Britney Spears Family Seeks Renewed Order Barring Ex-friend

By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES—A Los Angeles judge will consider whether to extend a temporary restraining order on May 28 that keeps a former associate of Britney Spears away from her and her family.

Sam Lutfi, 44, a onetime Spears confidante who has said he once acted as the pop star’s manager, was ordered on May 8 to stay at least 200 yards from Spears, her parents and her two sons, and to refrain from contacting or disparaging them. The order could be extended on Tuesday afternoon. Spears, 37, is unlikely to appear.

Lutfi was a major presence in Spears’s life at the height of her fame, leading up to her public meltdown in 2008.

The petition Spears’s attorneys filed for the order alleged Lutfi had been sending harassing and threatening texts to Spears’s family and disparaging them on social media.

Lutfi’s attorney Marc Gans said the restraining order if overly broad and violates his client’s civil rights. Gans said he and Lutfi looked forward to fighting the order at the hearing.

It’s the second time the family has received a restraining order against Lutfi, who has been in legal battles with them for a decade. He sued them in 2009, alleging Britney Spears had breached a contract with him, her father punched him and her mother defamed him in a memoir. The suit was settled in 2016.

The petition for the latest restraining order alleged that Lutfi’s “unjustified interference in her life” threatens Spears’s “safety and well-being” and have caused her “severe mental trauma” at a time when stress and the poor health of her father have prompted her to put her career on hold indefinitely.

It also alleges that Lutfi has sought to undermine the conservatorship that for 11 years has kept her affairs almost entirely under the control of her father.

The status means a judge is unlikely to require Spears to appear at Tuesday’s hearing.

Conservatorships, known in many states as guardianships, are normally reserved for people with conditions far more severe than Spears, including those with dementia or in a coma.

But judges have allowed the arrangement to remain in place far longer than was expected when it was first imposed at a moment of crisis for Spears.

There have been signs the arrangement may change.

Spears made a rare appearance earlier this month at a status hearing on the conservatorship in a Los Angeles courtroom, along with father Jamie and mother Lynne. The courtroom was cleared and only those involved know what the three said, but a judge subsequently ordered an examination of the circumstances by a court official.

Jamie Spears, who has reportedly been in poor health though no specifics have been made public, earlier this week notified the court that he is seeking to extend the conservatorship from California to Louisiana, Hawaii, and Florida.

By Andrew Dalton

Britney Spears Appears in Cleared Court to Speak on Her Legal Status

LOS ANGELES—After hearing Britney Spears and her parents speak in a rare and secretive joint court appearance on Friday, May 10, a judge ordered an expert evaluation in the conservatorship that for 11 years has put control of much of the 37-year-old singer’s life in the control of her father.

Only the few left inside know what the three said in the courtroom that was closed to public and media shortly after the hearing began. But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny wrote in an order afterward that all had agreed on a so-called 730 expert evaluation, a process usually used to determine the mental health and competence of a parent in a divorce case.

It is not made clear who would be examined, and whether it would relate to Spears’s relationship to her two sons or her parents’ oversight of her.

Spears’s ex-husband Kevin Federline has custody of their boys, 13-year-old Sean and 12-year-old Jayden, who have frequent visits with their mother.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears enjoys a family outing with Jayden Federline, Maddie Aldridge and Sean Federline at Planet Hollywood Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla., on March 13, 2017. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Planet Hollywood Observatory)

Spears’s personal attorney Samuel D. Ingham rose at the start of the hearing as many reporters and a handful of fans sat in the audience to say that Spears had requested the proceedings so she could speak to the court, and asked that the room be cleared because personal finances and her minor children would be discussed.

Penny agreed, and Spears and her parents were sneaked in through side doors when the court was empty. They left the same way, and when the courtroom was reopened the hearing was over.

For years, Spears has been publicly silent about the severe restrictions on her decisions put in place by the conservatorship established in 2008, when she was having serious personal and psychiatric struggles, many of which played out in public.