LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A judge on Monday refused to restore Britney Spears’ right to visit her two sons, a court spokesman said, after the troubled pop star showed up outside court but never made it into the hearing.
Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon left in place a ruling that barred Spears from visiting with her young sons at least until another hearing on February 19, lawyers for her ex-husband Kevin Federline said outside court.
Gordon issued the original order earlier this month, after police were summoned to the troubled pop star’s home when she became distraught and refused to return the boys to Federline’s representatives.
Spears, 26, was taken away on a stretcher and hospitalized for two days.
She arrived hours late for Monday’s hearing and was mobbed by photographers as she stepped out of a sport utility vehicle outside the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.
But instead of heading into the building where the hearing was under way with Federline in the courtroom, Spears climbed quickly back in the car and drove off again.
“Move back, I‘m scared. Stop it. Stop it. I want to get back in the car. Just stop it. Let me get in the car, please!” Spears shouted at photographers, according to the celebrity Web site TMZ.com.
It was the latest in a series of strange episodes involving Spears since she divorced Federline in late 2006. She lost custody of their two sons, 1-year-old Jayden James and 2-year-old Sean Preston, last year.
The incident in early January that led to Spears’ hospitalization prompted Gordon to suspend her visitation rights with the children until Monday’s hearing -- which legal experts considered critical for Spears to attend.
She did not show up for a morning session, and made her brief appearance outside the courthouse after a noon break.
The hearing was closed to the press and public, but Federline, his hair styled into a Mohawk, was seen coming and going.
His attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, said outside court that Federline’s wish was “that he could one day parent both of these children with the mother.”
He said Spears was not required to attend the hearing and her brief appearance outside court did not affect the ruling by the judge, who took testimony from five witnesses.
Spears became a teen pop phenomenon nine years ago, and enjoyed a brief comeback in October with her new single, “Gimme More” and an album, “Blackout,” which briefly hit No. 2 on U.S. pop album charts before falling off.
Additional reporting by Justin Kroll, editing by Alan Elsner