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Britney Spears' Ex-Bodyguard Tells All

Aired September 27, 2007 - 21:00   ET


TONY POTTS, HOST: Tonight, he says he saw Britney Spears doing drugs after she got out of rehab. Now, her former bodyguard in his first live primetime interview with the details you haven't heard on why he fears for her kids and for her life.
Meanwhile, Britney keeps us buzzing.


BRITNEY SPEARS: Oh, you're so cute. Stop. (INAUDIBLE).


POTTS: Now she's inviting the paparazzi along to the ladies room. We've invited some celebrity judges to lay down the law on Britney and on more big names behaving badly, from Lindsay Lohan to Kiefer Sutherland to O.J. Simpson and more.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Hi, everybody.

I'm Tony Potts in for Larry tonight.

Now, we've all watched as Britney Spears made her journey from Mouseketeer to pop tart to troubled divorcee. And tonight we get an inside look at the drama that is Britney Spears' life straight from the man who used to be her bodyguard.

Joining me in studio, former bodyguard Tony Barretto.

He is here with his attorney, Gloria Allred.

Thank you both for being here.

You know, my question to you is, Tony, why would you want to be Britney Spears' bodyguard?

How'd that happen?

TONY BARRETTO, BRITNEY SPEARS' FORMER BODYGUARD IN FIRST LIVE PRIMETIME INTERVIEW: Well, it was a job offer that was given to me and I thought it would be the perfect chance for me to get some training in my field. It was a new field that I was venturing into. And what a great opportunity to work with somebody.

POTTS: And this was from March until May of this year, approximately two months?

BARRETTO: That's correct.

POTTS: Now in that time, you've said that you saw things that you guys both were concerned about -- Britney's behavior, her safety, possibly, for the kids, as well.

Take me through an instance -- I know that she was supposed to play in Anaheim, California, a concert. You guys were looking for her. She was nowhere to be found. You learned that she may be in a hotel room. You knock on the door.

When you knock on that door and it opens, what do you see, Tony?

BARRETTO: Just, you know, the room was completely a mess. It looked like it had been partied in all night. There was food and clothing and alcohol throughout the room. I entered the room for one concern, and that was for Britney's safety. So I began to look around for any possible weapons or things of that nature. And that's with I observed some substance on the table next to the bed.

POTTS: What substance?

BARRETTO: It was a white powdery substance that had a straw next to it. In my professional training, it appeared to be a narcotic.

POTTS: And what did you do then when you saw that?

Did you think in your mind, we need to get her out of here?

BARRETTO: Well, we knew we needed to get her out of there as soon as possible. That was our whole intention of being there. And I just continued to look around for other things, which I saw a pipe on the other nightstand.

POTTS: A crack pipe?

BARRETTO: A pipe -- it was a clear pipe. I don't believe it was a crack pipe. I don't know, it could have been marijuana -- perhaps a methamphetamine pipe. It was very similar to -- those are kind of a similar nature. And, you know, I didn't really take a whole long time to sit there and debate what it was. It was a pipe. It was clear it was a smoking device. Then I moved forward looking for weapons. And we ultimately got her out of the room.

POTTS: Was there anybody else in the room at that time?

BARRETTO: There was an individual there that I identified.

POTTS: Can you identify him?

Gloria, can he?

BARRETTO: I don't know, (INAUDIBLE)?

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR TONY BARRETTO: Well, we'll just say that he was a male.

POTTS: He was a male.

BARRETTO: It was a male.

POTTS: Was he awake, passed out?

BARRETTO: He appeared to either be playing asleep or he was asleep. He didn't pose a threat to me.

POTTS: How long had you been on the job at this point?

BARRETTO: You know, the whole employment was brief, so, perhaps, the third, fourth, fifth week. I don't remember.

POTTS: That's some introduction.

So tell me, you know, Britney Spears prior to that, her conditions. You find her in this hotel room.

What's her condition?

What does she look like?

BARRETTO: She looked like -- she appeared to be under the influence. She was kind of incoherent. She was looking for her cell phone, which we ultimately found. It was in her purse the whole time. She was biting her nails. Her pupils were dilated. She didn't conversate well -- sweating, acting nervously. And, in my professional opinion, I think she was under the influence.

POTTS: So you get her out of there.

Do you have to carry her out or did she go willingly?

BARRETTO: She walked. She walked out with myself and my partner and we got her into her SUV.

POTTS: And then what happened?

BARRETTO: We, you know, headed down Sunset and she wanted -- she said she felt sick and she needed some medication. She wanted the air conditioner to be turned up full blast. And so after that, you know, she started to feel uncomfortable in the SUV with us and she wanted to go into her tour bus -- which we stopped in traffic and got her tour bus next to us and we...

POTTS: You just stopped in traffic.

She's in one car and she wants to get in the tour bus and you stop dead in traffic?


POTTS: On what Boulevard?

BARRETTO: Sunset Boulevard. And that's not uncommon with Britney. I mean...

POTTS: The middle of the day?

BARRETTO: The middle of the day, to stop traffic, you know, I mean -- you've seen plenty of shots with her just doing, you know, things that -- you know, you do what she does, basically, and what she wants to do. And she wanted to go to her tour bus and we provided that for her.

POTTS: And then does she go to the show?

Do you think at any time, jeez, maybe we should take her to the hospital, she looks a little bad?

BARRETTO: My partner was coordinating the logistics of where we were going.

POTTS: What was your role, by the way?

BARRETTO: My role was the big guy and that's why she hired me...

POTTS: You filled that one out pretty well.


