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Kevin Federline Cancels Court Appearance

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An appearance in family court sought by Kevin Federline amid a child custody dispute with Britney Spears was canceled Thursday as reports surfaced that the pop star was back in rehab.

Spears returned to the Promises Malibu Treatment Center late Wednesday, according to reports from TMZ, ``The Insider'' and ``Extra.'' Her mother, Lynne Spears, drove her daughter to the center, ``Extra'' and ``The Insider'' said.

Spears and Federline reportedly agreed Wednesday night that he would keep their two young children while Spears was in rehabilitation, a program that takes between 30 and 45 days.

Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan, who represents Federline, had called the court bailiff and asked to cancel the court appearance. Parachini gave no explanation for the cancellation.

It was not known what issue the 28-year-old Federline planned to raise.

``Kevin continues to be a very focused father with his children with hands-on management,'' said a statement from Kaplan, read by his publicist Michael Sands.

The events came amid increasingly bizarre behavior by Spears, which culminated with the pop star reportedly checking into and out of two rehab centers in a week and shaving her head bald.

Federline sought spousal support and sole custody of Jayden James, 5 months, and Sean Preston, 17 months, after Spears moved to end their two-year marriage in November, but a temporary order issued Feb. 1 granted joint custody through this month.

Gina Orr, a publicist at Jive Records, Spears' label, did not respond to e-mail and phone messages.

Spears previously left the Promises center Wednesday, according to ``The Insider,'' less than a day after arriving. The center specializes in treating drug and alcohol abuse.

Last week, she reportedly sought treatment at a center in the Caribbean but also checked out after a day.

The next day, she arrived at a San Fernando Valley hair salon, grabbed an electric razor and shaved her head bald. Afterward, she visited a tattoo parlor, where she had a pair of red-and-pink lips inked onto her wrist. Then she went out clubbing with friends before apparently checking into Promises.

Whether her recent behavior will damage her recording career is hard to say, said Vibe magazine music editor Jon Caramanica.

Spears, whose 1999 debut album ``... Baby One More Time,'' sold more than 13 million copies, hasn't released a new album since 2003. Before her troubles began she had promised one this year, and Caramanica suggested that might be a good outlet to address what she's going through.

``I think the best thing she could do is make an album that engages with this subject matter in some way,'' he said. ``Not only to have a good album but to have an album that's a declaration of emotional health.''
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