[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 07:54 GMT
Singer Spears' libel case delayed
Britney Spears
Spears gave birth to her first child Preston in 2005
Singer Britney Spears' libel case against a US magazine has been delayed after a judge ruled that more evidence is needed before it can be dismissed.

Spears' lawyers have time to prepare an argument against Us Weekly, who asked the court to drop the case.

The pop star sued the publication in December over claims that she and husband Kevin Federline made a sex tape and feared it would be made public.

The couple said the story was "bogus" in the $20m (11.4m) legal action.

'Raunchy footage'

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 3 May.

A spokeswoman for the magazine said in December: "Us Weekly has a credible source, and we stand by our reporting."

According to the details of the case, an October edition of the magazine reported that the couple had told their lawyers that "a member of their entourage had threatened to release raunchy footage of the two".

Us Weekly also reported that the couple gave a copy of the tape to lawyers on 30 September 2005 and were "acting goofy" while watching it with them.

Britney Spears with husband Kevin Federline
Spears married Federline in 2004

"There was no laughter, disgust or goofy behaviour while watching the video in the company of lawyers because they did not watch any video, and because there is no such video," the action said.

The article appeared about a month after Ms Spears, 24, gave birth to her first child, Preston.

According to the legal action, Ms Spears went to court after Us Weekly refused her request for a retraction, and "is instead maliciously standing by the bogus story".

The singer and Us Weekly clashed earlier last year, after it published photographs of Ms Spears on honeymoon with Federline in Fiji in 2004.

The 24-year-old pop star issued a statement in February criticising the magazine.

"Coming from a celebrity who sold pictures of both her wedding and her stepdaughter, it's unlikely the issue here is privacy," responded Us Weekly.

"Britney should start her own magazine if she'd like to dictate her own coverage."

Spears 'fears reckless paparazzi'
17 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Spears admits baby driving error
10 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Police visit Spears over photos
09 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Spears baby car photo is revealed
08 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Spears defends baby car photos
07 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Britney baby photos 'are stolen'
22 Oct 05 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific