Spears' father wins control of singer's affairs

Fri Feb 1, 2008 6:33pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles court on Friday placed the assets of troubled pop singer Britney Spears under the temporary control of her father while she remains hospitalized under psychiatric care.

Speaking outside the Los Angeles courthouse, Superior Court public information officer Allan Parachini said the "temporary conservatorship" was in place until Monday afternoon, at which time a new hearing will take place.

The conservatorship cedes control over the singer's liquid assets, including her home, to Jamie Spears, who petitioned the court for control in an emergency hearing on Friday.

In addition, the court issued a "civil harassment restraining order" against Sam Lutfi, Parachini said.

Lutfi is Spears' self-styled manager and confidante, who has been seen with the singer almost constantly in recent months as her life has seemed to spin out of control.

Spears' father now has the ability to supercede any other powers-of-attorney that may have been issued by the singer, cancel contracts she may have signed and bar people from visiting her in the Los Angeles area hospital.

On Thursday, Spears was taken from her home by ambulance to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and admitted for a three-day psychiatric evaluation.

Spears, 26, has seen her personal life spin out-of-control since she filed for divorce from ex-husband Kevin Federline in November 2006. She has spent time in rehab and been embroiled in a custody battle with Federline over their two children.

She has been ordered by a court to undergo random drug testing, and in early January was also hospitalized after going into a fit of hysterics when representatives of Federline tried to retrieve the children from a visit with Spears.

(Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; editing by Mary Milliken)

<p>Britney Spears performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas. The troubled pop star was in a Los Angeles hospital on psychiatric hold for the second time in a month on Thursday after being taken from her home by ambulance under a police escort. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith</p>