Britney Spears' ex-manager takes stand in defamation suit
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Britney Spears' former manager took the stand Tuesday in a defamation case against the singer's parents.
Sam Lutfi claims Spears owes him millions of dollars because he was her so-called personal manager in 2007 and 2008 during her well-documented meltdown. Spears' father, Jamie, says Lutfi was never his daughter's manager. He says Lufti was simply a user who inserted himself into Spears' life and preyed on her weaknesses.
In his testimony, Lutfi explained he met Spears in a night club in early 2007, saying at that point in time Spears was very distraught about her child custody battle and divorce. He also said she was constantly anxious because of the paparazzi and was having career and drug problems. Lutfi claims someone had told her that her hair could be tested for a history of drug use, and that is why she shaved it off.
That's when Lutfi says Spears hired him as her manager. He said he established rules with photographers to keep them from following Spears and help ease the singer's anxiety. He also said he helped them "get to know her as a human being" by setting up private, in-home interviews.
Lutfi's lawsuit stems from a 2008 book written by Spears' mother, Lynne. In it, she describes Lutfi as a Svengali-type figure who controlled her daughter and gave her drugs. Lutfi says he was simply a caring person who was trying to save Spears from her own destructive tendencies. He also said the book subjected him to hatred and contempt, causing him to suffer a loss of reputation.
Earlier in the day, a judge decided not to release Spears' medical records, saying they were irrelevant to the case. During that hearing, Lutfi's attorneys said they believed those records would prove he did not give the pop star any drugs. The attorneys for Spears' parents, however, said Lutfi admitted to mixing prescription drugs into Spears' food by the order of doctors who wanted to sedate her for testing, reading a passage from Lynne Spears' book describing Lutfi's actions.
Lutfi claims Spears told him he would get 15 percent of what she earned. He said she told him her monthly income was $800,000, even when she was not working.
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