's the father of two young children himself. "In my personal opinion," said Barretto, "I'm just happy the judge has stepped in [to] help the kids." Meanwhile, Brit spent the weekend in Atlanta, sources tell PEOPLE, confirming a report on "She went to Atlanta [Saturday morning] to get out of the chaos of L.A., just gathering her thoughts, looking for peace," a source said.


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