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The Real Reason Britney Spears Has Been Walking Off X Factor Set During Auditions

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May 31 2012, Published 11:00 a.m. ET

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By Jen Heger - Assistant Managing Editor

During X Factor auditions in Austin, Texas, last week, Britney Spears abruptly left the judge's table several times as contestants continued to perform and has exclusively learned the real reason why the pop singer did so -- Brit has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and can't take medication for it.

As previously reported, Spears stepped up and delivered the drama last Thursday, ripping Simon Cowell during auditions after he trashed one contestant. "You are so RUDE, Simon," Britney snapped at her boss, setting the tone for what we will surely be seeing much more of in season two.

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"Britney was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in her teens and used to take medication for it," a source close to the situation tells exclusively. "The medication helped her deal with it, however, she can't take it now because it interferes with the other medications she takes for her mental health issues. Britney's current team of doctors strictly prohibit her from taking Adderall or Ritalin, which are commonly given to people with ADHD.

"Simon was made fully aware of Britney's medical history before the contract was signed, so this certainly isn't a big surprise that she needs to take breaks during the audition process. Look, Britney basically has the attention span of a 10-year-old at times. It's not alarming to Simon at all and he is fully supportive of Britney doing whatever she needs to do during filming."

According to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Association, about 8 million adults suffer from the disorder and symptoms include overall restlessness, poor sustained attention to tasks and impaired impulse control.

Britney Spears
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"Britney's medical team works with her to deal with her disorder without medication and daily vigorous exercise is what often works best for Britney. Her nutrition is closely monitored and so is her caffeine intake, because that can also enhance Britney's inability to focus. Simon knew what he was dealing with before he ever signed her to join the show and it's not shocking to him. Of course, it's rather disconcerting for people that see her do it for the first time but it's truly nothing to be alarmed at. In fact, Simon would have been surprised if she hadn't taken breaks during judging last week, this means she is involved and engaged in the process," the insider says.

Spears has a one year deal to be a judge on the show for a whopping $15 million dollars, with an option for a second year if Cowell and Spears agree.

The X Factor will air this fall on Fox.


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