Sunday, September 23, 2007
I am happy to report that Britney Spears has not been charged with any further crimes today, not since she was charged on Friday for hit and run and driving without a California license ... nope, no new charges to speak of ... er, that is, not from law enforcement. But, Tony Barretto, Britney's beefy former bodyguard turned stool pigeon (pictured here in happier times with Britters and Cousin Alli Sims), is leveling charges of his own. Big Tony testified at the Spederline custody hearing early last week and has remained mum on his claims ... unil now:
Standing 6ft 7in tall and weighing more than 32 stone, Tony Barretto is a born bodyguard. His strength, his power and his intimidating physique have never been questioned – and neither has his loyalty. He would, as he put it, "have taken a bullet" for Britney Spears and her children. In three months working for her, Barretto grew genuinely fond of the troubled singer, often caring for the two boys when Britney was unwell, otherwise engaged, or plain "out of it". There was screaming, there was shouting, there was selfishness on an epic scale, but such things are all in a day's work for a professional minder. So what could prompt this softly-spoken 27-year-old to become the 'secret witness' whose testimony under oath so gravely damaged Britney's child-custody battle last week? His revelations, kept under seal by the judge, went unchallenged in court, seriously hurting Britney's chances of keeping the children. But while some may suppose him to be motivated by revenge against an employer who dispensed with his services earlier this year, Tony Barretto has a different story to tell. And it is all the more explosive for its heartfelt sincerity. Today, for the first time, Barretto speaks about the fear, the heartache and, at times, the sheer horrors of working alongside Britney. He fears not just for her future, but for all those close to her. Barretto, a former private investigator and celebrity bodyguard, from Ventura, California, claims he saw Britney abuse narcotics and alcohol and that she neglected her children to the point of putting them at serious physical risk. Indeed the frequent screaming bouts and episodes of depression left him fearing the singer might kill herself or even harm her children Preston, aged two, and Jayden, one ... Barretto became involved, hired, as one of her four bodyguards on March 26, days after she left rehab. He quickly found that protecting the singer was the least of his duties. "I was surprised to find how much the job involved looking after her kids," he says. "She was always passing the kids along to us. If they were happy, she was happy. If they weren't happy, she was passing them on to the nanny or the security staff. "We were the only family around her. She'd call a doctor to come out if they cried too much. "She'd say: 'Can you grab the baby, honey?' She always called me 'baby' or 'honey'. I don't think she ever learned my name. "She'd tell me, 'We're going for a tan. Can you take the baby?' And then she'd walk off. She wouldn't really ask me; she'd just leave." If Britney was imperiously self-indulgent, Barretto also found more disturbing traits. "There was a time when I thought she was going to hurt the kids," he confirms rubbing the dark eyes behind the spectacles. "She sent the nanny home. She sent her best friend and personal assistant, Alli Sims, home. Britney hates to be alone, so this was worrying. One of the bodyguards who had been with her longest said she was beginning to shut down as she had just before she shaved her head. He said she'd been talking about suicide then, and this was the same. Britney was sobbing. She screamed." Sensing danger, his colleague said: "I'm worried about the kids. Don't let her go swimming with them. Shocked, I asked, 'Is she going to drown them?' He said, 'I don't know.' I started to cry. How am I supposed to protect someone like that?" Fortunately, they stayed out of the water – and safe from a mother clearly under stress. Barretto believes her recent problems stem from the divorce with Federline. "She wanted Kevin back, and she wouldn't have it that he is gone," he explains. "I think she was screaming in frustration. She lost the love of her life. I think she's scarred from this. She calls him and tries to be passive, but it usually turns into yelling matches. She flung her phone out of the car during one argument. Then she borrowed my partner's phone, and smashed that during another row." ... "I was at her beck and call to do whatever she asked," he says. "I often watched her kids, and helped her install an antique chandelier. Another guard once did her laundry. She doesn't treat her staff like slaves, but she's so self-obsessed that she doesn't think about the people around her." Among Barretto's many tasks was fetching her wake-up coffee, and Britney is a creature of routine. "Typically she wakes around one or two in the afternoon," he says. "We get her two drinks from Starbucks: a hot large vanilla latte, and a cold mocha Frappuccino. We'd ask if she wants a hot or a cold. She goes tanning almost daily in Bel Air, on a UV tanning bed. Then she'll decide whether to have a manicure there. She loves sushi, so she'll often have that for breakfast, even though it's lunchtime. Through the day she snacks on crisps, and loves Coke, Special K cereal and Red Bull energy drinks." ... Britney tolerates the paparazzi, who reciprocate by feeding her parking meters and getting her coffees. There is no shortage of money. My goodness ... the shocking thing about all of this information is how much sense it makes. All of this behavior fits in perfectly with the Britney that we see on a seemingly daily basis. There are always questions of money whenever there are revelations like this from inside sources but, sadly, I have admit that this information has a ring of truth to it. I can absolutely believe that this is how the inner workings of Britney Spears's life operate. Those who can tolerate and keep quiet are allowed to witness her lifestyle firsthand. I'm amazed that Cousin Alli, her own flesh and blood, just lets her behave in this manner as if it were not a problem at all. It remains to be seen what, if any, effect these revelations will have on Britney's custody battle ... tho I suspect these allegations had some effect on Britney having to succumb to drug testing. And, still, I don't see any way that Britney will choose to change her lifestyle for the better, no matter what anyone says ;( [Source]