BARRETTO: Thank you. You know, she hired me for that purpose. She wanted a big, scary looking guy and I filled that role. Again, my job was to protect her, mainly just, you know, watch over her. Everyone else had a different part, you know, a job. And my partner was taking care of that.

POTTS: When you saw her like this, did you feel -- was she ever around the kids in an instance when she was like that?

BARRETTO: You know, the behavior that she displayed during these times was that -- it was clear that she was under the influence, to me -- parallel to other behavior that she displayed at home. And that's what led me to believe that she was using narcotics, although I've never saw her use narcotics in front of the children.

POTTS: But did you ever see her use drugs personally?


POTTS: How many times?

BARRETTO: Twice. Two occasions. Both were at a Hollywood nightclub. The first happened when, at her private table, she asked that I hold a curtain to cover her private area...

POTTS: Wait, this in the middle of a club.

BARRETTO: Not in the middle. It was more toward the back corner.

POTTS: And she wanted you to hold a curtain up? BARRETTO: Yes. She wanted me to hold a curtain up and I did so for a length of time. And, you know, it was getting difficult after a while to hold a big, heavy curtain up. And I turned, I looked over my shoulder to see if it would be OK to, you know, let go of the curtain, and that's when I noticed she was doing this.

POTTS: And we should explain, I believe, if I'm correct, that you were hired shortly after she came out of rehab?

BARRETTO: Right. Right.

POTTS: So you must have thought it didn't go so well in rehab.

BARRETTO: Well, I mean I tried to keep my personal opinions away from her personal life. Again, I was just there to work.

POTTS: And subsequently you were fired.

For what reason?

BARRETTO: Well, she made it very clear to me that I was terminated because I failed to hear her directive. She dropped a hat -- actually left a music studio and she had a frustrating day of some sort. So she was frustrated. She was made aware of the fact that I'm hard of hearing. That was clear when she hired me...

POTTS: So you're hard of hearing, and she knew that, apparently?

BARRETTO: Oh, definitely. I made that -- I make that, to all my employers, well known, because it is an issue. And, you know, she was made aware of that and she didn't care. She was upset because I didn't hear her say, you know, pick up the hat. And she let me go.

POTTS: Did she tell you or did stuff just end up outside or what happened?

BARRETTO: Yes, well, we -- she told her assistant, who relayed that to my partner and ultimately I had to wait outside. I couldn't enter the grounds to, you know, get my check or anything.

POTTS: So some people, Gloria, might say this a former employee who's disgruntled and has an ax to grind.

How do you counter that?

And maybe he has some sour grapes?

ALLRED: Well, I think that his motives are pure, Tony. And his motive is he wants to protect the children. He gave a declaration in this case under penalty of perjury, that is in the custody battle between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. And he was the only witness to give a declaration about her behavior post-rehabilitation. That's why he was a key witness.

He was there at the courthouse. He was there to be cross-examined by Britney's attorneys, if they wished to call him and attempt to discredit him or undermine his declaration in any way.

POTTS: Why do you think they didn't?

ALLRED: They declined to do so.

POTTS: Why didn't they, do you think?

ALLRED: I think -- I mean I can't read their minds. But my opinion as an attorney who's experienced -- I've been in a law practice for 31 years -- is that they most likely believed that it would be more hurtful to their client to call him to the witness stand than helpful, because had he testified, he might then have opened up even more doors -- more areas that would not have been helpful to their client.

So the bottom line is they had their opportunity to try to discredit him, to say he was a disgruntled employee. They presented no evidence to that effect. They didn't cross-examine him.

Therefore, his declaration was received into evidence. The court, when it issued its order in the temporary custody matter, said that based on the evidence, that Miss. Spears is an habitual, frequent and continuous user of controlled substances and alcohol.

Well, what's the evidence the court looked at?

His was the only evidence of that. So apparently the court gave it great weight and apparently did believe him. And I think that's really important, because he's accomplished his goal of helping to protect the kids, because she was ordered, Tony, then -- based on that finding -- to undergo drug testing and not to take drugs or alcohol within 12 hours of having custody of the children, or during the time the children are with her. So at least that's some protection. POTTS: We're going to take a break.

But when we come back, also I want to talk to Tony about the possible suicide of Britney Spears, if he heard anything, if he saw anything and would that ever damage the kids, as well.

Also, when we come back, K-Fed -- what can Tony Barretto tell us about the ex-husband who's battling Britney for their kids.

And, of course, your e-mail questions, when LARRY KING LIVE continues.


SPEARS: Oh, God.

Cool and I'm not really fazed by that much stuff.



POTTS: Welcome back. We are with Tony Barretto.

He is Britney Spears' former bodyguard.

And, also, Tony's attorney, Gloria Allred.

I want to ask you, Tony, about Britney Spears and did you ever fear at any time that you were with her that she may -- she may die, she could possibly die?

BARRETTO: We had some concerns. My partner stressed some concerns that he had. He had worked with her longer than I had. And he had made it apparent to me that there may be a possibility of that. And that was a very stressful day.

POTTS: Any instances when you were with her that she put your -- or her life in danger, her kids' life in danger?

BARRETTO: I think she does that daily. I think that's apparent to the media, to the public, you know, and hopefully to the court, as well. I mean her behavior is just so strange and unpredictable, that we don't ever know what's going to happen.

POTTS: Now I heard this, one time she was driving on the wrong side of the road with the kids in the back of the car?

BARRETTO: Yes, that was -- that was a scary day. It actually, you know, made me almost want to quit that day. She just...


