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Spears held at UCLA Medical Center

January 31, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Britney Spears is in the hospital for a second time this month, reportedly on a mental evaluation hold.It's another troubling turn for a young star who appears trapped in a downward spiral.

Spears was taken from her home by ambulance and escorted by police to UCLA Medical Center in Westwood early Thursday morning. As always, an army of paparazzi followed closely behind.

The motorcade that escorted the 26-year-old pop singer to the hospital rivals anything that the presidential candidates have seen. It all appeared to be a very well-organized and well-orchestrated event between Spears' friends, her family, her psychiatrist and the LAPD.

She will remain at UCLA Medical Center for the next three days receiving around the clock psychiatric observation.

Helicopters started hovering over Britney Spears' Studio City home shortly after midnight. Paparazzi had already been gathered and had been getting tickets outside her gated community, known as The Summit, for hours before that. Word had apparently leaked that Spears' was heading back to the hospital and it would not go unnoticed.

At 1:08 a.m., LAPD officers radioed that Spears was on the way out, but they didn't use her name. Instead they spoke in code, referring to her as "the package."

The well-orchestrated police motorcade, including 12 officers on motorcycles, two police cruisers, and one police helicopter flying overhead, escorted the ambulance down the winding turns of Coldwater Canyon to the hospital. It's estimated that the span of vehicles stretched more than a football field. Some officers blocked intersections so paparazzi couldn't follow.

Spears and members of her family, including her father Jamie Spears, ended up at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where reportedly Spears' psychiatrist is an attending physician.

Spears will remain hospitalized for the next three days. She was voluntarily admitted under what's known as a 5150, a California welfare code that refers to a patient that's determined by a qualified officer to be a danger to himself/herself or to others. It's unclear whether or not she will be admitted beyond that time.

Reportedly Spears' psychiatrist requested the 5150 order Thursday night after seeing Spears and determining she was in need of hospitalization.

The scene was quite calm and more controlled than the one earlier this month when Spears also was taken away from her home in an ambulance.

Back on Jan. 3 authorities were called to her home after she refused to give her two young sons, 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James, to Kevin Federline's security guards at the end of a court approved visit. At that time she was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she was placed under observation for 72 hours, but left after a day and a half.

Spears has been in a highly public downward spiral since filing for divorce from Federline in November 2006. Her bizarre antics include shaving her head bald, attacking a car with an umbrella and bringing along a paparazzo pal on trips to a courthouse in her child custody case.

Celebrity blogs and the gossip columns are working overtime, speculating as to what exactly Britney Spears will be treated for. Sources close to her family have admitted that Britney Spears currently is suffering from bipolar disorder.

 

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