Amid a convoy of helicopters, motorcycles, police cruisers and of course her loyal paparazzi, 26-year-old pop-wreck-princess Britney Spears was rushed Thursday to the UCLA Medical Center.
It's unclear who made the call that brought the cavalry to Spears' front gate. The singer's inner circle seems to be a competing nest of hangers-on, paparazzi and estranged family members. And nearly all of them have gone to the media at one time or another to reveal her current movements, her problems or display their photos of her.
Spears' "mental health evaluation hold," as first reported by the Los Angeles Times, was made possible under a California state statute known as the "5150," wherein an individual who is considered by a medical professional to be a danger to herself or others can be involuntarily committed to a mental institution for 72 hours by her family or even friends.
What has ensued since her check-in early Thursday has been a seemingly revolving door of members of her entourage -- from Sam Lutfi, her friend and sometimes-manager, to her mother, Lynne Spears, who has been criticized for her rocky relationship with her daughter.
Sam Lutfi has been pegged by the media as everything from Spears' closest confidante, to her "sometimes manager," to her sidekick. But he has somehow emerged as a key person in her turbulent entourage, battling her parents for influence, even berating Spears in public.
Lutfi first popped up at Britney's side when she went to the California DMV in October 2007 to get a drivers license after she was caught driving without a valid license.
"[Lutfi] has a dubious background -- some people trust him and some people don't," said Ian Drew, editor at large at Us Weekly. "He's become Spears' closest advisor, kind of running her life, but nobody knows exactly where this guy came from or what he does for a living."
Lutfi claims to be a film producer, said Drew, despite there being little to nothing to show for his work.
Nevertheless, Lutfi took it upon himself to reveal to Barbara Walters and the audience of "The View" this week that Spears has "mental problems" that are treatable.
The supposed film producer also has been rumored to not get along well with Spears' family -- particularly her parents Lynne and Jamie Spears -- and upon arrival at the hospital he reportedly became embroiled in a dispute over who should have the final say on the star's treatment plan.
"It's a power struggle. [Spears' parents] don't like Lutfi and they don't think he's good for their daughter," Drew said. "Obviously they don't know who he is, what he's doing and if he's operating in their daughter's best interest."
Just hours after Spears was admitted into UCLA, Lutfi told People magazine that the pop star actually agreed to the hospitalization.
"She went willingly. It was like something in her heart was telling her she should go. She knew something was wrong," Lutfi said.
But just a few days ago, Lutfi was on Britney's bad side -- actually spurring one of Spears' most public meltdowns.
An argument between the pop star and Lutfi left Spears sitting barefoot on a curb outside her home, sobbing as surrounding paparazzi caught it all on tape.