BARRETTO: Well, because, I mean, when there's kids involved, I mean come on. They're -- what are you going to -- the kids cannot do anything for themselves. And we can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do, because she's my client. And how powerless you are and how powerless you feel in that situation.

POTTS: So you're -- are you following behind?

How are you...

BARRETTO: We were. We were following behind her and she -- she didn't give us any directive where we were going. We didn't have any setup plan where we were going. She just drove aimlessly through town on the wrong side of the road, doing illegal U-turns, and ultimately came back home and didn't accomplish anything but endanger herself and the kids. And...

POTTS: Did you think she was ever suicidal?

Did you ever fear that maybe she might do something to herself and the kids?

BARRETTO: Well, I -- well, again, we had some thoughts and concerns about that. My partner was the one who had conveyed to me what his concerns were. And I was concerned, as well, because of his knowledge, you know, personal knowledge of her more so than, you know, mine, because I was new. You know, of course, we were concerned. We were always concerned.

POTTS: One of the things -- let's go to an e-mail right now, because this is a question I had for you anyway. And we had a ton of e-mails about this. "If, indeed, you witnessed the behavior you say, why did you wait to come forward? Why didn't you immediately report it to child protective services and not wait the four months from May until September?

BARRETTO: Well, I think people are assuming that. You know, no one knows the exact facts of this case. That's the reason why I am here today.

There were attempts made.

POTTS: Gloria, there were?

ALLRED: Yes. And...

POTTS: Why can't we...

ALLRED: And I will say this, that I have spoken with county counsel for child protective services and they're certainly aware of our concerns.

POTTS: Did you ever see Kevin Federline, the father?

BARRETTO: I've never met Kevin.

POTTS: Never met him?

BARRETTO: I never met Kevin.

POTTS: In the two months?

BARRETTO: I've never met Kevin. I've met his bodyguard.

POTTS: His bodyguard?


POTTS: Is -- so when you're with Britney, and Britney does have the kids, give me an idea of how much time she actually spends with the kids.

BARRETTO: You know, that's another thing I want to make clear. It was -- not everything was bad. Britney clearly showed her want and will to be with the kids and to love her kids, you know. But there were situations that weren't consistent with that. She would go swimming with her kids. She loved to swim with her kids, shopping with her kids, spend the day with her kids, speak with her kids...

POTTS: Were you concerned, though, if she was a bit out of her mind, that she was going swimming in a pool?

BARRETTO: Well, you know...

POTTS: It's not a really...

BARRETTO: ...again, I can only echo that we were always concerned because her behavior is never consistent. It's (INAUDIBLE)...

POTTS: You can swim, I take it?

BARRETTO: I'm sorry?

POTTS: You can swim.

BARRETTO: I can swim. Absolutely.


BARRETTO: I can swim quite well.

POTTS: I just wanted to make sure.

One more thing I want to ask you about.


POTTS: And I want to see how this played at home for you. I do know that she walked around naked, apparently, in front of you guys.

Was there a speech that they gave you?

I mean how did...

BARRETTO: Yes, I was...

POTTS: You'd be shocked if you didn't know about it.

BARRETTO: Well, when I first came on, I was, you know, talking to my boss and he pretty much gave me the whole what to do thing, you know, the whole speech about what to do when you see her nude.

POTTS: And what do you do?

BARRETTO: Well, he says, hey, you know, you play coy and you be bashful and turn around and, you know, you go about your business. But you don't make it a point that it's, you know, a discomfort you, and you'll keep your job.

POTTS: Really?

And so you're going through all of this. You've been on the job a couple of months.

How does it -- you're married, correct, with a couple of kids?


POTTS: How does this play at home when you go home and you tell your wife well, I'm -- my boss is naked all the time?

It's Britney Spears.

BARRETTO: Well, it's my common law wife and we've been together for a long time. But, nonetheless, she was uncomfortable with it. I mean we had some discussions and some concerns. And, you know, like I said, I was pretty much going to quit. But I felt like I needed to stay there because of the kids. But it really put a very big bearing on my relationship for a while.

POTTS: Did you ever pray for her?

BARRETTO: I always pray for her. I pray for her daily.

POTTS: Really?

BARRETTO: I have the utmost hope for her.

POTTS: And what is that prayer?

What do you say?

BARRETTO: You know, I want her to do well. I want her to reach out to her family. I hope the Spears family is listening and comes together somehow and help their daughter, because she has nobody around her and it's...

POTTS: Is she lonely?

BARRETTO: I think she is. I think she's got some very, very, you know, big issues on her plate here and she needs some help.

POTTS: Gloria, what's next?

ALLRED: Well, I can say that I'm personally concerned about the children. And I'm concerned because the court did find, based on his declaration, that she is a habitual, continuous and frequent user of controlled substances and alcohol.

So I say that the court's decision, then, to leave the children with her under those circumstances, at least 50 percent of the time, I think is not consistent with the court's finding. I think he should have removed the children from her until such time as she could demonstrate to the court that she's no longer a user of those controlled substances and alcohol. That, I think, would have given her a real incentive to clean herself up and get the help that she needs because, obviously, she'd want the children back with her. And that has not yet happened.

POTTS: Well, let's hope she gets some help somehow.

BARRETTO: Absolutely.

ALLRED: Thank you.

POTTS: Tony Barretto, Gloria Allred, thank you. ALLRED: Thank you.

POTTS: Thank you very much.

BARRETTO: Thank you.

