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Britney Files for Divorce
Aired November 09, 2006 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight, pop star Britney Spears in a heated divorce battle with her soon-to-be-ex-husband Kevin Federline. He already has two kids from a previous relationship and wants sole custody of the couple`s two children. Not only that, he is challenging the reportedly ironclad pre-nup, asking for millions in spousal support. Will the pre-nup hold up in a court of law?
And tonight, a California judge in contempt, blocking a measure preventing sex offenders from living near young children, next to schools and parks. Dubbed Jessica`s Law, it was named after 9-year-old Florida murder victim Jessie Lunsford. This measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters in the state, so why, why is this judge saying it`s unconstitutional?
But first, pop star Britney Spears heads for divorce court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Britney Spears shocked the world with her divorce filing from Federline after just two years of marriage. And before the ink was even dry on the court papers, an apparently happy Britney hit the streets and the ice of New York City.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After Britney filed for divorce, she went out on the town. She went for dinner with friends. She went shopping at the Gap, and then she went ice skating at Rockefeller Center. She looked great, having a really good time. And I think it was important for Britney to show that this was her decision, that she felt this was the right decision to make.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening, everybody. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. She went from, let`s see, pop princess to sex goddess to wife and mother. Now superstar Britney Spears is heading to divorce court, citing -- what else -- irreconcilable differences with husband Kevin Federline, who is now nicknamed Fed-Ex. Get it? At stake, many millions of diva dollars and two young children, 1-year-old Sean (ph) and infant son Jayden (ph), who was born just in September.
For the very latest on what is shaping up to be a Hollywood battle of truly epic proportions, we are very happy to have with us in studio Court TV correspondent Jean Casarez. Jean, what is the latest with this looming divorce saga?
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: You know, Jane, when people think about this case -- Britney Spears, Kevin Federline -- they think about entertainment, but there are so many legal issues in this case. First of all, we do know that Britney Spears filed a petition for dissolution in the Los Angeles superior court. We know she asked for legal and physical custody of her children. Well, now Kevin Federline has filed a response to that petition, and he is asking for legal and physical custody of his children, along with spousal support.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`d think we were talking about an election campaign! You got to take a look at this. This is "The New York Post." There she is, Britney, right up with the election results. Nevertheless, despite this headline, a lot of people were calling Britney`s move the election day surprise.
I want to ask Tia Brown, "In Touch Weekly," because you`ve been covering this aspect of this case, very specifically, about Britney`s timing. I mean, people said she was brilliant. While the entire nation was focused on the election, she announced her divorce. Do superstars really time their lives according to election campaigns? I mean, they can`t have private moments where they make spontaneous decisions, like divorce?
TIA BROWN, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Well, we definitely think that this was a timed event because not only did Britney look great when she did it, she made an appearance on Letterman. She`s definitely put a lot of effort into revamping her look. But moreso than it being timed to the election, we think it`s timed to the terms of her pre-nuptial agreement. And had Britney filed the day after November 6, she would have been liable to pay Kevin much more money. So we think it`s definitely that. That was the final straw. She knew that time did really matter...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let me ask you a question. Why? Why...
BROWN: Because according to the terms of her pre-nuptial agreement, if she waited another day, it would go into the third year of the marriage. And his pre-nup -- his payment, I should say, is based on how long they`re married. He`s supposed to be paid $300,000 -- now, this is very confusing -- $300,000 every year for half of the term that they`re together.
BROWN: So since they`ve been together for two years, he would be paid $300,000. Now, had she waited another day, that amount would have presumably gone up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who does this when they get married?
BROWN: When you are...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is like a union contract! I feel we should be outside a hotel in midtown Manhattan, talking about, you know, the Teamsters. I mean, who does this when they get married, except in Hollywood?
BROWN: Well, Britney had a lot of at stake. She had a lot at stake. She`s estimated to be worth almost $150 million. And not only did the public perceive Kevin to be kind of unworthy and maybe scheming on her fortune, so did her friends and family. So she did definitely have to make, as they say, an ironclad pre-nuptial agreement. And she did. The terms are very specific.
