Official: Barb About Spears 'Inadvertent'

By | October 8, 2003 at 12:00 AM

A spokeswoman for Maryland’s first lady said the governor’s wife made “an inadvertent figure of speech” when she spoke at a domestic violence prevention conference of shooting pop singer Britney Spears.

In remarks taped by WFMD-AM in Frederick, Kendel Ehrlich, wife of Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich, addressed an audience Friday at Hood College in Frederick as part of a program called, “Men and Women: Partners in the Fight Against Domestic Violence.”

She talked about the need for “educating our women to get as much schooling as possible, to not become dependent on anyone else.”

“It is incredibly important to get that message to young women. You know, really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would,” Mrs. Ehrlich said, laughing. “I hate to say that, but you know, like I said, I’m raising a boy… and I think, ‘Oh my goodness, what would I do if I had a daughter who is seeing these images and having peer pressure?'”

The Ehrlichs have a 4-year-old son, Drew.

“The first lady is a working mother raising a young son. She made an inadvertent figure of speech expressing her concerns about the influence of pop culture on children,” Mrs. Ehrlich’s spokeswoman, Meghann Siwinski, said Tuesday.

Mrs. Ehrlich declined, through her spokeswoman, to comment further and Siwinski also declined to answer questions.

Jive Records, the New York-based label that represents Spears, responded Tuesday to Mrs. Ehrlich’s remarks only with an e-mailed statement: “Since this unfortunate comment was made at a domestic violence prevention conference, it seems that Mrs. Ehrlich has shot her own self in the foot by promoting violence.”

Spears, 21, is known for wearing provocative clothing while singing songs that have progressed from the relatively tame “Baby, One More Time” to “Slave 4 U.” She kissed Madonna during the Aug. 28 MTV Video Music Awards and posed topless for a recent Rolling Stone magazine cover.

Mrs. Ehrlich also told the conference that girls were “bombarded” by television and magazines that portray an image “that is just not saying to women that what is really needed is your independence, your opportunity, and your ability to make choices for yourself.”

Mrs. Ehrlich is a lawyer who has worked both as a public defender and a prosecutor.