Timeline: Britney's Meltdown







From "Mickey Mouse Club" to sex symbol and single mom, Britney Spears has always been noticed for a bit more than her music. Here are some of her recent perils and pit stops:





July 18, 2008

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline reach an agreement in their custody battle over sons Sean Preston and Jayden James. The agreement grants the pop singer more visits with her children and averts a custody trial that was scheduled for August. Federline still has full custody.





Feb. 5, 2008
A restraining order was issued against Sam Lutfi, the man who's been at Britney Spears' side during her downward spiral. It alleges that he drugged her, took over her finances and controlled the ravenous paparazzi "like a general." The order was based on a lengthy declaration from Spears' mother, Lynne, who says Spears met the 33-year-old in October 2007 and "essentially moved into Britney's home and has purported to take control of her life, home and finances."





Feb. 1, 2008
A Superior Court commissioner placed Britney Spears and her estate under temporary conservatorship a day after the pop star was taken to a psychiatric hospital. Her father, James Spears, was named conservator of Spears herself. His eyes teared when the decision was made. He and an attorney, Andrew Wallet, were name conservators of the estate. The singer's mother Lynne Spears, was also in court. The parents sat with attorney Blair Berk throughout the hearing and they smiled and embraced her after the announcement. A court creates conservatorships when a person cannot care for themselves or handle their affairs.





Jan. 31, 2008
For the second time in a month, Britney Spears was taken from her home by ambulance and escorted to a hospital by more than a dozen police officers as two helicopters followed overhead. A Los Angeles police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the 26-year-old pop star was being taken to "get help" but did not give the ambulance's destination. The Los Angeles Times, citing unidentified authorities, said Spears was taken to UCLA Medical Center to be placed on a "mental evaluation hold."







Jan. 14, 2008
A court commissioner
rules that a Jan. 4 emergency order suspending Spears'
visitation rights and giving custody to ex-husband Kevin Federline would remain in effect. The pop star went to the L.A. courthouse for a hearing in her child-custody battle, but never made it inside, leaving abruptly amid a swarm of paparazzi. A new hearing was scheduled for Feb. 19.





Jan. 4, 2008
A court commissioner awards sole legal and physical custody of Spears' two children to her ex-husband, and suspends the troubled pop star's visitation rights. Commissioner Scott Gordon issued the ruling the day after Spears was taken away from her home by paramedics. Police also had to intervene when she refused to return the children to Federline after a court-monitored visit.





Jan. 3, 2008
Spears was whisked away in an ambulance after police were called to her house to help end a nearly three-hour custody standoff involving her young sons. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Entertainment Tonight reported on its Web site. A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman told City News Service that Spears appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance. No injuries were reported. Earlier Thursday, Spears had appeared for a deposition in her custody dispute but was deposed for just 14 minutes, Federline attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan said.

(Photo: AP Photo/ET/"Insider"/Hollywood TV)







Dec. 4, 2007
Child welfare investigators are looking into "multiple child abuse and neglect" allegations in the custody battle between Spears and ex-husband Kevin Federline, according to court documents. In a request to unseal parts of the case file, an attorney for the Los Angeles County Dept. of Children and Family Services wrote that there are concerns about the safety and welfare of the two toddlers if they are left in their mother's care.




Dec. 2, 2007
Spears celebrates her 26th birthday, reportedly, with her sons. The night before, she partied with friends at a bash hosted by Sharon Stone inside The ScandinavianStyle mansion in Bel Air.






Oct. 30, 2007
A Los Angeles court commissioner grants Britney Spears three monitored visits a week with her two small sons. The pop star is ordered to child-proof her pool and work
out a visitation schedule with ex Kevin Federline. Spears' latest album, "Blackout," hits stores.

(Photo: Zomba)







Oct. 26, 2007
A lawyer for Spears wins a motion to bar videotaping of deposition testimony in her custody battle with Federline, her ex-husband. Spears and Federline were ordered to be at the hearing.




Oct. 25, 2007
Spears avoids a criminal hit-and-run trial by paying for damages in a fender-bender. Superior Court Commission Susan Speer dismissed the hit-and-run charge after a lawyer for the pop star said his client had paid an undisclosed amount to the woman whose car was hit in a Studio City parking lot. A charge of driving without a license was not dismissed and a pretrial hearing was scheduled for Nov. 26.





Oct. 17, 2007
Spears may not visit her two young children until she complies with a court order. The ruling, which does not spell out what directives she defied, followed an emergency hearing attended by the parenting coach required for previous visits the singer had with her young children. A hearing in the matter is set for October 26.





