LOS ANGELES — Britney Spears was taken from her home by ambulance early Thursday and escorted to the hospital by more than a dozen police officers in cars, on motorcycles and in helicopters.
The 26-year-old pop star was being taken to “get help,” said a Los Angeles police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter. The Los Angeles Times cited unidentified authorities who said Spears was being placed on a “mental evaluation hold.”
Spears was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where her mother, Lynne, was seen leaving its psychiatric hospital at about 5:30 a.m. When asked by a throng of paparazzi and reporters whether Britney was doing all right, Lynne Spears replied, “Yeah,” before leaving in a Range Rover.
Hours earlier, shortly after 1 a.m., a motorcade nearly the length of a football field pulled away from Spears’ residence. Along with the ambulance, it included police on nearly a dozen motorcycles, in two cruisers, and two helicopters overhead.
The scene was more controlled than the one earlier this month when Spears also was taken away from her home in an ambulance. On Jan. 3, police were called to her home when she refused to return her two young sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, to ex-husband Kevin Federline, who has custody.
Officers had paramedics haul Spears to a hospital for undisclosed reasons. She was released after a day and a half in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Subsequently, the Superior Court commissioner handling the custody case held a closed hearing that included exhibits including a “photocopy of Application for 72-hour Detention for Evaluation and Treatment.”