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Though the court gave pitiable pop star Britney Spears until Wednesday to hand her two children over to her ex-husband Kevin Federline, she made the move almost immediately, dumping the tots off at K-Fed’s home Monday at lunchtime.

“She’s so distraught about what has happened with her kids," a friend of Brit, who has built her own little fortress of solitude at the posh Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills ever since giving over Sean Preston, 2, and 1-year-old Jayden James Federline to their dad. And while some have pointed the finger at Brit, saying she’s an irresponsible mom for moving into a hotel, the friend says Britney’s reasons are the complete opposite. "She’s staying at the Peninsula because she couldn’t face going home
and needs to have people around."

And if it’s constant companionship, there’s no better place for Brit than the Peninsula, where, among her personal guards, hotel security and the dozens of photographers camped outside, she remains under constant supervision. "She’s staying on the [deleted] floor of the hotel," one Peninsula insider reveals to OK!. "And hotel security is checking IDs as people get off the elevators to make sure they are guests."

Even something as simple as lunch is now a closely guarded affair as, today, Brit, joined by a gal pal, noshed on a burger and nibbled part of her Caesar salad while gulping down iced tea, all while an eagle-eyed bodyguard sat one table away. "She was very quiet while she ate," a witness tells OK!.

"She’s so stressed out," explains the friend. "She doesn’t
understand it all."

Another thing that her friend tells OK! that has Britney upset are ridiculous new rumors of a sex tape. "She says it’s a total lie and it doesn’t exist," the friend tells OK!. "She thinks
someone has created a fake one and is trying to ruin her.”

Meanwhile, lawyers for both sides of the Spears/Federline custody battle are due back in court Wednesday to meet with Commisioner Scott Gordon about further matters in  the case. At this point, neither Britney nor Kevin are expected to be in attendance.

In other legal matters, OK! has cleared up the mystery of Britney’s driver’s license. According to Jan Mendoza from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, "There is no change in Britney Spears’ status. She still does not have a license."

Perhaps that’s why her cousin and best friend, Alli Sims,was out and about at a nearby shopping mall, picking up some items for Brit.

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