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By Bob Tourtellotte
LOS ANGELES, Feb 1 (Reuters) - A Los Angeles court on Friday placed the affairs of troubled pop singer Britney Spears under the temporary control of her father while she remains hospitalized under psychiatric care.
Superior Court public information officer Allan Parachini said the “temporary conservatorship” was in place until Monday afternoon, at which time a new hearing will take place. He said the court also issued a “civil harassment restraining order” against Spears’ manager, Sam Lutfi.
The conservatorship cedes control over the singer’s liquid assets, including her home, to Jamie Spears, who petitioned the court for control in an emergency hearing on Friday. Attorney Andrew Wallete shares conservator duties with Spears’ dad.
With the court order, Jamie Spears now has the ability to supersede any other powers-of-attorney that may have been issued by the singer, cancel contracts she may have signed and bar people from visiting her in the Los Angeles area hospital.
Spears, 26, the former Disney child star and chart-topping singer, has seen her personal life spin out-of-control since she filed for divorce from ex-husband Kevin Federline in 2006.
Most recently, the Louisiana native has adopted a British accent, caroused around Hollywood Hills wearing pink wigs, and in early January was hospitalized for a mental evaluation after going into hysterics when Federline’s representatives tried to retrieve their kids after a visit with Spears.
On Thursday of this week, Spears was again rushed to a Los Angeles area hospital in an ambulance, where she remains, and put under a three-day psychiatric hold.
Lutfi is Spears’ self-styled manager and confidant, who has been seen with the singer almost constantly in recent months as her life has turned ever more weird. The restraining order against him is in effect for 22 days.
Spears’ antics through 2007 caused her to become hounded by paparazzi, and two weeks ago four photographers were arrested on suspicion of reckless driving while trailing her.
On Thursday’s trip to UCLA Medical Center, her ambulance was surrounded by a phalanx of police cars and motorcycles to keep photographers at bay.
It cost local authorities $25,000 to protect her, police said, and on Friday one Los Angeles city councilman put forth a motion in the city’s government to restrict the paparazzi’s movements when photographing stars in public.
The singer rose to fame as a child star on cable TV’s Disney Channel in “The All New Mickey Mouse Club”, and scored her first hit song “Baby ... One More Time,” in late 1998.
She followed that up with two chart-topping albums, “Oops! ... I Did It Again” and “Britney,” and by 2002, she was ranked the most powerful celebrity in the world by Forbes Magazine.
But in 2007, her life took a turn for the worse as she began hitting Hollywood nightclubs regularly. She has been in-and-out of rehab, and she ran afoul of Los Angeles police after hitting a parked car while driving without a license.
Spears also became embroiled in a bitter custody battle with Federline over their two sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, and she was ordered by a Los Angeles family court to undergo random drug and alcohol tests and parenting classes. (Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; editing by Mary Milliken and Todd Eastham)