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Monday, October 1, 2007

Spears Ordered to Give Kids to Federline. {Those poor kids can't catch a break}


Monday October 1, 2007
From The Associated Press
By Sandy Cohen

LOS ANGELES (AP) Britney Spears' continuing downward spiral took a devastating turn on Monday when she was ordered to relinquish custody of her children by a judge who had cited a troubling lifestyle fueled by drugs and alcohol.

Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon ruled that ex-husband Kevin Federline will take custody of Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, beginning Wednesday "until further order of the court."

The order stemmed from an unspecified oral motion made by Federline's attorneys and was handled in a closed-door hearing. The judge's order didn't state the reason for the change in custody and all transcripts of the proceedings were ordered sealed.

Phone messages left for representatives of Spears and Federline were not immediately returned Monday.

Last month, Gordon said Spears engaged in "habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol." He ordered the pop star to undergo random drug and alcohol testing twice a week as part of her ongoing custody dispute with Federline.

Spears also was previously ordered to meet weekly with a "parenting coach" who was to observe and report back to the court about her parenting skills. Both Spears and Federline must complete the court's "Parenting Without Conflict" class.

Spears, 25, and Federline, 29, were wed in October 2004. She filed for divorce last November and it became official in July. The two have joint legal custody of their sons, but Federline is seeking a greater share of custody.

Since Spears became single, her troubles have played out in the tabloids. First she was photographed at various Hollywood hotspots partying with Paris Hilton. Some photos captured Spears without panties. Then Spears shaved her head, beat a car with an umbrella and ended up spending a month in rehab.

An MTV Video Music Awards performance last month meant to herald her comeback was universally panned. The following week, Spears' management firm dropped her and her divorce lawyer resigned.

She then was charged with misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run and driving without a valid license for allegedly crashing into a parked car in August.

Spears' new album will be released Nov. 13.

Raquel Maria Dillon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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