In happier news, here are new pics of Nicole Richie, with beau Joel Madden, out for a little swim in the ocean as they continue to vacation together in Hawaii:
Photo credit: INFdaily
I've got to say ... Nicole looks beautiful as a pregnant woman. She looks so happy and healthy, I really couldn't be more pleased for her and her new family. [Source, Source]
Owen Wilson also spent part of his weekend at the beach here in SoCal ... here are pictures of Owen frolicking in the ocean on a beach trip with his brothers:
Photo credit: Splash News
It is really great seeing him happy again. I'm sure he still has a lot of healing left to do but I'm glad to see that he's doing well so far. [Source]
Here are new pics of Lindsay Lohan taking a respite from her reabbing in Utah as she sits and chills with some friends at the center ... and then as she steps out to do a little shopping in town:
Photo credit: X17
I can't believe that she left the price tags on her shoes before wearing them out in public ... but if this is as bad as it gets for her, I'll take it. It has always been my sincere wish that she take the time in rehab to really make meaningful change in her life. I would love it if this crazy Hollywood "It" Girl behavior went completely away and we could have a return to traditional Hollywood "It" Girl values -- ie. the ones that don't involve punishable crimes. [Source]
OH NO! What happened to poor Brad Pitt?
Photo credit: Splash News
Actually ... nothing. These pics from from Brad's new movie Burn After Reading which is currently filming in NYC. It's yet unclear what led to this Marcia Brady gets pelted in the nose with a football scene ... but it's clear that Brad has got it all under control. Look at that method acting ... he's such a pro. [Source]
Amber Benson, who played Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, made a special appearance to sign autographs at The Forbidden Planet shop in Leeds earlier this week ... here are a couple of pictures:
Amber/Tara was/is one of my most favorite Buffy characters ever. Thruout the entire series she remained unchanged, untouched by evil and genuinely a positive character. It's hard for those of us who loved the show to not appreciate her influence on the series. I know I'm not alone when I say I was devastated that she was killed off at the end of season 6. I absolutely understand the why but still ... never quite got over her death. Wow ... I'm not sure where all of that came from ... I really just wanted to post pics of Amber Benson because I think she rules. She is definitely one of those actresses that I would love to meet some day. [Source]
Pink reader Marco sends in these great pictures of Brody Jenner partying with some hot Canadians at Embassy nightclub in Toronto, Canada on Friday night:
Brody and his new BFF Frankie Delgado made their way up to Canada this week to party with the Canucks ... I've been getting reports of their shenanigans in London, Ontario and now Toronto. It looks like the ladies in these pics are having a great time ... but not as great a time as Brody seems to be enjoying :) [thanks Marco]
It looks as if Ian Somerhalder is taking some time off from acting to return to his modeling roots ... here are a few pics of Ian lookin' all pretty for Unruly Heir:
Yeah, yeah ... he's pretty fly for a white guy. I miss seeing Ian on TV on a regular basis ... his rosy cheeks were a nice comfort when he was on Lost. Hopefully he'll find himself a fun new job so I can
Jake Gyllenhaal graces the cover of the new issue of Interview magazine. Here is the cover and the accompanying photospread:
I have only 2 words for these photos: Ho-T! Sure, the pics look like they fell out of the pages of an old Abercrombie & Fitch catalog (back in the days when the store actually sold outdoors equipment and the models actually wore clothes) or a new copy of Field & Stream magazine ... in any event, Jakey poo looks amazing. I can dig this rugged outdoorsy-vibe ... it reminds me of his Brokeback Mountain days ... and that is always a great memory to have. [Source]
Lauren LC Conrad and her The Hills sidekick Audrina have succumbed to allure of appearing in the pages of Maxim magazine as the ladies were recently photographed for the mag ... here are a few screenshots from the preview video of the photoshoot that has been posted at Maxim.com:
Honestly, I never pegged LC as the Maxim girl type but with the right styling and the right push-up bra, I guess I can see it now. Audrina must be thanking her lucky stars that LC and Heidi had a falling out because I sincerely doubt there'd be any way she'd get a call from Maxim if she wasn't tied to LC's hip. If I were her ... I'd ride this wave for as long as I could ... or for as long as it takes for LC to find a new BFF. [Source]
