In what is certain to be a landmark decision enabling the tabloid media to tie virtually any sluttily marketed celebrity presence to participation in possibly nonexistent amateur sex productions with their poorly chosen partners, a judge has ruled that Britney Spears can't be defamed by rumors that she has participated in the video documentation of the earliest, most penetrative stages of the baby-making process with vaguely vampiric househusband Kevin Federline, letting Us Weekly off the hook for their story that the couple feared the release of a tape featuring their erotic adventures. Chastiseth Lady Justice, offended that Spears thinks she has a reputation to damage:
Superior Court Judge Lisa Hart Cole said Spears has "put her modern sexuality squarely, and profitably, before the public eye" and it would be unlikely for the magazine article to be found defamatory.
Her decision to dismiss the $10 million lawsuit filed last year did not address whether the October 2005 story was true or false.
"The issue is whether it is defamatory to state that a husband and wife taped themselves engaging in consensual sex," Cole wrote in the decision issued last week. "The backdrop against which this issue must be addressed is that the plaintiff has publicly portrayed herself in a sexual way in her performances, in published photographs and in a reality show."
Had the case gone to trial, her attorneys may have tried to argue that Spears has recently rehabilitated her sexually aggressive image by recasting herself as a dedicated, stay-at-home mother who's temporarily given up her performing career to tend full-time to her accident-prone offspring, but even that strategy would likely be quickly countered by the defense's Exhibit A, wherein Spears unambiguously invited the public to masturbate to her pregnant form in the pages of Bazaar, proving that she could still sell sex well into her second trimester.