Pop star BRITNEY SPEARS saw her libel challenge against a US magazine dismissed yesterday (06NOV06) when a judge ruled a report about her sex tape wasn't defamatory.

The singer was outraged by an October 2005 article in Us Weekly which claimed Spears and her husband KEVIN FEDERLINE had made a racy video together and feared a member of their entourage would leak it. The couple reportedly gave a copy of the tape to lawyers and watched it with them.

Spears' suit insisted, "The article is libelous on its face, since it maliciously and recklessly portrays (Spears) as acting 'goofy' while watching (the video with attorneys)."

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge LISA HART COLE dismissed the $10 million (£5.5 million) damages claim, ruling the singer's raunchy reputation was in place before the Us Weekly article. She said, "It is clear that plaintiff did not bring this lawsuit because she was falsely accused of acting goofy. "The issue is whether it is defamatory to state that a husband and wife taped themselves engaging in consensual sex."

She concluded, "(Spears) put her modern sexuality squarely, and profitably, before the public eye", citing racy scenes in her 2005 reality TV show BRITNEY & KEVIN: CHAOTIC as evidence.

Copyright 2006 WENN

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