POTTS: You know, by the way, LARRY KING LIVE asked the Britney Spears camp for a response to the allegations that have been made by Tony Barretto and we were given this statement by Ms. Spears' attorney, Sorrell Trope: "I don't think it's appropriate for any witness to be expressing their testimony in the media. In addition, in a family law custodial case, only experts are permitted to render opinions and any opinion by lay individuals should be not considered."

Gloria is laughing.

Up next, a shrink, a Hollywood image expert and a journalist who got a firsthand lesson in Britney's meltdown.

Do not go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you handle it, everybody?

SPEARS: Can you handle it?

Can you handle my truth?

Can you?

I don't know.




Welcome back.

And joining me now, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He is the host of "Loveline" and also medical director, department of chemical dependency, Las Encinas Hospital. And assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Clark School of Medicine of USC; also, author of "Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again".

Also joining us, Howard Bragman, longtime celebrity publicist and crisis communications expert. We know why you're here, that's for sure.

And Ruth Hilton, deputy editor of "OK!" magazine. She was present at the July photo shoot which "OK!" chronicled in a cover story titled "Britney's Meltdown."

Reaction right away to Tony Barretto and what he's saying. DR. DREW PINSKY, "LOVELINE" HOST, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR PSYCHIATRY, KECK-USC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Well, my first reaction is, I'm an addictionologist. I run an addiction and recovery center. We treat patients like this all the time. And I must tell you, when I hear the story, it makes me very sad. This is an extremely serious situation psychiatrically and medically. This is somebody with major league addiction. The fact that she had been through treatment and resumed her drug use immediately afterward and actually left treatment -- it seems to me, against medical advice -- that is a horrible prognostic sign.

Look, if we were talking about any other Britney -- Britney Smith -- and said Britney Smith has a severe addiction. Britney Smith may have postpartum depression. Britney Smith has child care issues, a recent divorce, a stressful career, Britney Smith would be in very serious trouble psychiatrically.

I would be concerned for her survival, frankly, both from the standpoint of depression, her psychiatric state and her addictive process. So this is -- this is no fooling. This is the real thing.

POTTS: Howard Bragman, then how do you go in and deal with a client and say, look, you need to clean up your life, you need help?


HOWARD BRAGMAN, LONGTIME CELEBRITY PUBLICIST, CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT: Tragically, in this case, in the last two weeks her manager and her attorney -- a divorce attorney -- both who are very respected, have left her.

POTTS: What does that say to you?

BRAGMAN: It tells me -- the reason that reps leave is twofold. One, they're not listening to you.

And, second, you're afraid that they're going to do damage to themselves and die. And I've had it happen on my watch. And it's the worst thing that can happen.

POTTS: Ruth, what do you think about what you just heard from Tony Barretto?

Does it seem consistent to what you know?

RUTH HILTON, "OK!" MAGAZINE DEPUTY EDITOR, THERE FOR BRITNEY'S PHOTO SHOOT MELTDOWN: It's absolutely consistent with what we saw in the

"OK!" shoot in terms of the erraticness of the behavior. It's really sad. It doesn't surprise me. I wish I could say it would. And even in "OK!" this week, we've got more of the same.

POTTS: Well, yes, I know. Take a look at this. The paparazzi seem to be always in Britney's life. Earlier this week, she popped into a restaurant to use the public restroom. And then she asked a photographer to join her.

We have video provided by

Let's see what transpired.

Take a look.


SPEARS: I agree.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shall I have her bring it to the front or outside?

SPEARS: Right out there. (INAUDIBLE).

SPEARS: Oh, you're so cute.


SPEARS: Stop. You're making me nervous. Oh, God.


SPEARS: You're on.


POTTS: That, to me, is absolutely insane, in one sense, because she knows the paparazzi, and bringing them in.

Is that consistent with the behavior you guys saw at the "OK!" magazine photo shoot?

HILTON: yes, I mean it's very strange. On the one hand, she's been chased by these guys. On the other hand, she's inviting them into her life. You know, the "OK!" shoot, for many reasons, was quite extraordinary, not least because of the paparazzi who were outside. It seems just...

POTTS: So what was...

HILTON: She's oscillating.

POTTS: Give me some details on the meltdown that you saw, her behavior, personally.

HILTON: Well, it was very strange with the "OK!" shoot in the sense that, you know, everything started so well. She had come to us saying, you know, I'm relaunching my career, my album. Let's do a wonderful international shoot. "OK!" has editions around the world. It's a huge global enterprise. POTTS: She was thinking great.

HILTON: Great. So she arrives about 40 minutes late, which is fine. You know, we're used to that. That's actually quite good for most of (INAUDIBLE). I'm sure Howard would agree.


HILTON: And, you know...

BRAGMAN: (INAUDIBLE) my clients.

HILTON: ...again, it's going fine. The first moment we had a bit of a ding was we -- she wanted to use her own hair and makeup. We had got the best hair and makeup, the best photographer, everything, really that style and money can buy. And, you know, we wrestled over that. Then came, obviously, the infamous stuff with the wardrobe. You know, we had this situation in which she rejected the clothes because she felt they were not tight enough, not sexy enough, when it was, you know, all the top designers, from Vera Wang through to Versace through to Zach (INAUDIBLE).

POTTS: But that's not too much bizarre may have behavior, though. I mean stars do that.

HILTON: Well, not -- not so much when you're being asked to style, you know, you give yourself up to the stylists. And then, of course, we have the situation with the dog pooing (ph) all over the Zac Posen gowns, several thousand dollars worth of gown. Then we have the chicken grease incident. I mean, you know, many people will have heard of this, also, where she took her hands, full of chicken grease, after being asked to take her dress off, wiped it down the front, wiped it down the back, threw it off. It was extraordinary.

