February 8, 2008 / 12:19 AM / in 10 years

Britney Spears' parents say her life is "at risk"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The parents of pop star Britney Spears returned to a court on Thursday to deal with the troubled singer’s affairs one day after saying they believed her life was at risk.

<p>Britney Spears drives her car out of the garage of Los Angeles Superior Court, October 26, 2007. Spears on Wednesday was unexpectedly released from the Los Angeles hospital where she was held for a mental evaluation, prompting celebrity photographers to chase her across the city. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>

The hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court was closed to the public, and a court spokesman said the proceedings were sealed. But several media reports said Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, and a court-appointed co-conservator were hoping to strengthen control over her affairs.

Neither Spears nor her parents attended the hearing.

A day earlier, the parents said their daughter is in the middle of a mental crisis, and they believe her life is at risk since she left a hospital where she was under psychiatric care.

“As parents of an adult child in the throes of a mental health crisis, we were extremely disappointed ... to learn that over the recommendation of her treating psychiatrist, our daughter Britney was released from the hospital that could best care for her and keep her safe,” said the joint statement released late on Wednesday on behalf of the singer’s father and her mother, Lynne Spears.

“We are deeply concerned about our daughter’s safety and vulnerability and we believe her life is presently at risk,” the statement said.

Spears, 26, was released from the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon after a six-day stay for psychiatric evaluation. Almost immediately, the paparazzi that have followed her every move in recent months began tracking the singer again.

AVERTING ‘A TRAGEDY’

<p>Britney Spears performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas.The parents of Spears returned to a court on Thursday to deal with the troubled singer's affairs one day after saying they believed her life was at risk. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>

Various reports had Spears meeting lawyers and friends in Beverly Hills, and her parents’ statement suggested that those meetings could be violating a court ruling earlier this week that gave Jamie Spears control of the singer’s affairs.

The parents last Friday were appointed temporary co-conservators.

“There are conservatorship orders in place created to protect our daughter that are being blatantly disregarded. We ask only that the court’s orders be enforced so that a tragedy may be averted,” concluded the joint statement.

Spears, who rose to fame in the late 1990s and built a huge following among young audiences as a pop singer and performer, has in recent months seen her life spin out of control.

She has battled her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, in court for custody of their two sons, spent a brief stint in rehab, been photographed in public wearing no underwear and exhibited bizarre behavior such as wearing pink wings and talking in a British accent despite being a native of Louisiana.

In early January, she was taken to a Los Angeles hospital and placed under mental observation for a few days before walking out. Last week she was again hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation.

Her father then went to a Los Angeles court and received “temporary conservatorship” over her affairs. The court commissioner also issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the singer’s self-styled manager, Sam Lutfi, who has been a near-constant presence in her life in recent months.

A spokesman for Lutfi told Reuters that since the order was put in place, he has not seen Britney, and respects the TRO.

“He is not the bad guy people think he is,” said spokesman Michael Sands.

Editing by Bernie Woodall and Xavier Briand

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