And people are surprised that not only is Kevin fighting the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement, he`s actually asking for custody of the children, when he never had custody of his other children and he`s known for being a partier.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, listen to this. This is Kevin Federline himself speaking on the very day, the very day that his wife files for divorce. Listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to first -- when you first came to Britney and said, I think I`m going to do this hip-hop thing, how was she? Was she supportive?
KEVIN FEDERLINE, BRITNEY`S HUSBAND: Definitely. She`s been there with me, you know, the whole time. She rally loves what I`m doing right now and she`s probably my number one fan, you know what I`m saying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s dope. That`s good.
FEDERLINE: Yes, it is. It`s a good thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you did a track with her called "Crazy" on the album.
FEDERLINE: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was it...
FEDERLINE: That`s like -- that`s the -- that`s the family standpoint of view right there, you know? That`s me holding down my family. So you have to check that one out, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s different expectations on you because your wife is who she is.
FEDERLINE: Of course. Of course. You know, like, I don`t think that -- I`m not out trying to live up to my wife, you know? I think, like, we work together as a team, and that`s it. You know, that`s what we do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Number one fan? Maybe not. In fact, now they`re calling him Fed-Ex, and I think she wants him shipped out priority overnight, if you ask me. And there`s a lot of bad jokes surrounding this case right now, but it`s a very serious case because it involves two young children. I mean, think about it. Kevin Federline has four children by two different women, and all of those children are under the age of 5.
CASAREZ: You know, I think a lot of people, Jane, are wondering why would he want physical and legal custody of these children because he didn`t ask for it with the girlfriend. And I think we could say that he now is growing up and wants to have his children, or we could be cynics and we could say that it all comes down to dollars and cents.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And this could get very ugly. How -- what`s his strategy, in your mind, for getting around the pre-nup?
CASAREZ: Well, you know, it`s interesting, and this is a little convoluted. Back in 2004, they were supposed to get married in October of 2004, and they said because of the onslaught of media, they wanted to have a ceremony where friends could come and be sort of peaceful. So in September, they wanted to have that ceremony, but they signed an agreement before that ceremony saying, We`re going to have basically a faux wedding, a fake wedding. And we`re going to invite everybody, but it`s not going to be a real one. They did have that faux ceremony.
There was no pre-nuptial agreement at that point in time. Not until about 10 days later did that come about. So his attorney may be trying to show that this faux wedding was actually a real wedding, that maybe a type of vows were exchanged, and the intent of the parties at that point was truly to be married. If so, no pre-marital agreement, and then he could get possibly half of what she`s worth.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So that`s one strategy. The other strategy is -- and let`s ask our defense attorney, Renee Rockwell, about this -- say, Hey, I want custody of the children. Now, could this get ugly? Could he start using some of the incidents that the media have dissected over the years?
For example, there`s four that come to mind immediately involving Britney. One, she was seen in a car with her baby. The back seat was wrong. The baby chair was wrong. One, she was driving in the car with the baby on her lap. That`s the famous photo. And her explanation for that was, Hey, that`s what I did when I was a kid with my dad. We`re country. There she is with the baby seat that`s not properly installed. Then there was a third incident, where she was walking -- and that`s actually video that we have. There she is, walking, where the baby falls over and looks like it might fall. And there were several incidents.
Could he use those incidents, if things got really ugly, to try to press for custody?
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. Not only can he, but he will, which is unfortunate. When you have someone that`s in the public eye -- she`s beautiful, she`s rich, and she cannot go anywhere without a thousand cameras on her every move. He`s going to have to use something because, face it, he does not have custody of his first two children. Why? So any judge or any jury or any trier of fact is going to think, You`re doing this, Kevin, just for the money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Prosecutor Eleanor Dixon, listen to this. This is a statement issued by Michael Sands, who is the spokesperson for Federline`s attorney, Mark Kaplan. Apparently, in LA, even the attorneys have their own PR people. But this was what the attorney said. "Kevin is prepared to go the distance in order to do what he feels is necessary to protect and safeguard the children and will not be intimidated or dissuaded from pursuit of those goals."
Please translate. Is that, Hey, it`s going to get ugly?