POTTS: What do you do in a situation like that, when you have a P.R. disaster and people are witnessing it?

BRAGMAN: Well, you know, the disaster shouldn't happen. It's from planning ahead of time. A P.R. person is sort of like a lawyer. You don't put your client in a situation unless you know what's going to happen.

And when you talk about the wardrobe, you talk about the hair, you talk about the makeup -- these are all planned because you don't want any surprises. You have a vision ahead of time of here's how this going to turn out. Here's how she's going to look. And you do not want to wing it at these moments. You've got a client like that, you're scared as hell, because something is seriously wrong here.

POTTS: We're going to take a break.

But I want to let you jump in later. And I also want to ask you, what's the course of action here?

What's the course of treatment?

How can somebody help her?

PINSKY: I've got a plan.

POTTS: All right, coming -- I hope do you.

Coming up, later, our own brand of celebrity justice -- TV judges lay out their sentencing suggestions for stars in trouble.

Back with Dr. Drew, Howard Bragman and Ruth Hilton after a quick break.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She -- she clearly is somebody that can perform, that can do it, and she can sell records. She's done it.

The question is, what will she do to get back to that place?

There are some people who are rooting for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has a huge heart. She is a great person.

SPEARS: I just want more.



POTTS: Hey, welcome back. Glad you're with us. Tony Potts here sitting in for Larry King tonight. Happy to do so. Our guests are Dr. Drew Pinsky, also Howard Bragman, Ruth Hilton.

Dr. Drew, I want to ask you, what's the course of treatment here? Because she's a superstar, nobody around her. Does anybody listen to her?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, "LOVELINE": Yes, well, no one listens to what she needs, unfortunately. There's no enlightened person to step up and say, I'm willing to risk my job, I'm willing to risk my access to you to get what you need. And what she needs, basically is what Lindsay Lohan is doing, is going away for a long period of time in an intensive isolated experience interpersonally where she can have treatment.

It's not something she can do on a weekend. It's not something she can do in a week or even a month. This is a very serious medical and psychiatric problem. And it saddens me greatly to see the condition she's in.

POTTS: How do you get her, though? I mean, how do you get her in the car to rehab?

PINSKY: That's the big question. As we've -- you know, we all have -- I'm sure any of you out there have had experiences with people that have addiction, when they push everybody away, things unravel rather intensively. POTTS: Especially the families.

PINSKY: Especially the family. And the families are the ones sometimes who are going to leverage them into treatment. Oftentimes they have to have a -- this is going to sound awful, but they have sort of near-death experiences before they go OK, OK, I'm ready to do something. Show me the way.

Up until then, they resist, they obfuscate, and they get in the way of treatment.

POTTS: Real quickly, if she is doing drugs but also has a mental problem...


POTTS: Then maybe she will never say...

PINSKY: She has no insight into it. But you know, many addicts these days have dual -- what are called dual diagnoses, they lack insight. There's no doubt there is -- you know, the depression issues. And there are disorders of thought associated with addiction. You don't know what it is until somebody has been sober a couple of months.

POTTS: Howard, every day she is trailed by paparazzi. I've seen it. You live nearby, correct?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST: I live about $5 million down the road from her.


BRAGMAN: And there's probably 20 to 30 SUVs anytime she comes out of her gated community, which is interesting. A lot of big stars live in there, Academy Award winners, some of my clients.

POTTS: They just come out and nobody cares.

BRAGMAN: But they don't care. Britney lives her life in such a way, we're in the reality show culture, OK? And we've taken Paris and Lindsay and we've taken Britney and we follow them like a reality show. And these people do not disappoint us. They're much crazier than anything you could script on TV.

POTTS: I'm hosting a show next week called "Celebrity Expose" on my network. And we have video of what you're talking about with Britney, of eight guys going down the road the wrong way on Mulholland Boulevard, 70 miles an hour to get behind her, all the way down to Century City nearly running over cars. I mean, if there had been a family with two kids in the back around the corner on Mulholland, bam, they would have been gone.

BRAGMAN: I've had friends say with me, and they, what is going on here? This is crazy. And as much as I think she has to own her own responsibility for her issues, I feel really bad that she's hunted like an animal.

POTTS: Ruth, how much is the media giving her a break in a sense when you guys see bad behavior and you hold it for a little because you think, oh, lord? I mean, how do you handle that?

RUTH HILTON, OK! MAGAZINE: Well, I think the bottom line is with Britney, just the factual reporting, which even just the court stuff, like in OK! this week, there is stuff about the judge saying she can't have corporal punishment on her kids, just that level.

POTTS: So what do you think that says?

HILTON: Well, it obviously raises many questions about how she looks after those children as -- you know, as Tony said earlier. You know, you have a situation in which...

POTTS: And look at the kids, look on the videos. This is what killed me was the little kids holding each other's hands. What does that say to you, Dr. Drew?

PINSKY: That they live in chaos. And that's what that says to me. But listen, it's always a bad thing to take kids away from their patients. I don't think we should be advocating that. And where has Kevin been in these kids' lives? I'm just saying, you know what I mean?

We don't really know what they -- they want their mother. The kids want their mother but they want their mother well. And mom -- I hope if Britney is listening to this or any shows like this, she will at least on behalf of her children go get treatment. But it is going to take many, many months of intensive treatment for her to get well.

POTTS: Howard, can she turn it around?

BRAGMAN: Not until she accepts it. This is not a P.R. problem, this is a life problem. And I'm not seeing any evidence -- you know, you can make a mistake, but she makes the same mistake again and again. The day she was told she had to have mandatory drug testing, she goes out and parties.

