February 20, 2008 / 12:07 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Britney Spears still cannot visit sons

(Adds gag order and change in lawyers, paragraph 5)

LOS ANGELES, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Pop star Britney Spears on Tuesday failed to regain the right to see her two young sons after a closed-door court hearing in the lengthy and bitter custody dispute with her ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Spears, who lost primary custody of her children in October, has been barred from court-monitored visits after refusing to hand the boys back to Federline in January and being taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

Los Angeles Superior Court spokesman Alan Parachini told reporters there had been no change in the orders handed out by the family judge who last month stripped Spears of her visiting rights to see Sean Preston, 2 and Jayden James, 1.

Celebrity web site TMZ.com said Federline wanted Spears to be able to see the boys under certain conditions but lawyers for both sides apparently could not agree on the terms.

The court denied a motion by Spears’ lawyer to issue a gag order to keep attorneys from talking to the media but it granted a request for Spears to change her lawyer from Anne Kiley of Los Angeles-based firm Trope & Trope to new attorney Stacy Phillips.

Earlier this month, Spears spent another six days in a psychiatric unit for what is thought to be bipolar disorder and her father Jamie Spears was given control of her personal and business affairs.

The American singer, once one of the world’s biggest pop stars, has spiraled downwards since her divorce last year from Federline.

A year ago she shaved her head and spent a brief stint in rehab but her behavior has grown more erratic in recent months, including wearing a bright pink wig and adopting a British accent. (Reporting by Justin Kroll; Writing by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Cynthia Osterman)

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