ELEANOR DIXON, PROSECUTOR: Oh, it`s definitely going to get ugly. But what I find interesting is that you never see Kevin Federline with the kids or doing for the kids. Even though Britney`s done some things that aren`t quite right, such as driving with the child on her lap, at least she`s with her children. She looks like she`s actually taking care of them, and K-Fed just looks like an accessory of some sort.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Tia Brown of "In Touch Weekly," I mean, you could ask where was Kevin during all those incidents? I mean, where was Daddy? Now, apparently, there`s been some reports that while she was preggers, he was out partying.
BROWN: Yes, and that`s been a major point of tension in their relationship, even up to them breaking up recently. Britney wanted to be at his rehearsal with the children, and they said that Kevin did not want her or the kids there together. And I definitely think while Britney has made some mistakes, and we`ve seen them, they`ve definitely not been anything that people view as malicious or -- I don`t want to say grossly irresponsible, but intending to be irresponsible. So while Britney hasn`t been perfect, she`s definitely not been the poster child for being a completely bad mother, where Kevin is just really known as a partier, he`s looked upon by many as an opportunist, and people feel like he`s trying to use Britney`s fame to not only catapult his career but really set him up for life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Tia, part of that is the way he dealt with his previous relationship. Correct me if I`m wrong, but I`ve heard that he left Shar Jackson (ph), who was an actress on the show "Malicia (ph)," while she was pregnant...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... to start going out with Britney. But doesn`t that cut both ways? Because Britney was going out with him, knowing, apparently, that he had a girlfriend who was pregnant.
BROWN: Yes, Shar was several months pregnant with his second child when Kevin left. And I think it`s important to say that Kevin and Shar had been in a long-term relationship prior to that. And I do agree, people do kind of look at Britney at times as being the bad girl for taking him away. But ultimately, he was the one who had the responsibility with Shar, not Britney.
Definitely overall, Kevin is just really being viewed as someone trying to take advantage of a pop star. When you look at the tapes -- they had their own reality show, "Chaotic" -- you see Kevin coming across as very indifferent and Britney just looking like she`s completely enamored with him. So I don`t think that he`s going to be looked upon very favorably by the public, and we`ll see how that translates into the courtroom.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. So many questions. We`ve got the phone lines, but before we do, please, Ellie (ph), our fact maven, explain the video that we`re looking at here. This appears to be...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... Britney Spears falling all over the ice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, this is -- this is after she filed for divorce. She went out to the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. First she went to the Gap, bought some new clothes, then went ice skating.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`ve just filed for divorce, what do you do? Go to Rockefeller Center and go ice skating! Now, that`s a plan. And guess what? Kevin Federline did something equally extraordinary. Last night, he appeared at a concert in Chicago, where he sang a song that I think -- it has the word "pimp" in it. I it`s "Dance With a Pimp," or something like that. And he also flirted, according to a published report on TMZ, with the women in the audience, saying, Hey, I`m about to be a free man, and, These Chicago women are a lot sexier than I remember them to be.
Dr. Joseph Deltito, we need to bring a professor of psychiatry in at this moment to explain all this behavior. Why would these people act like this when they`ve just announced divorce and they have two young children?
JOSEPH DELTITO, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY: Well, I think there`s a lot of disingenuous statements and feelings floating around. Everything would suggest this guy is an opportunist. The fact that he is looking for custody of the children is probably just some posturing and manipulation on the part of the lawyers, you know, to ask for everything, to suggest you`re going to gum up the works, to suggest you`re going to make it difficult, and then sweeten the pot.
So it sounds like these people have been estranged for a while. He hasn`t really been that involved with the kids. I don`t think there`s any evidence to suggest that this guy is a devoted father looking to protect the is children and to keep them close to his bosom, or something like that. He certainly seems like he abandoned the other children readily.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to Kevin himself speak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEDERLINE: I mean, it`s all a part of being a father. I love every aspect. I mean, I`m not going to sit here and jump for joy that I change diapers, but you know, it comes with it, and I accept that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bob from Massachusetts, your question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I was just wondering, if Britney were to get custody, full custody, would he have to pay child support, you know, an exorbitant amount, even though she`s the breadwinner?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I believe that she has certainly waived her request for spousal support. What do you say to that, Jean Casarez?
CASAREZ: Right. That`s true. And you know, in California, you`ve got child support and you`ve got spousal support, two different types of support. And he would want to be living the way he is accustomed to, so he would still want support from her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So many questions. We`re going to continue this in just a moment.
