Spears Loses Custody; Visits Suspended for Now

Britney Spears arrives for the grand opening party of LAX nightclub at the Luxor hotel-casino in Las Vegas, in a Sept. 1, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Britney Spears arrives for the grand opening party of LAX nightclub at the Luxor hotel-casino in Las Vegas, in a Sept. 1, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (Jae C. Hong - AP)
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By Sandy Cohen
Associated Press
Saturday, January 5, 2008

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4 -- A court commissioner gave sole physical and legal custody of Britney Spears's two little boys Friday to ex-husband Kevin Federline and suspended the troubled pop star's visitation rights.

Spears was hauled away from her home to a hospital by paramedics a day before, after police had to intervene when she refused to return the children to Federline after a court-monitored visit.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon ordered another hearing to be held Jan. 14.

Federline previously had been awarded temporary custody of 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James because Spears has defied court orders, resulting in limitations on her visitation.

"I'm not happy about any of these events," Federline's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, said when he left a closed-door emergency hearing Friday afternoon. "There's no winners here."

Federline was not in court for the hearing, Kaplan said.

The 26-year-old pop star remained hospitalized Friday.

Her latest troubles began around 8 p.m. Thursday when officers were called to her home to help resolve a dispute over her refusal to turn the children over to Federline, as dictated by their custody agreement.

It took two to three hours to resolve the conflict, said Officer Ana Aguirre.

"There was a time where she was within the residence and wasn't available to be speaking to the officers, apparently," she said. "There was no threat to the children."

"Police resolved the conflict," Aguirre said. "Both children were turned over to her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, for custody, and she was in fact taken to a local hospital for medical treatment."

Early police reports said officers thought Spears might have been under the influence of some substance, but Aguirre said there was no evidence of that.

Officers at the scene determined that paramedics "needed to be called," but it was unclear why, she said. "We're not aware of any type of injuries that she sustained" and she was not combative with authorities, according to Aguirre, who also said that Spears wasn't arrested in connection with the custody dispute.

Spears and Federline were married in October 2004. Her life has spiraled downward since their divorce in July. She has been photographed without underwear and appeared to be drunk and out of control in public. She shaved her head, beat a car with an umbrella and spent a month in rehab.

She had hoped to regain her pop crown with a much-hyped performance at MTV's Video Music Awards in September, but it was universally panned by fans and critics.

Still, Spears's latest album, "Blackout," earned positive reviews when it was released in October and brought Spears her first No. 1 hit in years, "Gimme More."

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