POTTS: Yes, she went to a club.

BRAGMAN: There was no feeling of, I did something wrong, maybe I should be introspective. And so no, I have no hope for her right now.

POTTS: I've been with Britney backstage, Gund Arena in Cleveland at various times over the years, not recently. Wonderful gal, fantastic, I saw her playing with her little sister, her mom was backstage, it was a very family atmosphere. And I say to myself, if mom's not around and she was such a great influence on her, what are her chances, Drew?

PINSKY: Her chances are zero if she doesn't get intensive treatment over time. And I'm very concerned about her ability -- I think I've already said it tonight, to survive this, if indeed she doesn't do something to turn it around. And it's not about putting things in her mouth. It's about going away.

I mean, Lindsay Lohan to me is an example of what should be done. You go away in months of treatment. You drop out of sight, no more paparazzi, no more career, it's your health, it's your family, it's your existence you're fighting for, and your children.

POTTS: Isn't this endemic, though, of what happens in Hollywood as long as you can prop a person up? We've seen it since the '40s and '50s. As long as you prop them up and they can still make money, there will be people around them.

BRAGMAN: It's a different world today. And with things like TMZ and camera phones, and the way the world is, the wall between public and private is down. And representatives have to hold themselves accountable for what their client does. And that's why you're seeing so many reps leave their clients.

You saw Lindsay's publicist quit. You see Britney's team quit. It's a different world out there. And anybody who props them up is an enabler, and it's the wrong way to work...


PINSKY: And that's the point. It is a deeper understanding of what this means medically and -- people kind of understand what these things are now and how dangerous they are. They don't think, hey, it's just somebody misbehaving. Just how celebrities behave. No, no. These are very dangerous situations.

And the people that represent the celebrities know that, understand that and have to step up on behalf of their clients.

POTTS: If she gets clean, would you put her on the cover of OK! Magazine and do it...

HILTON: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think everyone still wants Britney to come back. She's one of the few celebrities that truly has global presence. She built herself up over time. We all grew up -- watched her growing up. Some people grew up with her. We love her. We want the old Britney back.

POTTS: You did because you're younger than all of us.


PINSKY: Unfortunately, we are going to get another Anna Nicole if we don't watch out. That's what's going to happen. That's what's going to happen.

POTTS: Dr. Drew, Howard, Ruth, thank you very much.

Well, they dole out the sentences as millions of TV viewers watch. Coming up, a trio of television judges gives us their take on troubled stars who are headed to court. For example, child star turned adult troublemaker Lindsay Lohan, as we just talked about. Find out how they laid down the law on the "Freaky Friday" star and others. That's coming your way next.


POTTS: All right. Welcome back. When your favorite star heads for court, you can't help but wonder if they'll get the star treatment when they go before a judge, right? Well, we wondered the same thing, so we've assembled a panel of television judges to get their thoughts on the most recent batch of bad behavior that's landing so many celebs in court.

So in Miami, we have Judge Alex Ferrer, maybe you know him from television's "Judge Alex" show, he is also a former Florida circuit court judge. In Chicago, we have Greg Mathis. He presides over the "Judge Mathis" show. He is a former high school dropout who ended up presiding over a district court in Michigan. And also in Miami, the newest kid on the block, so to speak, or on the bench, Judge David Young, his TV show is called, maybe you guessed it, the "Judge David Young" show.

How did, David Young, the new guy, actually get his entire name into the title there, you guys? You guys are the veterans. How'd that happen?

JUDGE ALEX FERRER, "JUDGE ALEX": I'm going to have to renegotiate my contract when it comes up. I want my whole name there.

JUDGE GREG MATHIS, "JUDGE MATHIS": And David wants to remind everybody that he's young. That's all.

JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, "THE JUDGE DAVID YOUNG SHOW": I'm just better looking and they're jealous, that's the whole story.

POTTS: Well, thank you guys very much. When you see something like this with a Britney Spears, you see the behavior, you see what's going on, Judge Mathis, what would you do if she came before you in court with all these problems?

MATHIS: I'm known as a tough-love judge who gives second chances. I was known as that on the bench in Detroit. Typically, I would require a person to get a GED or a skilled trade. And if they were drug-addicted, go to drug rehab. In this case, I would certainly order her to go to drug rehab, and quite frankly, based on her performance in the "Video Music Awards," I would order her to get a real skilled trade.

POTTS: Judge Ferrer, what do you think about what you've heard about Britney from her former bodyguard and what Dr. Drew said and others?

FERRER: Well, it's very worrisome. Of course, from a judge's perspective, you're concerned for the welfare of the children. Frankly, judges all over the country are looking at this saying, I've got 100 cases like her and I've 200 that are worse. Probably the saddest thing about being in family court is that sometimes you're looking at a little girl and you're look at the parents and you're thinking this child would be better off raised by wolves., but I have got to give the custody to one of these parents or both parents.

So I think that they are absolutely correct that there's a huge degree of risk here, and ultimately, maybe a contact with the criminal justice system is the only thing that's going to get her on the right track when a judge actually orders her into therapy.

POTTS: Judge Young, let me ask you a question. If you get a normal person who's going through this in your courtroom, that presents a certain amount of issues. But when you put on top of that she's an internationally known star, she's chased by the paparazzi, does that change how you approach things in the courtroom?

YOUNG: Absolutely not. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline need to be in dependency court in California. They need to be ordered into drug rehabilitation. And if they do not abide by the case plan arrived by the people at the Department of Children and Families in California, your children need to be taken away.

