Sex and Taxxxes

Britney Spears is suing Us Weekly for libel (again). On Oct. 17 the gossipy mag ran a story saying that Spears and husband Kevin Federline were worried lest a secret sex tape they'd made get out. Spears said no such tape exists and demanded the magazine retract the story. Us refused, saying it stood by its report. Britney filed a lawsuit.

This happens at AlterNet all the time.

Still, something seems fishy. According to Us, Spears and Federline viewed the sexually explicit tape with their "estate planning lawyers." We consulted AlterNet's legal expert, Michael P. Kerner, about the seeming incongruity.

TM: You specialize in estate planning. Please explain, in ten words or less, what that is.

MPK: Cheating the government out of taxes.

TM: I notice you didn't mention anything about sex.

MPK: Sex is a critical part of estate planning.

TM: Why would a client ask an estate planner to watch a secret sex tape with them?

MPK: It's well accepted that estate planners are the best and the brightest in the legal profession. And in this particular instance, it's perfectly understandable that Britney and Justin --

TM: Kevin.

MPK: --that Britney and Kevin would be meeting with Britney's estate planning counsel. I am sure that Brit, like our president, believes that life begins at conception and it is never too early to begin planning for your children.

TM: What does that have to do with the sex tape?

MPK: Brit no doubt was meeting with her estate planners in order to ensnare a victim like Us and sue for millions of dollars and offset the incredible burden the estate tax is going to impose on her in the future. At the same time she could discuss setting up a trust for the children likely to be produced by the frolicking and get a jump on providing for their college education.

TM: Us claimed that while watching the tape with their lawyers, Spears and Federline allegedly acted "goofy." Goofy behavior in the company of lawyers. It strains credulity, does it not?

MPK: [Throat clearing, followed by silence.]

TM: However, Spears' suit says, "There was no laughter, disgust or goofy behavior while watching the video in the company of lawyers because they did not watch any video, and because there is no such video."

MPK: Estate planning is serious business. Brit knows that. All of us are going to be completely bankrupted if the estate tax is not repealed.

TM: Don't you mean the "death tax"?

MPK: Yeah, the death tax.

TM: Britney's estate planning lawyers have been curiously silent about the matter. In fact, we don't even know who they are. Could you speculate on their identities?

MPK: Actually I've applied for a job with that firm and I really can't discuss it.

TM: How many such tapes do you view on a weekly basis?

MPK: There are certain privileges that go along with our profession. But trust me, you wouldn't want to see most of my estate planning clients in the buff.

TM: Thank you for your time. You have provided comfort to Americans everywhere, and not just pop stars, who worry that their right to watch sex tapes in private with their lawyers may be eroded.

MPK: My pleasure.

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