Federline's Lawyer Cancels Family 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, a court official said.

"A lawyer has called the bailiff and indicated nothing is going to happen today," Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said. He identified the lawyer as Mark Vincent Kaplan, who represents Federline.

Kaplan had contacted the court Wednesday and asked for the appearance. No explanation was given for the cancellation.

It was not known what issue the 28-year-old Federline planned to raise, though the former couple are in a custody dispute over their two children.

"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.

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.

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

Manager Larry Rudolph issued a brief statement Tuesday confirming the 25-year-old pop star had entered a treatment facility. On Wednesday, he referred inquiries to Gina Orr, the publicist at Jive Records, Spears' label, who did not respond to e-mail and phone messages.

Spears left the Promises Malibu Treatment Center on Wednesday, according to "The Insider" TV news magazine, 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.

In public again Wednesday, Spears attempted to keep a low profile, but the celebrity Web site TMZ.com posted video of her wearing a wig and leaving what it said was a lawyer's office.

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."