But tonight, a very sad story, one that breaks all of our hearts. A sad farewell to CBS News veteran Ed Bradley. The "60 Minutes" correspondent died of leukemia at a New York City hospital today. Bradley was 65 years old. As CBS`s first African-American White House correspondent, Bradley went on to a very successful career at "60 Minutes," where he received multiple awards, including 19 Emmys. Our thoughts and out prayers are with his family and his friends tonight. Ed Bradley will be missed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything went downhill soon after the birth of Britney and Kevin`s second child in September.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went to Vegas right after the birth of their second child for a one-year anniversary party for a nightclub, and that didn`t sit very well with Britney. And also, during a Halloween party, you know, he was promoting his album, and according to witnesses, they had a really big fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. We are talking about the big election day news. No, not the Democrats sweeping Congress, we`re talking about the other election night bombshell, Britney Spears casting her vote for divorce from Kevin Federline, also known as Mr. Spears, now know as Fed-Ex. Who will be the biggest loser in this looming Hollywood battle? We are trying to figure out what`s in that pre-nup that Britney Spears got him to sign. Now, TMZ is reporting something fascinating. They say the terms of the pre-nup only entitle him to 20 percent of the value of the couple`s Malibu estate, worth $10 million, so that would equal, 20 percent, $2 million for Kevin, plus one year of spousal support amounting to less than $250,000.
Court TV`s Jean Casarez, that is very different from what we heard from Tia, so does anybody really know?
CASAREZ: No. The fact is, the pre-nuptial agreement has never been made public. We`ve got a lot of legal documents here. We`ve got an agreement they made for their September wedding service. We`ve got the petition for dissolution of marriage, the response. We don`t have the pre- nuptial agreement. But I think we know that there is money in it for Kevin Federline if they divorce, spousal support, a monetary amount. And I`m sure that he is going to try to sweeten the deal, and that could be one reason he`s asking for those children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lots of calls coming in. Christy from Louisiana, your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I`m just wondering how Kevin is supposed to -- going to pay for his attorney.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, that`s a very good question because there`s a whole issue about that. And Britney apparently said that she -- the way the report was phrased, she`s tired of doling out money to him -- and this is just a published report that we read, we have no independent confirmation of this -- but that she wants him to pay his own attorney`s fees. And Jean, you`ve got some added information.
CASAREZ: It`s right in the legal document. She is asking for him to pay his legal costs, she will pay her legal costs. But in his response, he is asking for her to pay everything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what`s so funny? When friends break up, you go, Oh, why did they break up? Never ask that with superstars. Tia of "In Touch Weekly," why did they break up?
BROWN: Well, people have just been saying that the relationship was pretty much doomed from the start. I mean, when we first were introduced to Kevin Federline, we knew he was a backup dancer, he was a partier. Britney Spears was this pop princess. But we also knew that Britney was in a place where she was kind of looking for love, and she had been alone for a very long time prior to that.
Remember, she did get married to someone in January, and she got that quickly annulled. So we knew she was in a place in her life where she was ready to have a serious relationship. But they basically said that Kevin wanted to be famous and that slowly but surely came across as his priorities. Friends and family are saying that he was constantly partying, he was constantly buying things, and he really didn`t put family first. And ultimately, that`s what Britney wanted.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, she can really pick them because her previous marriage lasted, what was it, 55 hours, Tia?
BROWN: Yes. Her family quickly intervened and got that annulled. She married Jason Alexander in a quickie wedding in Las Vegas. And he had been a childhood friend of hers. But I think that just really speaks to the fact that Britney was really ready for a companion. Sometimes, when you`re ready for a companion, you don`t necessarily evaluate fully your choices with open eyes. And that`s what friends say, and that`s what seemed like happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Britney is now backed by what everyone is calling the mother of all pre-nups. Various reports say Kevin would get $300,000, a small piece of Brit`s estimated $100 million fortune. TMZ`s Harvey Levin thinks Kevin may try to make up the difference by challenging Britney`s request for custody of their two baby boys.
HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: There is no way in the world that Kevin Federline is getting custody of these kids. But at a point, you throw money at somebody to say, Go away for good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. Britney Spears unveils her election day surprise and votes for divorce from back-up dancer-turned-rapper Kevin Federline. She just gave birth to their second child in September. So what happens now?
