Spears In Police Standoff

Britney Spears entered a new chapter in her troubled life, surrounded by paparazzi and police wanting to know more about a three-hour custody standoff involving her young sons.

The pop star was taken away in an ambulance late Thursday after police were called to her house to help end the standoff.

"For her own welfare, she was transferred to a local hospital for medical treatment,” Officer April Harding said early Friday, declining to elaborate. No injuries were reported.

Spears appeared to arriving officers to be under the influence of an unknown substance, Officer Jason Lee told City News Service.

Spears was conscious late Thursday when paramedics took her out of her home in a gurney and loaded her into an ambulance that left the star’s home escorted by a row of police cars.

A horde of paparazzi chased the ambulance as it left the neighborhood, their strobes going off as they held their cameras up to the vehicle’s rear window. Another group of videographers met the ambulance at the hospital, banging on the ambulance doors.

Entertainment Tonight reported on its Web site that the 26-year-old pop star was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Cedars spokeswoman Simi Singer said she could neither confirm nor deny the report, citing patient confidentiality laws.

Officers were called to Spears’ house around 8 p.m. to respond to the custody dispute over her sons, 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James, Harding 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.

Spears and ex-husband Kevin 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.