On October 26, 2012, Britney Spears’ mother, Lynne Spears, testified in a Los Angeles court and stood by the claims she made in her 2008 memoir that Sam Lutfi was never Spears’ manager and was a “predator” who illegally drugged Britney in 2007and early 2008, during the time Lutfi was in Britney’s life. Lutfi is suing Britney and her parents (father Jamie and mother Lynne) for breach of contract, defamation and libel. Lutfi claims he was Britney’s manager during the time he was in her life and that she promised him a manager’s fee of 15 percent of her income at that time.
According to Us magazine, Lynne testified that Lutfi was a “predator” and “puppet master” who “hovered over my daughter and tried to insert himself in every aspect of her life.”
However, Lynne admitted said she never called the police during this troubling time when she said that Lutfi was illegally drugging Britney: “I was very worried. I kept trying to get her away from there . . . I didn’t know what to do.”
Lynne also testified that Lutfi controlled Britney by hiding her cell phone and actively keeping her isolated from her immediate family, whom Britney was estranged from at the time.
Britney’s mother made the same claims in her 2008 memoir “Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World.” Britney was was reportedly very upset at the time that her mother wrote the book, but Britney and her parents have since ended their estrangements from each other, although Britney has reportedly remains closer to her father than to her mother. Jamie and Lynne Spears divorced in 2002 after 27 years of marriage. The former spouses reconciled in 2012, but did not remarry, and they have attended the trial together.
In January 2008, Britney’s various public meltdowns over the past year reached a low point when she was involuntarily hospitalized for a psychiatric breakdown. According to earlier court testimony, Britney had overdosed on pills that night and had threatened to harm herself. After getting out of the hospital, she was placed under a conservatorship (overseen by her father), which 30-year-old Britney is still under to this day.
Lutfi had filed paperwork to attempt to force Britney to testify at the trial, but a judge ruled that because Britney is still under the conservatorship, she does not have to testify or attend the trial. Several media outlets, including Radar Online, have reported that Britney’s handlers are restricting her access to cell phones and the Internet so that she can avoid getting upsetting news about the lawsuit and to prevent any attempts by Lutfi to contact her. Britney and her parents had a restraining order against Lutfi, but that restraining order has expired.
Earlier this week, Lutfi took the witness stand and said that Britney begged him to be her manager about a month after he met her in 2007, but he admitted that he has no written proof that he was ever her manager. He also testified that Britney was the only person he could remember talking to about his alleged manager’s fee, and that he agreed to be her manager on the conditions that she quit using drugs and let him hire a new support team for her. Lutfi also claimed that Jamie Spears assaulted him by punching him in the solar plexus a few days before Britney’s 2008 hospitalization.
In opening statements at the trial, Lutfi’s attorney stated that Britney was a heavy user of methamphetamines and that she shaved all of the hair off of her head in 2007 out of fear that her hair would be drug-tested in her custody battle with her ex-husband Kevin Federline, who wanted full custody of their two sons. (Spears lost custody of her kids several months after her head-shaving incident.)
Attorneys for the defendants stated in court that Britney’s downward spiral began after her three-year romance with Justin Timberlake ended in 2002. An attorney representing Britney said that Britney was depressed and became a drug addict after the breakup with Timberlake.
In late 2008, Britney started to make a comeback from her troubles by winning several MTV Video Music Awards and having hit albums and tours. She has been engaged to her former agent Jason Trawick since December 2011. In April 2012, Trawick became a co-conservator for Britney’s personal affairs. Jamie Spears remains the sole conservator for Britney’s business affairs, and he is now a co-conservator for her personal affairs.
In May 2012, Britney became a judge on “The X Factor” U.S. for a reported $15 million, but her presence on the show has not helped the show’s ratings, which have been on a steep decline since she has been on the judging panel.