Professor of psychiatry Joseph Deltito, we all know divorce is traumatic, but is it going to be especially traumatic for this child, who is an infant now, when he grows up and he starts looking at the history of all this and he finds out his mom and his dad split when he was less than 2 months old?
DELTITO: Yes, well, for that child and the other child. And there`ll be things written about it. And if he wants to look it up, I`m sure he`ll do the equivalent of Google, or super-super-Google that there`ll be in the future, and he`ll read the dirt and all the innuendo. And it`s not pretty. Children should generally be insulated from the machinations of divorce and parents. In this type of case, the child probably will not be insulated. But mostly, his reaction will depend on what kind of life he has, whether he`s loved or he`s cared for, whether he`s well-balanced and things like that. That`ll make a lot more difference than any knowledge he has of this divorce.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just looking at her body language, you think Britney`s a good mom?
DELTITO: There`s no reason to believe that she`s not. All this stuff about putting the car seat the wrong way or almost dropping the kid -- you know, who wants to throw the first stone? You know, who hasn`t made little mistakes like that or something like that? Everything suggests that she`s a decent mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRITNEY SPEARS, MUSICIAN: It`s about music, just performing and expressing myself. And I think, when someone sees you up on stage having fun and fulfilling your dreams, they`re inspired by that, and that`s what matters.
I think that doing what I`m doing now -- I think everything happens for a reason, and I`m happier doing this right now. You know, who knows? In the future, I may, you know (INAUDIBLE) always go back. But I`m kind of content where I`m at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. It`s the pop star versus the dancer-turned-rapper in Hollywood`s newest divorce saga, as Britney Spears, armed with what`s being called an "iron-clad" pre-nup -- we`ll see -- says "see you later" to husband Kevin Federline, who is now being called Fed-Ex. That`s his new nickname.
The question tonight: Will Britney have to pay mega-bucks to ship Fed-Ex out of her life once and for all? We want to go to our attorneys, Renee Rockwell, defense attorney. Tell us how this is all going to play out.
I have been myself to court many times in downtown Los Angeles when stars go in on the divorce battle. I`ve also gone to family court, trying to find out about custody issues and, of course, been denied entrance, because, when you have custody battles, that`s private to protect the interests of the minor child. So when you have divorce and custody issues intertwined, where does that happen and how does it happen?
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, I don`t think there`s any such thing as an ironclad pre-nup. They`re going to fight about it. Kevin has nothing to lose, to go up in there and just duke it out, because, after all, the bottom line is what he`s agreed to already.
He can fight about it and say, "We`re going to talk about this. We`re going to talk about you doing that." And she`s going to throw some money at him. She comes from a good family, plus she`s a lawyer`s dream, because she listens to her lawyers. They probably put the wedding on hold for the pre-nup to be valid. There`s a waiting period. The pre-nup really wasn`t ready in time, so they had this little fake wedding, which is not going to stand up in court, to violate this pre-nup. They waited the proper amount of time.
I say that the pre-nup stands, but that Britney is going to throw some money at him and he`ll go away, and she`ll end up with the children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, you know, I think you`re right, because there`s this whole issue about a faxed signature that has to be faxed by a certain deadline. I want to go to our fact maven, Ellie, to explain the significance of the signature that apparently Britney didn`t mail to her lawyer in Los Angeles. She was here in New York and she faxed it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Well, "InTouch" actually reported that, that Britney had faxed her signature to her attorney in L.A. while she was here in New York, as opposed to waiting another day, flying home, and then delaying the process that much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Tia Brown, why is she cutting it to the wire? If there`s this big demarcation point where, after a certain amount of time, she might have to pay him a lot more money, why take it down to that wire?
TIA BROWN, "INTOUCH WEEKLY": Well, I think the obvious answer is love. You can`t control who you love or who you want to be with. And it seems like Britney tried her hardest to be supportive of not only Kevin personally, but of his career.
She invested a lot of time and money into trying to help launch his album, which, by the way, did happen to flop. He only sold 7,000 copies, which I think also adds stress on his side. And it just seemed like there was not a lot of reciprocation on his end.
