February 4, 2008 / 4:51 AM / 10 years ago

Britney Spears custody hearing postponed

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A hearing in the child custody battle between Britney Spears and her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, was postponed on Monday because the troubled pop star remains hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation, media reports said.

The hearing was scheduled after lawyers for Spears, who has lost custody of her two young sons to Federline, sought visitation rights with the boys.

The celebrity Web site TMZ.com reported the hearing was postponed because Spears, who on Thursday was taken to UCLA Medical Center for a 72-hour mental evaluation, had been ordered to remain there another two weeks.

A hearing on the hospitalization was scheduled later on Monday.

One day after Spears, 26, was hospitalized, a Los Angeles court granted her father, Jamie Spears, and attorney, Andrew Wallete, temporary control of her assets, including her house.

In addition, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has issued a restraining order to keep Spears’ self-styled manager and confidant, Sam Lutfi, away from the performer.

Lutfi has been seen with Spears almost constantly in recent months as her personal life has spun out of control.

Los Angeles police are investigating a theft report filed on Friday by Spears’ father, a police spokeswoman said. She said several personal items were reported taken from her home.

Spears, a former Disney child star and chart-topping singer, has seen her personal life descend into turmoil since she filed for divorce from Federline in 2006.

The Louisiana native was hospitalized in January for a mental evaluation after going into hysterics when Federline’s representatives tried to retrieve their children after a visit.

Spears’ antics have drawn nearly constant attention from paparazzi. Two weeks ago, four photographers were arrested on suspicion of reckless driving while trailing her.

It cost local authorities $25,000 to keep photographers at bay during her trip to the hospital last week, police said. On Friday, one Los Angeles city councilman proposed a municipal ordinance to restrict the paparazzi’s movements when photographing stars in public.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Steve Gorman

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