LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Troubled pop star Britney Spears has failed in her bid to regain custody of her children, following a damning review of her parenting skills, court documents showed Tuesday.
Spears, who saw custody of her two sons handed to ex-husband Kevin Federline earlier this month, was granted two supervised visits per week following a ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner Scott Gordon.
In court documents posted by the TMZ.com entertainment news website, a court-appointed parenting coach gave a withering assessment of Spears' performance as mother to sons Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1.
Gordon's ruling said Spears had failed to keep appointments with the coach, Lisa Hacker, on three occasions before finally holding a series of sessions.
The commissioner added that while Hacker had formed the opinion that Spears "loved her children and the children are bonded to (her)," she had expressed "several observations that are of concern."
Hacker's assessment stated: "It seems that her (Spears) choices are dependent more upon what she wants to do at any given time rather than what would be more enjoyable for the children."
It added that the Spears household: "Ranged from chaotic to almost somber with no communication at all."
During all three visits, Hacker said, Spears "rarely engaged with the children in either conversation or play" and had displayed a "lack of general attention at times."
Hacker closed her report by stating bluntly: "The problem is that unless Ms Spears realizes the consequences of her behavior and the impact that it has (on) her children, nothing is going to be successful."
Spears saw her visitation rights to Sean Preston and Jayden James suspended earlier this month.
It followed a decision on October 1 to strip Spears of custody after she failed to submit to random drug testing as earlier ordered by Gordon.
In Tuesday's ruling, Gordon said Spears must continue to undergo twice-weekly drug tests. If she tests negative for 60 days, the tests will be reduced to once a week.
Spears and Federline must also meet to agree a holiday schedule. A further child custody evaluation is underway but lawyers say it will not be complete until January. A further hearing is scheduled for April.
Spears filed for divorce last year from Federline, a former back-up dancer, and has rarely been out of the tabloid headlines since -- especially following her downward spiral that landed her in a rehabilitation center in February.
Her stint in rehab followed a series of lurid tabloid headlines chronicling her erratic lifestyle.
She was repeatedly photographed in nightspots wearing no underwear, and was also captured bizarrely shaving her head in a hair salon and attacking a photographer's car with an umbrella.
Ironically, Tuesday's legal setback coincided with a rare glimmer of good news for Spears, with comeback album released to broadly favorable reviews.
"Britney Spears hasn't been able to lose the paparazzi in recent months, but she does joyously lose herself in music on her new 'Blackout,'" USA Today's reviewer enthused.
However a reviewer in the New York Daily News was less generous.
"On many tracks, Britney sounds so worked over, she doesn't even seem like a person," a review said. "If a blow-up sex doll could sing, this is what she'd sound like."
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