The pop star initially refused to take to the stage after watching Kimmel savage Federline in a skit where he called him "the world's first no-hit wonder."
The comedy sketch at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium concluded with a Federline doppelganger getting placed in a "soundproof box," wheeled offstage, loaded onto a lorry and then unceremoniously thrown into the waters off the port of San Pedro.
Comedian Kimmel then introduced award presenter Spears as "the new bachelorette," prompting the singer to fight back tears of anger and upset as she read out the first nominees, according to Life & Style magazine.
A source backstage says, "She said she didn't want to go out there," and then "she ran off the stage in tears... She was just devastated."
Spears filed for divorce from her husband of almost two years earlier this month.
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