And, ultimately, I think that that`s why she waited down to the wire. She kind of had to make a decision. Britney was spotted crying in a restaurant in New York City a few days ago, and she was alone. Everyone assumes that she was waiting for Kevin, and they see her reading a text message, and it seemed like he wasn`t coming.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Didn`t they both come to New York together, and then they ended up staying at different hotels? And then she was supposed to go to his party for his album, and then she didn`t show up?
BROWN: Yes. She was supposed to go to his album party. They did come to New York together, but they did stay in separate hotels. And what insiders are saying is that Britney wanted to bring the children, Sean and Jayden, to watch a rehearsal before the show, and he was not down with that at all.
He said that he wanted to stay focused, but he did want her there. And, again, Britney seemed to be a lot more focused on the family. And, ultimately, that was the cause of the demise of the relationship.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, Dr. Joseph Deltito, professor of psychiatry, you`re listening to all of this as a shrink. What would you say is happening in this relationship? Because what I see is perhaps jealousy by Kevin over the fact that his album is not doing well. It only sold about 6,000 copies, and he`s married to this superstar that sells mega-albums and is just world-known.
JOSEPH DELTITO, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY: I don`t know if I`d call it jealousy. It`s probably disappointment that somehow this association that he had didn`t jack up the sales of his album, you know, a disappointment that he`s not becoming rapidly famous.
He seems like a guy who`s got a grandiose sense of his own self, and maybe jealousy. I`d say more disappointment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, and, Tia, I have to go back to you on this, because it seems like I have a list that`s the size of a phone book of the number of celebrity marriages that are falling apart recently. Can any marriage survive, especially -- these are young kids. I mean, she`s 24; he`s 28. Yes, they`re superstars, but they`re just young kids, really trying to find their way in life.
Can any relationship survive the kind of scrutiny they`ve been under, where literally, as the doctor said, so many moms, oh, they might almost drop the child, but if you have a camera trained on you all the time, the pressure of that, and then the pressure of being competitive with each other, in terms of your careers, how can this marriage survive that?
BROWN: Well, definitely, if we go first to Britney almost dropping Sean Preston, I think what the doctor says is correct. So many parents have slipups like that. And while Britney might not be mother of the year, she definitely to most appears to be a better parent than Kevin Federline.
As far as being in a relationship under the limelight, I think it is so difficult, because, like you said, you do have people constantly watching you. And people also live in these surreal environments, where they have access to anything and anyone. And you`ll see that money and outside people, like cheating and things like that, really do become a very huge issue in any relationship, specifically celebrities.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh, I mean, I feel sorry for them. Any of us have ever gone out in the morning to walk our dogs, we`re in our pajamas and we look like -- God, you know, who would want to take a photograph of any of us? And these celebrities have to live with that constantly. They can`t walk their dog; they can`t take their child outside without having the paparazzi catch them at their most vulnerable moments.
Let`s go to the phone lines, Shirley from Rhode Island, your question?
CALLER: Hi, I would like to know if he is seeking custody of his other two children from the other lady? And if he`s not, why isn`t he? And why are the two children from Britney so much more important?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, those are very good issues. Tia, you`ve been tracking not only his relationship with Britney, but his relationship with his previous girlfriend. And together, he has four children now, and this guy is 28 years old.
BROWN: Definitely, and he has not asked for custody of Shar Jackson`s children, so I think people are going to be skeptical about his motives when it comes down to Britney Spears. Like people have already said, if he has custody of the children, not only will it allow him to get a certain amount of spousal support, he`ll get child support for the children, because they`re supposed to be able to sustain a certain lifestyle.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me jump in with Eleanor Dixon, prosecutor. What do you make of that? He doesn`t want custody of these two other children, but he wants custody of the kids he had with Britney? And how is that going to play out?
ELEANOR DIXON, PROSECUTOR: I think it`s all about the money, Jane. He`s trying to get what he can so he doesn`t have to deal with the pre-nup and trying to use them as a bargaining chip. And I think that`s really despicable, considering that he didn`t even show any real interest in custody with his two children by Shar Jackson.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is absolutely amazing, and it`s something that I think you could quite possibly bring up in court, because it`s a clear-cut example of, well, maybe he`s really not after the best interests of the children. But, again, not to pass judgment. We`re just discussing this and debating it tonight.
