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Britney's Team Leaves Her High and High?

Britney Spears | Emmy Exits

Britney’s Team Leaves Her High and High?

Before this week, I was the only entertainment/gossip columnist in the world who thought little and wrote less about Britney Spears.

But now, let’s face it, she’s in major trouble. Late Monday, her manager of one month, Jeff Kwatinetz of The Firm, fired her. This was only a few hours after her divorce attorney, Laura Wasser, did the same.

As I reported late Monday afternoon, sources tell me that Spears is just a breath away from Commissioner Scott Gordon ruling that her children will be placed in the custody of ex-husband Kevin Federline. And it’s not like he’s Father of the Year.

Let’s not forget that Federline already had a baby and one on the way with a woman to whom he was not married when Britney got pregnant. Violins never played when these two walked into a room, just ominous soap-opera organs.

As I also reported late Sunday, Gloria Allred’s client, Tony Barretto, who was briefly Spears’ bodyguard, gave a declaration in court last Friday accusing her of drug abuse in front of her children, among other things. He was the “secret” witness.

On Monday, the declaration went unquestioned into Spears’ file with Gordon. Wasser, or her successor Marcie Levine, could have cross-examined Barretto in court. He was present, along with Allred. But it didn’t happen, and now the declaration stands.

It’s not surprising that Kwatinetz dropped Spears. I told you last week that immediately following her disastrous appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards, Kwatinetz would be held responsible for the debacle by his partners at The Firm.

Kwatinetz is currently trying to keep Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and their manager Rick Yorn. Blame for the end of a pop tart’s career is not something he needs or can handle.

Wasser, on the other hand, has been trying to bail out on Spears for weeks. There were reports all summer that she was leaving. Now she’s gone. It’s not a good sign. Whatever she knows that we don’t, she no longer has the energy or interest in defending Spears. That’s very bad.

Who is Britney Spears, anyway? She’s not a writer or a singer. She’s not much of a dancer. She is, however, a spectacle, a teen star whose fame has lasted well beyond its limits.

She’s known primarily for “Oops … I Did It Again,” a novelty song, and for her tabloid hijinks. Among the latter: not wearing underwear.

If you’re a certain age, you’ll understand this: Britney Spears is no Joni Mitchell; she’s not even Madonna. She’s this generation’s answer to the Andrea True Connection, and that’s on a good day.

What will happen to her Nov. 13 CD release? Two months is a long time in short-term memory America. Perhaps all will be forgiven and forgotten.

But Spears will have to promote her CD, and that should be a sticky issue since she has no publicist either. The indefatigable Leslie Sloane Zelnick is also long gone.

Emmy Exits: American Idol Gang Fumes

Yes, well, Ryan Seacrest was lonely for his "American Idol" comrades at the Emmy Governor’s Ball on Sunday night.

When I asked him where everyone was, Seacrest replied: “They’re pissed that they didn’t win. They all went to Ago for dinner.”

OK, understood since “The Amazing Race” won the Emmy again. Seacrest concurred that Simon Cowell’s little attacks on him are just about publicity and no more.

“We’re great friends,” he said.

In the meantime, I don’t get why Seacrest can be blamed for the Emmy show’s low ratings. He did his job just fine. It’s TV that’s boring. And how “Lost,” “Brothers and Sisters” and "The Wire" weren’t nominated for Best Drama speaks volumes about why viewers don’t care about the Emmy show. …

Katherine Heigl inexplicably won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, beating Rachel Griffiths, Lorraine Bracco and Aida Turturro. Heigl is beautiful, but an award-winning actress?

On the red carpet, her publicist picked a major fight with a TV Academy volunteer, too. The publicist was screaming (in front of yours truly, who is not invisible — hello?!) at this poor guy’s boss, “I want to make a formal complaint. He’s not to touch my client or speak to her directly!”

Too funny. Where is the Zoloft when we need it? ...

Queen Latifah, resplendent in her red gown, chatted with me in the wings during the show. She’s a former and future Oscar nominee, no Heigl-ian, but still.

She has a new album coming out next Tuesday, Sept. 25, on Verve Records, co-produced by the legendary Tommy LiPuma.

Latifah is an underrated singer. She’s actually amazing. “Trav’lin’ Light” contains covers of Phoebe Snow’s “Poetry Man,” 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” and the Pointer Sisters’ “How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)" among others. Great choices. …

Robert Wuhl at the HBO party, excited about the latest episode of “Assume the Position” on that cable network. The show is a hit. …

Evan Handler tells me has a small role in the “Sex and the City” movie, returning as Harry, Charlotte's menschy husband. Handler is currently in Showtime’s “Californication,” playing David Duchovny’s second banana with aplomb.

Word on the “Sex and the City” film script is that it stands alone, introducing the characters to movie audiences instead of assuming they already know them. Smart. …

Great British singer-songwriter-performer Judith Owen at the BAFTA/LA tea party, she’s also wife of Harry Shearer. …

At Entertainment Weekly’s Saturday night party — maybe the best of all the get-togethers over Emmy weekend — Rumer Willis, 18-year-old daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, sat more or less by herself on a couch while several young guys ogled her. …

Rumer played it just right. …

Same party, Jeremy Piven worked overtime getting the attention of hot blonde and former soaper Jessica Collins, now on ABC’s “Big Shots.” …

Also at EW: John Stamos, Maura Tierney, Brooke Smith, Stephanie March, Michael Vartan, and — drum roll! — Ken Davitian, aka Azamat, from “Borat.” Ken has picked up several roles in films since “Borat" made him a sensation, including one in “Get Smart.” Good for him! …

And finally, for today, Jennifer Coolidge, the amazing comedienne from the Chris Guest movies and “Legally Blonde,” is finishing up two films, she told me also the EW bash.

Why isn’t this woman the star of a sitcom? She’s a natural. …

Just catch her in “For Your Consideration.” Utter genius. …