Pop star Britney Spears has defended photos of her holding her baby son on her lap while driving, saying she was trying to escape the paparazzi.
Spears said she was "terrified"
The singer issued the statement after several photos of the incident were circulated on the internet.
"I instinctively took measures to get my baby and me out of harm's way, but the paparazzi continued to stalk us," Spears said.
The singer gave birth to her son Sean in September.
The photos show Spears driving in traffic with one arm round Sean on her lap, rather than strapped into a baby car seat, while a passenger sits next to them.
In her statement, Spears described the moments when the photographs were taken as a "horrifying, frightful encounter".
"Because of a recent incident when I was trapped in my car without my baby by a throng of paparazzi, I was terrified that this time the physically aggressive paparazzi would put both me and my baby in danger," she said.
"I instinctively took measures to get my baby and me out of harm's way, but the paparazzi continued to stalk us, and took photos of us which were sold to the media.
"I love my child and would do anything to protect him."
In October, the singer's spokespeople said pictures of Spears and Sean, taken during a shoot, had been stolen.
They were posted on the internet but removed after she threatened legal action.
A statement at the time said use of the photos would be an "invasion of privacy".
The baby's father is dancer Kevin Federline, Spears' husband since September 2004.
Federline has two children by his ex-girlfriend, actress Shar Jackson, one of which was born after he and Spears started dating.
US broadcaster NBC has clarified a press release it issued over Spears appearing in sitcom Will and Grace as a conservative Christian talkshow side-kick.
Christian groups protested at the news - but NBC said it had only been confirmed that Spears was to guest star, with no further details decided.