The doctor was absolutely right. Until Britney Spears and Kevin Federline get meaningful drug and alcohol treatment, long-term residential care, they are going to be in for a downward spiral and I really feel sorry for the children because they're the ones that's going to suffer.

POTTS: Let's move ahead to another young lady who has been in trouble all over the place here, but she's now in rehab, Lindsay Lohan. Judge Mathis, when you see a young girl like that who had two episodes so close together, we saw the famous video for crashing her car, running like crazy in the middle of the night to somebody's house, when you have a Lindsay Lohan who is so young, has had the instances that have happened so close together, how do you treat a 19- year-old or a 20-year-old who comes into your courthouse -- your courtroom and she wants to get help, she wants to get treatment?

MATHIS: Well, first of all, I try and show some compassion. Let her know that she's not alone, and then educate her on what's going on with her life. Here she's living in Hollywood, all the excesses of the lifestyle that comes with that. I would remind her that this has happened for decades, and there has been sad endings. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, many others lived the life of excesses, and they died by self-destruction.

And then I would order her, quite frankly, as we've discussed, for drug rehabilitation and counseling, residential drug rehabilitation, and I would order her to stay away from the environment like ex-convicts cannot associate with other ex-felons, and so I would give her an order similar to that.

POTTS: All right. When we come back, we'll have more with our judges. We'll talk about O.J., also about Kiefer Sutherland, what he may be facing as well with his latest DUI. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" coming up at the top of the hour. A.C. is standing by in New York with a preview -- Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Tony, thanks. Breaking news tonight on a remarkable story. A ruthless crackdown by government thugs against pro-democracy demonstrators. It's happening in Burma, one of the most repressed and cut-off countries in the world. There have been peaceful demonstrations for days. Now there is blood in the streets. People are risking their lives, demanding freedom. It is a story you need to know about. We'll take you there at the top of the hour.

Also tonight, health care for kids. Tonight, the Senate passed a bill the president vows to veto. We'll tell you why and what it means for millions of kids without insurance. Politicians made a lot of promises on this. We're "Keeping Them Honest." That's at the top of the hour -- Tony.

POTTS: Thank you, Anderson. We'll see you then at the top of the hour.

All right. Coming back, more with our three judges, and we'll hit more celebrities in trouble and what they would do if they showed up in their courtroom. Back in a minute.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another name to add to the celebrity DUI roster, "24" star Kiefer Sutherland...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... Sutherland arrested for suspicion of DUI earlier this morning in L.A.


POTTS: Welcome back. My guests are Judge Alex, Judge Mathis, and also Judge David Young. David Young, I want to go to you. And, you know, your courtroom -- your approach in the courtroom has been called -- you do it with a snap. What would be your snappy, I guess, decision or on Lindsay Lohan and what she has gone through?

YOUNG: Well, I agree with Alex what he said about judicial intervention. In Miami I was very successful by working with what's called judicial monitoring probation which basically means an individual was appearing in front of me once a month for 18 months. They were going to N.A. seven days a week. If they would fall off the wagon, then they would be in residential drug treatment.

Studies have shown that if a judge can hang over somebody's head that there are consequences to their actions, you get a better result from the individual. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, there's nothing that has ever been held over their heads to let them know that there is going to be consequences.

Simply serving a 30-day or 60-day jail sentence is not enough for an addict. The court needs to be involved in their lives for 18 months, and studies have shown that 18 months is the key to getting the person on the road to recovery.

POTTS: Judge Mathis, what, then, do you do with Kiefer Sutherland who was busted for DUI in 2004, given a five-year probationary period which, of course, would go to 2009? He was just busted the other day. He is the highest-paid drama actor on television, at three years, I think, $40 million. What do you do to a man like that, he comes into your courtroom this time?

MATHIS: He would go to jail. In the state of Michigan where I presided for five years, those who came before the court with a second DUI charge, it was automatic jail time of up to one year in prison. I don't know if I'd give him that much, but I would certainly give him time in jail that would require in-jail drug and alcohol treatment and counseling.

And then certainly I'd have a psychological analysis because any guy that gets busted a second time with all that money at stake needs psychological analysis.

POTTS: Judge Ferrer, do you agree with Judge Mathis on this one?

FERRERA: I do agree, and sadly, I like Kiefer. I'm sorry to see him in this position. But the reality is, his biggest problem isn't his second DUI, his biggest problem is that it's a probation violation, because when a judge puts somebody on probation, they're saying, I'm trusting you when you say this is an aberration. It's not going to happen again.

When you violate your probation, your problem is not the mandatory jail sentence for the second DUI, which under California law, is frankly quite small. Your problem is the probation violation which is going to result in a significant amount of jail time. So unless his case is weak, it's a big problem.

And when you look at it, the $50 cab ride or $100 cab ride, when you look at what happens the morning after a DUI when you have thousands in bail money, thousands in lawyers' fees, thousands in increased insurance cost, it's a small bargain.

POTTS: Well, look what happened to Paris Hilton. I mean, she violated her probation, but she wasn't even drinking and driving. So you can only imagine...

FERRER: Absolutely.

POTTS: And by the way, the judge in 2004 who sentenced Kiefer to five years' probation is Judge Sauer, the same judge who dealt with Paris Hilton. Let me ask you a question. So in Hollywood, in this area in L.A. now, do you think the judges, Judge Young, are under more pressure by what happened with Paris Hilton, her sentence and the furor around that?