Here's a nice story for a fine Sunday afternoon ... a church in Westchester, Florida has stumbled upon a miracle of sorts ... the image of the Holy Family (Mary, Joseph and Jesus) appears to have made itself visible in a shadow cast by light onto a set of altar decorations. Now, skeptics might say that there is nothing there ... but I suppose all it takes is for someone to point out an image for a whole slew of other people to believe that they see it as well. Here are a couple pics of the shadow image ... and a pic of some of the faithful believers lined up to see it in person for themselves:
Photo credit: Splash News
Hundreds lined up outside a Westchester chapel Friday to see it for themselves: the silhouette of the Holy Family projected mysteriously onto a white tapestry. "It gave me goose bumps," Samuel Rosario said as he left the chapel at St. Brendan Catholic Church, cellphone in hand. "I had to come and see it. It's a miracle." Since first appearing late Wednesday, the shadow at St. Brendan has drawn long lines. Parents clutching rosaries and camcorders. Schoolchildren in their uniforms. The aged. Worshipers from as far away as the Keys. Officials at the church won't say whether they believe the Virgin Mary has appeared, but they're thrilled by the turnout. "What the people see, that's up to their interpretation," said Father Fernando Heria of St. Brendan, at 8725 SW 32nd St. "What's important is the awakening in people's hearts. Thousands of people have come through the doors of our little chapel. As a priest, what more can I ask for?" The shadows are cast inside the church's Adoration Chapel, where worshipers are praying 24 hours a day. Inside, three pews and a kneeler face a small altar, upon which a white cloth has been draped. Atop the altar, a monstrance holds a Eucharistic Host. A candle burning in a glass vase and two overhead lights illuminate the display. Parishioners say the sacred image first appeared late Wednesday. Those present that evening said there was a flash of light. Afterward, they noticed the candle casting an unusual shadow on the white cloth over the altar. To them and many others, it unmistakenly forms the silhouette of the Holy Family -- Joseph and the Virgin Mary standing over the baby Jesus. It's not clear what's causing the silhouette. "You really can't tell where it's coming from," said visitor Joanna Hernandez. "There's no way to explain it." Who's to say whether or not this is a miracle or a trick of the mind ... in the end, it really doesn't matter. The fact that many folks take solace in something like this is nice, I think. I find that this sort of "miracle" is much preferable than to, say, the Virgin Mary appearing on a piece of burnt toast. I'm not saying one way or the other whether this is a miracle or not ... I just thought it would be an interesting occurrence to share with y'all. [Source]
And finally, here is another interesting occurance I'd like to share with y'all ... the Hot Dude of the Week. No doubt about it ... it's gotten cold around these here parts ... too cold for any beach nekkidness anymore (boo!) and that is why a dude like Taylor is just what the Dr. ordered:
Photo credit: All American Guys
It may be a touch too cold for any of us to disrobe out in public but it's never too cold for the Hot Dude of the Week to shed his clothing for us to enjoy. As the weather continues to cool as we trudge on into Fall/Winter, I'm looking forward to bringing forth the hotness by way of the Hot Dudes of the Week. So, Taylor, I salute you and your cohorts for a job well done! [Source]
- Dennis Rodman stands accused of sexual assault.
- Peace the Spork Out goes to Marcel Marceau, famed French mime, who has died at the age of 84.
- Ali Larter has got some Jersey pride.
- Jermaine Dupri is 35, Ani DiFranco is 37 and Julio Iglesias is 64 years old today. Click HERE to see who else is celebrating a birthday today.
- "I'm much more interested in what people do with technology and how it changes their lives than I am the technology itself. When the iPhone came out I didn't immediately want one, but I was immediately interested in what it might do." -- Cyberpunk author William Gibson
Jim and Derek are celebrating their 2 month anniversary this weekend (gag!) so David and I took the opportunity to celebrate with them. I absolutely love Derek for Jim and I couldn’t be more pleased that things are coming along nicely for them. We had an utterly amazing dinner as well ... it's always a good time at Koi.
After dinner, David and I met up with our friend Molly, who writes for Pop Sugar, at a birthday party/housewarming thing at her brother's house in the Hollywood Hills. To say that his home was amazing would be an understatement ... it was simply gorge! It's always a great time hanging out with Molly ... as these photos can attest:
Molly loved my BAPE Batman hoodie so much that she had to jump in it and zip it all the way up for pics ... and then we got to dranking ... and then we got to actin' all sloppy. David and I love her ... and we loved meeting all of her friends. Much love goes out to Pink reader Hillary who I met at the party. Honestly, we had the best time hanging out with her family and friends ... it was a nice way to spend our night out last night.
But alas ... my weekend with David is already over ... he's on his way to NYC right now ... but, I'll be flying out to see him in a couple of weeks so I can't get too sad right now.
Tonight, I'm taking Mike with me to see Rufus Wainwright at the Hollywood Bowl for his Judy Garland show. I'm soooo excited. I've waited MONTHS for this show ... and it's finally here. I know it's gonna be cold as balls (ie. 60 degrees, eep!) at the Hollywood Bowl tonight but it'll be well worth it to see RUFUS!
So ... that is all ... have a great rest of the weekend. I'm out.