Pop star Britney Spears sued Us Weekly for libel Monday, accusing the magazine of fabricating a story that she and her husband made a sexually explicit video together and worried it might be made public.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Spears and her spouse, dancer Kevin Federline, seeks $10 million in damages against the magazine over the story, which ran in the publication’s “HOTstuff” column in October.
Us Weekly said it stood by its report.
“Us Weekly has a credible source, and we stand by our reporting,” a spokeswoman for the magazine said late Monday.
According to the suit, the item was published with the headline: “Brit & Kev: Secret Sex Tape? New parents have a new worry: racy footage from 2004.”
The magazine reported the couple telling their lawyers that “a member of their entourage had threatened to release raunchy footage of the two” and that Spears feared that “an X-rated tape starring the two may go public,” the suit said.
The magazine also reported that the couple gave a copy of the tape to lawyers and watched it with them. The article appeared about a month after Spears, 24, gave birth to her first child. She and Federline, 27, married in September of last year.
Spears’ complaint asserts that the entire story is false — there is no such X-rated tape, no member of her entourage had threatened to release any such video and no such video was shown to the couple’s lawyers.
The suit goes on to say that Us Weekly has refused to retract the article and “is instead maliciously standing by the bogus story.”
Spears’ lawyer, Martin Singer, was quoted telling Web site TMZ.com, which first reported news of the suit, that “Britney has finally decided to take a stand to put a stop to people fabricating these malicious lies about her.”
Spears has sold more than 60 million albums since she shot to fame with her 1999 debut, “... Baby One More Time.”
Earlier this year, UPN broadcast a reality-show mini-series about Spears’ courtship and marriage to Federline, based largely on home videos shot by the singer herself.