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Is Britney caught in a parenting trap?

Spears is accused of standing up her parent coach three times, but on the third occasion, she’d already turned her kids over to Federline. What’s the deal?

It wasn’t a surprise to most when a judge announced Oct. 30 that Britney Spears’ custody arrangement would not be reinstated to the 50/50 split originally agreed upon during the early days of her divorce proceedings with Kevin Federline. Also filed under the not-surprising category: the fact the Spears hadn’t been too cooperative during her time with the parenting coach assigned to her case.

On three separate occasions, Sept. 28, Oct. 4 and Oct. 18, Spears stood up the coach, according to documents filed in court. So what was Britney doing when she was supposed to be meeting with the coach?

Given how often Spears is photographed, it wasn’t too hard to figure it out.

Working our way backwards:

  • Oct. 18: Spears is reportedly spotted in the vicinity of Federline’s home in Tarzana, Calif. She’s also photographed leaving a medical facility with lips that appeared to be freshly plumped. On her way out of the building’s garage, Spears ran over a paparazzo's foot (the offended sock from said foot was recently auctioned on eBay).
  • Oct. 4: Spears went to see “The Heartbreak Kid” with pal J.R. Rotem and her Yorkie. The party of three is photographed coming out of a McDonald’s drive-thru.
  • Sept. 28: Spears heads to Newport Beach for — irony alert — a party for Addiction Cosmetics.

Out of all the activities described, the Addiction Cosmetics party makes the most sense. Why? Because the day before, Britney lost visitation rights, and returned the kids to Kevin that same afternoon. It begs the question: why would a parenting coach need to visit Spears when she didn’t have the kids?

Spears’ attorney Sorrell Trope didn’t return calls or e-mails in time, but stay tuned for a good answer. Perhaps this is an instance where Spears is getting wrongly blamed.

Katie Holmes is on the run — literallyBeen wondering what Katie Holmes is up to? She’s been training for the New York City marathon, according to OK! Magazine, and she’s reportedly en route to New York City for the Nov. 4 race. The magazine says that Katie has been doing pre-dawn training runs in Berlin, where husband Tom Cruise has been filming “Valkyrie.”  This will be Holmes’ first marathon, and she won’t be the only celebrity hitting the streets of New York for the race — Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong, who recently settled into a new apartment in the Big Apple, is set to run his second consecutive NYC marathon.

Weekend box office predictions!It's hard to imagine anything other than “Bee Movie” coming in No. 1 at the box office, unless the film’s weeks-long media blitz and Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook-gate have soured people on the flick. My dark-horse pick? Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington star in “American Gangster,” which has been well received in early reviews. Not exactly a date movie, however. Check back in on Nov. 4 to see if I’m right.

Lindsay’s sobriety watch, continued

Slideshow

The cute child star grew into a Hollywood bombshell — with grownup problems of her own.

The path for Lindsay Lohan continues to be straight and narrow. I’m happy to report that the actress, who is in L.A. filming “Dare to Love Me,” spent Halloween at Il Sole with her boyfriend Riley Giles. She did stay true to the holiday’s flavor, however. I hear she ate pumpkin ravioli and split a Halloween cookie platter with Giles for dessert.

The meal is certainly a nice end to a day that had Lohan channeling her inner Britney Spears: during a scuffle with paparazzi earlier in the day on Oct. 31, Lohan wielded an umbrella to fend off the shutterbugs.

Courtney Hazlett delivers The Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com.