Oct. 16, 2007
Spears is booked on charges of hit-and-run and driving without a license. Los Angeles police say the pop star turned herself in and later left the police station. The charges stem from a wreck Spears had while trying to park a car in August. She was seen on a videotape walking away after checking the damage.




Oct. 3, 2007

A Los Angeles court commissioner grants Spears some visitation
rights, but does not reverse a previous order giving temporary
custody of sons Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, to Federline.





Oct. 1, 2007

Spears is ordered Monday to surrender custody of her children to ex-husband Kevin Federline. Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon ruled that Federline will take custody of Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 3, "until further order of the court."




Sept. 21, 2007

Spears is charged with misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run and driving without a valid license for allegedly crashing into a parked car in a Studio City parking lot on Aug. 6. If convicted, the singer could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each count.





Sept. 17, 2007

Spears is ordered to undergo random drug and alcohol testing twice a week, according to court documents in her custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline. The order was issued by a judge who required both parents to refrain from drinking and using drugs around their two young children and 12 hours before either cares for them. Only Spears was ordered to submit to testing.




Sept. 16, 2007

After a one-month relationship, Spears' management firm drops her. Her divorce lawyer also resigns.





Sept. 9, 2007

Britney Spears returns to the spotlight in a big way in Las Vegas, opening MTV's annual star studded Video Music Awards (VMAs) with a performance of her new single, "Gimme." But, her performance provoked plenty of negative feedback; out-of-synch lip-synching, lethargic movements, a bit of paunch in place of her once-taut belly - all came under scrutiny. At times she just stopped singing altogether, as if even she knew nothing could save her performance.

(Photo: AP)










Aug. 9, 2007

Britney's ex, Kevin Federline, sues for primary physical custody of their two children, a source tells The ShowBuzz. The action comes less than two weeks after their divorce is finalized.

(Photo: AP)






July 19, 2007

An attempt at image restoration blows up big time when a disoriented Britney and her rambunctious puppy storm out of a photo shoot for "OK!" magazine after causing considerable damage to designer duds that don't belong to her.




May 2, 2007

Britney struts back to center stage with a short, sexy set at the House of Blues. The 25-year-old mother of two performs wearing knee-high go-go boots with a short white skirt and a sparkly pink bra top that shows off her belly button ring - and no evidence of the weight gain that landed her on tabloid covers last year. A long brown wig covers the head she shaved in February.





March 20, 2007

After nearly a month of seclusion in a
luxurious rehabilitation center, Britney checks out of Promises Malibu Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Facility "after successfully completing their program," her manager, Larry Rudolph, says in a statement
released by Jive Records.
(Photo: AP)





Feb. 21, 2007

Britney, 25, returns to the Promises Malibu drug and alcohol rehabilitation center late Wednesday, according to several reports. Earlier in the day, the pop star checked out of the center less than a day after checking in voluntarily. It was the second time in a week that Spears entered a rehab facility and checked out before her first day was finished.
(Photo: AP)





Feb. 20, 2007

Spears checks into a Los Angeles in-patient facility
following a bizarre weekend that included shaving her head and getting new tattoos.





Feb. 16, 2007

Spears is seen at a hair salon in Tarzana, Calif., shaving her head. Later, she was seen at a tattoo parlor getting inked on her hip and wrist. The "makeover" came the same day as reports on TV and Web sites that Spears, who has drawn criticism for her recent partying and sloppy behavior, had briefly checked into rehab at a treatment center in Antigua. Hair purportedly clipped from her head is now for sale on eBay.




Feb. 13, 2007

A gossip blog on the Hollywood.com web site posts an e-mail that it said was from a former assistant to Spears, describing how the pop star was spiraling toward rock bottom and how friends and family wanted her to seek treatment.




Feb. 4, 2007

Spears and boyfriend Isaac Cohen called it quits. It was the singer's first romance since splitting with husband Kevin Federline last fall. The model reportedly broke up with Spears by phone.




Jan. 9, 2007

Dubbed "style-free and fashion-deprived," Spears and gal pal Paris Hilton tied for the No. 1 spot on Mr. Blackwell's 47th annual "Worst Dressed" list. "Two peas in an overexposed pod," Blackwell said of their less than skimpy attire.




Jan. 5, 2007

In a message on her Web site, Spears addresses her future, her new album and the closing of one of her biggest fan sites. The pop star, who has taken heat for her late night escapades, said: "The media has criticized my every move and printed a skewed perception of who I really am as a human being. Behind every decision I have made in my public life, there always seems to be an apparent contradiction. I have come to terms with that, which is why I usually don't pay much attention to it." Spears went on to call the last few years "very enlightening" and discussed a new album, which is in the works.