To tonight`s "Trial 101," prenuptial agreement, a written contract between two people who are about to marry, setting out the terms of possession of assets, future earnings and control of property, especially if the marriage dissolves. Although most common when both parties have substantial assets, children from a previous marriage, or high incomes, it is interesting to note that only about 1 percent of all Americans actually have pre-nups. And guess what? Here`s a shocker -- not really -- many of them, if not most of them, are in Hollywood.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK LUNSFORD, DAUGHTER JESSICA ABDUCTED AND MURDERED: Our children are in danger. Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, it doesn`t matter where you`re from. We need tougher laws to keep our children safe. They`re our next governors. They are our future. They`re our next cameramen, our next truck drivers, our laborers. It`s all on them. They are what`s going to happen to this world in the future, and we can`t let people take them away from us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace.
The people of California have spoken. By an overwhelming margin, more than 70 percent of the vote, Californians passed Proposition 83. That law is known as Jessica`s Law, named after the 9-year old girl brutally murdered, allegedly by a man who was already a registered sex offender named John Couey who is about to face trial.
The new California law would subject sex offenders to satellite monitoring, toughen sex-crime sentences, and -- here`s the catch -- prohibit them from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks where children gather. For the very latest on a lawsuit just filed to block Prop 83 and the judge`s controversial ruling, let`s go to Court TV correspondent Jean Casarez for the very latest -- Jean?
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, Jane, there is a judge -- it`s a federal judge in the northern district of Northern California -- that is saying that part of this law may be unconstitutional.
Now, this is how it happened. Someone came forward. His name is John Doe at this point. And he is a sex offender. Fifteen years ago, he was convicted of a sexual offense. And he says that he actually lives and owns a home within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children are. And he says, "Wait a minute, you can`t pass this law now, long after I`ve done my time. I own my home. I have my life right here, and you tell me that I can`t live here?" So he`s saying, Jane, that it is unconstitutional as to him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Eleanor Dixon, prosecutor, I know you`re a strong supporter of this law. What do you say to this argument that, hey, it`s unconstitutional. I did my time, and I cannot be perpetually punished, and you can`t force me out of my home because you passed the proposition, it should not be retroactive?
DIXON: Well, I would say it was a procedural change, not a substantive change. And therefore, it`s not ex post facto. The citizens of California have spoken. They want children protected. And it`s very important to have sexual predators as far away from children as possible.
I think laws like this are good to help protect children and to identify those sexual predators in those certain areas and to have them get out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to what Mark Lunsford has to say. He is the father of little Jessica.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUNSFORD: Tell these people to go out and vote yet on Proposition 83, to be supportive. The child we save may be your own. It`s time to turn the tables and, instead of them stalking our children, we`ll stalk them. Instead of them being our children`s worst nightmare, we will become theirs.
Jessica`s Law is very important to me, because we need to put these people away in prison for a long time and we`ll monitor them when they get out. That makes our children safer, and that makes us a little bit smarter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are very delighted to have with us on the phone tonight Marc Klaas, who is the president of Beyond Missing, and he is also a crusader for victims` rights, having lost his own daughter to murder. Thanks for joining us, Marc.
I want to get your reaction to all of this, because my understanding is that some of the proponents said, "Oh, it`s not retroactive. Don`t worry about that. We`re not going to be forcing people out of their homes. It`s just for new predators who were released from prison or who are on parole." But my question is: Why didn`t they write it that way if that`s how they feel about it?
MARC KLAAS, FOUNDER OF BEYOND MISSING: Well, you know, Jane, it was a very convoluted piece of legislation, a very convoluted proposition, and there is ambiguity outstanding, so I think it`s really a very good move that this occurs at this point before they start herding these people into rural areas, to get some clarity on exactly what the law means, and then apply it consistently throughout the state.
But I`d also like to point out that, you know, currently in California, current law says that a registered offender cannot live within a quarter of a mile of a school or a park, and a sexually violent predator cannot live within a half mile of a school or park. And that, quite frankly, might even be a more meaningful and a better solution anyway.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I think you raise a very important point. In researching all of these laws, there are so many laws on the books and there are different state laws for different states. There`s the Adam Walsh law, the new federal law, which is very comprehensive, that just went into effect.
