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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 09:16 GMT
Britney's family slams TV doctor
Dr Phil McGraw
Dr Phil McGraw shot to fame on Oprah Winfrey's talk show
Britney Spears' family has criticised therapist Dr Phil McGraw for speaking publicly about a visit he made to the singer during a recent hospital stay.

Lou Taylor, a spokesman for Spears' mother Lynne, said on US TV that "he was not invited to make this part of a public display or part of the media".

McGraw said he thought Spears was "in dire need" of "medical intervention".

The star was treated after police were called to her home to settle a dispute over the custody of her two sons.

'Quality care'

Ms Taylor told NBC's Today show: "The family basically extended an invitation of trust for him to come in as a resource to support them, not to go out and make public statements.

"Any statement publicly that he made, because he was brought in under this cloak of trust [is] just inappropriate."

Britney Spears
It is not clear why Spears was admitted to hospital

McGraw, who made his name with appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, cancelled a planned show about Spears earlier this week, saying her situation was "too intense".

The counsellor has hit back at healthcare professionals who have accused him of infringing the singer's privacy, saying he was lobbying for her health.

"Somebody needs to step up and get this young woman into some quality care - and I do not apologize one whit, not one second, for trying to make that happen," he said in an appearance on the Entertainment Tonight show earlier this week.

After Spears' dispute with former husband Kevin Federline last Thursday, officials granted sole custody of their two sons in his favour.

She had refused to return the children to Federline after a monitored visit at her home.

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