Britney Spears, Farrah Fawcett

Todd Williamson/Getty Images; Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images

UPDATE (July 7, 2011): UCLA Health System announced it had agreed to pay the federal government $865,000 over allegations that staffers wrongfully accessed confidential electronic medical records between 2005 and 2008. An independent monitor will be assigned to oversee the hospital's progress in staff compliance for the next three years.

Look what curiosity did to the profit-seeking cat.

Former UCLA Medical Center employee Lawanda Jackson pleaded guilty Monday to peddling confidential information about Farrah Fawcett's cancer battle to the National Enquirer and using her boss' password to access records belonging to dozens of patients, including Britney Spears and Maria Shriver.

The single charge of violating medical privacy law for commercial purposes carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been scheduled for May.

In March, UCLA fired 13 staffers and disciplined at least 12 others—including a number of doctors—for poking around in Spears' medical records without cause, unleashing a Los Angeles Times investigation into what appeared to be a chronic problem at the hospital over the past decade. 

Tom Cruise and Mariah Carey turned out to be among the 1,041 patients who reportedly had their files riffled through, while since 2003 nearly 165 employees have been either fired or otherwise punished for privacy breaches.

Jackson, who worked as an administrator for 32 years at UCLA's various Southland locations, resigned in July 2007 and was indicted in April in U.S. District Court. She and her attorney declined to comment after today's hearing.

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