Custody Battles

Britney Spears's Ex-Bodyguard Requests Child Abuse Investigation

10/05/2007 at 12:55 PM EDT

Britney Spears's Ex-Bodyguard Requests Child Abuse Investigation
Britney Spears and son Jayden James
Ramirez/JFX
Britney Spears's former bodyguard, Tony Barretto, asked the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services to open a child abuse investigation into the singer, his lawyer says.

Barretto, who claims to have witnessed drug use and other bad behavior by the pop star, had a two-hour meeting with DCFS officials Wednesday in which he made a "child abuse referral," says attorney Gloria Allred.

"The referral asks for an investigation into Britney Spears and her behavior with her two young children," Allred said in a statement.

"It was our understanding at the end of the meeting ... (that) the department will investigate to the best of their ability," Allred continued. "It was important that we filed because the department has no legal power to investigate unless there is a filing. Now that we have filed, they have the power to open an investigation."

DCFS spokesman Stuart Riskin said, "We do not comment about potential investigations."

"A referral to DCFS is extremely serious," says L.A. family law attorney Lynn Soodik. "However, it's a bit late in the game to make this report, especially now since her visits will be monitored. I assume DCFS will fully investigate his claims."

Last month, Barretto, 27, made a formal declaration to the court overseeing Spears's custody case. He also went public with his story to a number of media outlets.

On Wednesday, L.A. Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon imposed stricter measures on Spears, who must complete a litany of requirements by the next hearing date of Oct. 26.



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