Britney Spears defended photographs showing the pop star driving with her infant son on her lap, saying she was dodging the paparazzi.

Several photos published Tuesday showed Spears driving her SUV in Malibu, Calif., with son, Sean Preston, on her lap, rather than strapped into a car seat in the back. Spears said she did it because of a "horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi."

The photos show Spears holding the wheel of the car with one hand, and her 5-month-old baby in the other. A person is shown sitting in the passenger seat next to Spears.

"I was terrified that this time the physically aggressive paparazzi would put both me and my baby in danger," Spears said in statement released late Monday.

"I instinctively took measures to get my baby and me out of harm's way, but the paparazzi continued to stalk us," she said. "I love my child and would do anything to protect him."

The agency that snapped the photos, X17, had a different account.

"These pictures were taken in a very peaceful context, in which photographers exhibited no aggressive behavior," the agency said in a statement released to "Access Hollywood." "We believe that the pictures speak for themselves."

Spears gave birth to her son in September. He is her first child with husband of one year, former backup dancer Kevin Federline.