Jan. 1, 2007

Spears falls asleep in a Las Vegas nightclub shortly after leading the New Year's Eve countdown. Her manager, Larry Rudolph, denies reports circulating on gossip Web sites that Spears, 25, collapsed shortly after midnight and was carried out by bodyguards.





Dec. 27, 2006

WorldofBritney.com, a popular fan site, announces its closing up shop on Dec. 31 in part because the star has lost her credibility with fans.





Dec. 18, 2006

Spears is voted worst celebrity dog owner for 2006. According to Hilary O'Hagan, editor of The New York Dog and The Hollywood Dog magazines,"She once had three Chihuahuas ... and never left home without at least one of them on her arm... As soon as she met K-Fed and had kids, they (the dogs) disappeared."




Dec. 17, 2006

The Daily News reports that the singer was at the Los Angeles club 40 Deuce gyrating for the crowd onstage between striptease acts with some girlfriends. With a cigarette in hand, Spears unzipped her top and showed the crowd her bra. She was later removed from the stage by a club manager,
the newspaper reports.





Dec. 7, 2006

After being photographed several times wearing no underwear, being criticized for her sloppy behavior and recent partying with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, Spears reaches out to fans in a holiday Web posting.
"Every move I make at this point has been magnified more than I expected, and I probably did take my newfound freedom a little too far," she admits. "I look forward to a new year, new music and a new me!"
(Photo:CBS/AP)





Dec. 6, 2006

The New York Post reports that the L.A. Dept. of Children & Family Services has been trying to set up a meeting with Spears. The calls start after a recent bout of bizarre public behavior," a source told the newspaper. The Post reports that Spears' family is also worried about her new party lifestyle - and antics with the paparazzi.






Nov. 21, 2006

Spears drops in unannounced at the 2006 American Music Awards.
The "new bachelorette," as host Jimmy Kimmel called her, presented the very first award to Mary J. Blige for favorite female soul/R&B artist.
(Photo: AP)





Nov. 18, 2006

More partying with Paris Hilton in Las Vegas. A video on TMZ.com shows the two tabloid favorites dancing to thumping music at a Las Vegas club. The site also has a photo of Spears smoking a cigarette while seated on a couch, supposedly without any pants on. They said the club was so hot that she took off her pants and danced in her fishnet stockings.




Nov. 7, 2006

Citing irreconcilable differences, the pop princess files for divorce from Kevin Federline after two years of marriage. She seeks custody of their sons Sean Preston, 1, and Jayden James, 2 months. Spears reportedly broke the news to K-Fed via text message a night earlier.




Aug. 31, 2006

Britney and K-Fed spoof their image as bad parents when they appear together via satellite on the Video Music Awards.





Aug. 20, 2006

A proud and pregnant Spears introduces her husband Kevin Federline's performance at the 8th Annual Teen Choice Awards.
(Photo: AP Photo)







July 25, 2006

Pregnant with her second child, Spears poses naked for the cover of the August 2006 issue of Harper's Bazaar.
(Photo: Harper's Bazaar/Alexi Lubomirski)






June 16, 2006

In a wide-ranging, rambling interview with Matt Lauer on "Dateline," a pregnant Spears says her marriage is "awesome," blames media scrutiny for making her an "emotional wreck." She is later mocked for incessant gum chewing, sobbing, and overdone makeup.
(Photo: NBC)





May 19, 2006

Spears stumbles outside a Manhattan hotel, nearly dropping her 8-month-old son Sean Preston and further fueling the ever-growing media scrutiny of her parenting skills. It what was called the "baby bobble," Spears is shown holding her son in one hand and a glass in the other.




May 14, 2006

Spears is photographed driving her convertible Mini-Cooper with her 8-month-old son, Sean Preston, in a back seat baby seat, facing forward. Child safety advocates recommend that kids less than a year old sit in car seats facing backward.




April 18, 2006

Child welfare officials and a sheriff's deputy visit Spears' home because her infant son was accidentally dropped from a high chair, according to published reports. Sean Preston fell April 1 as his nanny was lifting him from the high chair and something in the chair snapped, Star magazine reported. The infant slipped from her arms and fell, bruising his head on the floor, the magazine said.




Feb. 6, 2006
DCFS officials visit Spears' home after publication of photographs showing the 24-year-old singer driving a sport utility vehicle in Malibu, Calif., with then 4-month-old Sean Preston in her lap, rather than in a car seat, as is required by law. She first blamed a "horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi," but later said it was a "mistake." No charges were filed.








  • Michelle Singer

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