YOUNG: Well, I disagree with Greg and with Alex. I don't know if I would have sentenced Kiefer Sutherland to jail because you don't send someone to jail because they have an illness. Kiefer Sutherland is obviously an alcoholic and has an addiction to alcohol. And that alcoholism needs to be treated.

I think what you need to do, you need to get him in rehab. You need to follow him for 18 months, two years, three years to make sure he's on the right path. If he falls off that path, I think then you send him to custody, but you don't let him just end his sentence in custody. You put him back on probation again.

Judges have got to start doing more therapeutic jurisprudence if we are going to get a hold -- I don't care if you're Paris Hilton, I don't care if you're Joe Shmoe or Jane Doe, judges have got to be involved, judges have got to take these cases seriously and work with the people who are appearing in front of them to help them get a hold of it because it's the judges that can make a difference in people's lives.

And if we give up that responsibility as judges, then we're not being true public servants.

MATHIS: Well, David, I agree with you that it is...

POTTS: Hold on, Judge Mathis, hold on. We'll come back to get you in a minute. We have to take a commercial break. But we want to hear that more judgmental pronouncements of celebrities of some famous celebrities, including O.J. Simpson, when LARRY KING LIVE comes back.


YALE GALANTER, O.J. SIMPSON'S LAWYER: He's thrilled to be out of jail. He's just relieved to be, you know, where he's at now and relaxing and out of custody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, guys. Back up. Let him through.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: O.J., was it a setup, O.J.?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have anything to say?




JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": You know something, I'll tell you something. I don't think O.J. took that whole court thing very seriously the other day. Did you see him in court? Did you see him in court? I think he should have showed the judge a little more -- show that footage from O.J. in court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Simpson, would you stand up, please, Mr. Simpson? Mr. Simpson? Mr. Simpson? Mr. Simpson?

LENO: Exactly. Put the cigar down. Put the cigar down, O.J.


POTTS: Yes, you know, if O.J. is back in the news, there will be O.J. jokes all around the country. Judge Mathis, real quick, I know you want to say something, so go ahead, pick it up.

MATHIS: Yes, I wanted to address the disease issue that Judge Young mentioned, saying that he wouldn't send Sutherland to jail because he believes drug addiction and alcohol addiction is a disease. And, indeed, it is.

However, the crackhead who stole my car in Detroit, he had to go to jail. Why? Because in addition to it being a disease that he continued to exacerbate by his drug use, he need to be punished and deterred from future crime.

And so just as Kiefer Sutherland and the crackhead both would have to go to jail because both have committed a crime, and in this case Kiefer Sutherland has violated his probation.

And lastly, with regard to Judge Alex saying that the violation of probation is a bigger issue, I think we saw in the case of Paris Hilton, she did less than 30 days for violation of probation, when, in fact, as I stated, Michigan has a mandatory sentence that would send them to jail for a lot longer than 30 days.

POTTS: Yes, but we have no room here, so that's the problem here, Judge Mathis. Judge Ferrer, let me ask you a question about O.J. Simpson and the alleged robbery debacle that happened. Seems to be a number of unsavory characters in all of this. Whom do you believe in your courtroom when they stand up and tell you what happened?

FERRER: You know, there is no -- first of all, let me start by saying that O.J. lives not too far from my house. So I'll be very careful on what I say at this point. But the reality is that there is no hard or fast rule on who you believe. You have to listen to every witness. You have to evaluate their credibility while you're observing their demeanor. You have to take into account the motives they may have for lying.

I mean, there are a lot of things in this case that are just strange. The whole taping of every conversation really makes it look like a setup, doesn't excuse what he did. If you commit the crime because somebody planted in your head, hey, it would be a great idea to rob the bank, you still robbed the bank.

But when you're having to convince a jury that they should convict this guy, anything that chips away and builds sympathy for him is dangerous for the prosecution. To their credit, O.J. is not as liked today as he was before.

POTTS: Judge David, let me ask you, you are openly gay. You're on the bench there. What would you do in the case of presiding other Senator Larry Craig's effort to withdraw his guilty plea. Would -- that fact that you're also gay, would that lead you to recuse yourself from that at all? How do you handle that issue?

YOUNG: No, I don't think one's sexual orientation really has anything to do with it. I think the bottom line is, is there enough legal grounds for him to withdraw his guilty plea? And you're talking about a person who writes laws. You're not talking about John Q. Citizen who may have under duress, who may have been having a bad day, acting crazy.

Here's a lawmaker who mailed in his guilty plea. And he did it to cover it up. The guy is a total hypocrite and I would deny his motion and if I could I'd assess court costs against him for taking up and wasting the court's time. The man is just outrageous.

POTTS: Well, I used to go take that trip from L.A. to Seattle that stopped in Minneapolis. I have been in that bathroom many times and I just thought people Minnesota had toe-tapping -- they had good rhythm, for crying out loud. I could have been in front of you guys.

All three of you guys, thank you very much. Judge Mathis, Judge Ferrer, and also Judge David Young, thank you so much for your time.

YOUNG: Thank you. The pleasure is mine.

MATHIS: Thank you.

FERRER: Thank you.

POTTS: All right. That's it for LARRY KING LIVE tonight. Thanks to all of you for joining me and thanks to Larry especially for letting me sit here during the hour. Don't forget to head to Larry's Web site. It is at And then you can download Larry's latest podcast, it's his interview with Jenny McCarthy. It's an amazing story she has to tell about autism and her little boy. It's only available at or of course on iTunes, which I love, by the way.

Now time to turn things over to Anderson Cooper in New York, and "AC360" -- Anderson.

COOPER: Hey, Tony, thanks a lot.