US pop starlet Britney Spears had her stay in a padded room on a psychiatric unit extended by two weeks amid fears for the troubled singer's mental state, a magazine reported Sunday. "Britney Spears's hospitalisation has been extended to an additional 14-day hold," celebrity specialist magazine People said on its website, citing unidentified sources.
It said only Spears' psychiatrist would have the authority to order this involuntary stay, but the singer could legally demand to be released or she could go home if a doctor judged her fit for outpatient treatment. Spears was taken from her home to the unit on Thursday on the recommendation of her psychiatrist and the following day her father was handed legal guardianship of her and control of her estate. She was first placed in the psychiatric unit of the UCLA Medical Centre and placed on a 72-hour order used for people deemed a danger to themselves or others.
It was her second hospital admission in less than a month. Hospital spokespeople were not immediately available to confirm the reported extension Sunday. The hospital move crowned a turbulent string of personal troubles for the 26-year-old star, who has been in a feud for custody of her two baby sons with her ex-husband, amid charges of drug abuse and embarrassing public appearances.
"It is a terrible situation," the magazine quoted a source close to the singer's family as saying of her move to hospital.
"Britney is in a padded room. Her family is so worried about her." Spears was stripped of visitation rights to her sons in early January shortly after her first mental health scare. During that incident she was wheeled out of her home after a stand-off in which she refused to release the children to ex-husband Kevin Federline's bodyguard. Spears has been rarely out of the tabloid headlines since her split from Federline in late 2006. She was repeatedly photographed out partying while wearing no underwear, bizarrely shaved her head at a public salon, and attacked a paparazzi's car with an umbrella before finally entering rehab.