The troubled life of Britney Spears added a new chapter when the intoxicated pop star was whisked away in an ambulance after police were called to her house to help end a nearly three-hour custody standoff involving her young sons.
The 26-year-old pop star was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Entertainment Tonight reported on its Web site Friday. Cedars spokeswoman Simi Singer said she could neither confirm nor deny the report, citing patient confidentiality laws.
Officer Jason Lee of the Los Angeles Police Department told City News Service that Spears appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance. He declined to elaborate. No injuries were reported.
Spears was conscious late Thursday when paramedics took her out of her home in a gurney. Several police cars escorted the ambulance out of the neighborhood, followed by dozens of paparazzi.
Officers were called to Spears’ house around 8 p.m. to respond to the custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline over their sons, 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James, Lee said.
By about 10:30 p.m., six police cars, two ambulances and a fire truck had entered the gated-community that includes Spears’ house. Several police cars were seen in the area earlier in the night.
Spears turned over the children around 10:50 p.m., Lee said.
Calls to the Police Department’s media line early Friday were not answered.
Spears and Federline have been involved in a long and very public custody battle. Federline has temporary custody of the children because Spears, who has limited visitation rights, has defied court orders. The two were married in October 2004 and divorced in July.
Spears has appeared increasingly out of control during the past year. She has been photographed without underwear and appeared to be drunk and out-of-control. She shaved her head, beat a car with an umbrella and spent a month in rehab and has had a handful of fender benders, including one in which she ran over a photographer’s foot.
Earlier Thursday, Spears appeared for a deposition in her custody dispute.
Spears was deposed for just 14 minutes, Federline attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told reporters after Spears left.
Spears called in sick for a Dec. 12 court-ordered deposition, but was photographed that day driving with a friend. She also didn’t show up for a session Wednesday, Kaplan said.
Spears’ attorneys from the firm Trope and Trope on Wednesday filed a court motion asking to be relieved due to a “breakdown” in communication with their client.
Kaplan said Spears’ attorneys were present for what became a very abbreviated session, which had been scheduled to last two hours.
“You can imagine in 14 minutes there’s not a lot of time to develop questions,” he said.
Kaplan said another deposition would be scheduled.