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.
Britney's relationship with her mother, Lynne Spears, has been far from perfect, despite the celeb mom's signed deal for a how-to book on raising children in the spotlight.
"It's been a real back-and-forth," said Us Weekly editor Drew. "Britney rebels against her but at the same time that's her mother and they have a very long, complicated relationship.
"Britney's mom has been trying to get back into her daughter's life to help her," he added.
Since her book deal has been put on hold after her other daughter, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears, announced her pregnancy, Lynne has been seen gallivanting around Los Angeles with Britney.
But a move may be imminent, according to a statement released by Britney's lawyer to The New York Post, which details Lynne Spears' plans to move Britney back home to Kentwood, La.
"Lynne is extremely concerned for her daughter and would like to take Britney back home to Louisiana and get her out of Hollywood," according to the statement. "Lynn was holding up reasonably well, but her first priority and concern right now is with her daughter and helping her through this very tough situation that she is in."
Britney's dad has been seen in and out of the hospital alongside the pop star since her first ride in the ambulance on Jan. 3.
TMZ.com reported that Jamie -- along with the rest of the Spears entourage -- showed up at the UCLA Medical Center to check in on Britney, but Jamie, as well as his estranged wife Lynne, were pitted against Lutfi.
Jamie Spears is infuriated with Lutfi's involvement and has accused him of "trying to control his daughter's mind," according to TMZ.com, which has been following the Spears' drama as it unfolds.
Jamie's relationship with Britney has at times been the best of the family's according to Us Weekly.
"He genuinely loves her and cares about her," Drew said. "He has said he was addicted to alcohol during the height of Britney's career -- but he was closer to his daughter in many regards than her mother has been."
Britney's 16-year-old kid sister has had an eventful couple of months, too.
The teen star of Nickelodeon's "Zoe 101" shocked the world when she announced her pregnancy to OK! Magazine in December 2007.
"It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," she told the magazine, which reportedly shelled out big bucks for the exclusive. "I was in complete and total shock and so was he."
Casey Aldridge, the younger Spears' boyfriend, is the baby's father.
Since the announcement little has been heard of from Jamie Lynn, and she has so far not been spotted with the rest of her family flocking to Los Angeles.
Shortly after Jamie Lynn's announcement, Britney was asked by a mob of paparazzi what she thought of her sister's pregnancy, to which she played stupid and pretended not to have heard the news.
Britney's boyfriend, Adnan Ghalib, is just as mysterious as the rest of the Spears' entourage.
Ghalib, 35, works for FinalPixx photo agency and has been Spears' tagalong since December, when the duo reportedly became romantically involved.
Numerous published reports and photographs have documented the couple together -- from visits to convenience stores to escapades in Spears' Mercedes Benz.
But a loyal boyfriend he may not be -- the Web site of Ghalib's employer features what appears to be a minute-by-minute blog of Spears' trip from her Studio City home to the hospital.
While Ghalib frequently uses the site to discuss his ties with Spears, it was unclear whether Ghalib or another FinalPixx employee had posted the latest details.
On Jan. 23, Ghalib's wife, Azlynn Elizabeth Berry, filed for legal separation citing irreconcilable differences, according to The Associated Press. The couple had been married for four years before Ghalib was first spotted by Spears' side.
Alli Sims, Britney's one-time assistant and friend so close she's nicknamed "cousin Alli," has been a less vital player in Spears' entourage as of late. But nevertheless, Sims showed up at the hospital to visit Britney, according to TMZ.com.
"Sims in the past has acted like the go-between," Drew said. "She does seem to get through to Britney, but often times she'll just go along with whatever Britney wants."
Just days before Britney's hospitalization, Sims appeared in a Jan. 28 article published by People Magazine, in which she said that she still talks to the singer regularly.
"I'm not saying that everything is fine," Sims, 26, told the magazine. "Obviously, she's worried about stuff, like we all are. She's hanging in there. I'm not worried. She'll get back. She'll be fine."
In the same article Sims said that she didn't like Lutfi's "vibe" and knows him only from when he "followed us around for eight months," referring to the time when she was seen frequently around town with Britney, followed by the usual clan of paparazzi.
Sims also told Us Weekly that she isn't so crazy about Spears' boyfriend, Ghalib, either.
"I do not think Adnan is a good person," Sims told Us Weekly. "I think he only has bad intentions. He has given me a weird feeling and creeped me out. I wish he would just go away."
If nobody else, Britney's pup London loves her unconditionally.
The Yorkshire terrier, purchased by the pop star last summer for a reported $3,000, has been Spears' constant companion.
During her recent breakdown in Los Angeles, Spears was photographed clutching London tightly as she sobbed.