And are they too complicated? Because I found it very hard to match up the laws and find out if there`s any overlap. And there I was researching it for hours and having trouble with it.
Renee Rockwell, defense attorney, do you think there should be some kind of simplification where it`s just a national system where everybody knows what`s going on, in terms of how far these predators can live from the schoolyards, when they`re going to get GPS tracking, those ankle bracelets, and the whole deal?
ROCKWELL: And that`s what all these fights are about, Jane. It`s because people want the laws to be crystal clear. That would be -- we were talking about this earlier. It`d be like passing a speeding law that says, "Don`t drive too fast."
What are you talking about, "don`t drive too fast"? Is it up to me to decide how fast too fast is? Is it up to the cop that`s sitting on the street? I mean, it might be too fast -- or too slow for Mario Andretti.
You want a law that people can look at, and read, and abide by. Look at this school bus right here. Do you know how many school buses we have in a county in metro Atlanta? You might have 1,800 school buses. I talked to a sheriff that lives in a small, rural town, and he`s saying what this is doing is all the sex offenders in the city are moving out to the country. And we don`t want that, either.
So what we want -- and I`m pro-child safety -- what you want is a law that people understand, that people can follow, and that is easily enforced, and I don`t think anybody disagrees with that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You raise some good points. Let`s go to Kathy from California. Your question, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes. Can we start recalling these liberal judges that don`t enforce the laws that are passed?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jean Casarez, what`s your take on that? I mean, if people pass this by a 70 percent margin, which is overwhelming, what can they do about it, if they feel a judge is blocking the people`s will?
CASAREZ: And the reality is, the very next day, a temporary restraining order was issued to invalidate, at least part, temporarily this law. Do you realize, Jane, there are 90,000 registered sex offenders in California? And those people, if this is not applied retroactively, they would be allowed to live wherever they wanted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: (INAUDIBLE) You don`t know where they are, and we don`t know what they`re doing. Jessica`s Law would change all of that. They`re allowing us to monitor sex offenders through the GPS system and know exactly where they are at all times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. How do we balance constitutional rights with the need to protect our children? Some closing thoughts.
I want to go back to Marc Klaas, president of Beyond Missing. An important point was raised. They have to live somewhere, so if you move them out of the urban areas, then they end up in the country where they might have even less supervision. Does that create new dangers?
KLAAS: Well, of course it creates new dangers, and what happens is it endangers children that live in those communities that don`t really have the law enforcement resource anyway, so that`s not necessarily a good solution.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I have to say, defense attorney Renee Rockwell, I think the answer is the GPS tracking system. I mean, that`s the high-tech answer to this problem. If you have those bracelets, which this Prop 83 also expands the use of that exponentially, you`re going to have a way to track all these people, no matter where they are.
ROCKWELL: And that`s true. And the question becomes, who`s going to pay for that? I just set somebody else up on one of those the other day. It`s $14 a day? Who`s going to pay for that? And are you going to make somebody that took a plea -- like the guy that filed this lawsuit. He took that plea 15 years ago. Are you going to make him start wearing a GPS? He`s going to say, "Wait a minute. I`ve been punished. I was punished 15 years ago. I`ve been leading a law-abiding life." You know where we`re going here, right?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it`s a thorny problem, because, according to the wire services, that unnamed person was convicted of molesting his daughter, so he is a person who committed a very serious crime. And it`s sad, in a sense, because he has paid his debt to society, but we`ve got a crisis, and we`ve got to find a way to protect our children from the horrors that Jessica Lunsford endured, that`s for sure.
Thank you so much.
Tonight, we remember Marine Captain Justin Peterson, 32, of Davisburg, Michigan. Enlisting straight from high school, Peterson dreamed of becoming a Marine since high school. A graduate of Taylor University with a business degree, he loved playing soccer and spending time with his large family. He leaves behind a grieving widow and three children, including a 6-month-old daughter. Justin Peterson, an American hero.
We`d like to thank all of our guests tonight for their insights. Thanks to you at home for tracking these important cases with us. Nancy Grace is back tomorrow night. Please make sure to join her at 8:00 sharp Eastern. Have a great night.