Britney Spears has finally been released from the psychiatric ward at UCLA Medical Center.
According to reports, the 26-year old singer slipped out quietly with the help of a private security detail and returned home after spending just 7 days in the hospital even though her psychiatrist, Dr. Deborah Nadel, had extended her stay to a 14-day involuntary hold till the next hearing of her case on 14th Feb.
In a recent hearing, her father Jamie Spears was given temporary control of his daughter's affairs. His conservatorship is also extended till Valentine's Day.
However, Britney seemed to be in charge of her life just after she reached home. She drove off in her recently purchased black Mercedes followed by a swarm of paparazzi, reports The Sun.
The 'Toxic' star was allegedly accompanied by snapper beau Adnan Ghalib with whom she first drove to the Beverly Hills Hotel, where, according to Internet news reports, she met with her business manager.
Almost after two hours, she went to the office of estate lawyer Adam Streisand in Century City. Streisand had claimed to represent Spears, but was rebuffed by the court after another lawyer said Spears wasn't mentally sound enough to hire Streisand.
All this while, Britney's every move was being closely watched by the paparazzi, including a helicopter hovering around her car at every stoppage, broadcasting live TV coverage in Los Angeles.
One person who was not seen around Spears was her pal cum manager, Sam Lutfi, who had been slapped with a restraining order after her mother, Lynne claimed he drugged and verbally abused the singer.
Britney was released from the hospital earlier than her scheduled release as she appeared to be stable and did not pose any kind of life threat to her and those around her.
"Britney's relieved, as is everyone. The goal was for her to get well, not to be stuck in a hospital," E!Online quoted a source close to the Spears family, as saying.
While her release apparently indicates positive results from her round-the-clock in-house treatment, the singer is expected to continue receiving psychiatric therapy as an outpatient.
The source also revealed that while the treatment was beneficial, the fact that Spears was forced to undergo the treatment within the confines of the psych ward made the singer feel "like a caged animal."
However the conservatorship, control over her finances, held by her parents is still in place.
"This doesn't change the terms of the conservatorship. Jamie is still calling the shots," said the source.