Sam Lutfi, Britney Spears’ self-described former manager, took the stand on Tuesday (Oct. 23) in his defamation and libel lawsuit against her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, telling the court he was only trying to protect the singer during a vulnerable time.
According to the lawsuit, per the Associated Press, Lutfi alleges that Lynne defamed him in her book, “Through the Storm,” by depicting him as a Svengali-like “predator” who drugged and isolated her daughter in order to control her. He also says he’s owed payment for being Britney’s manager, a job he says he lost when Jamie became her conservator in 2008.
During his testimony, Lutfi describes meeting Britney at a nightclub in May 2007, saying she approached him and asked for his hat — he told her no.
“She liked that. She doesn’t get told ‘no’ often. So it was refreshing to hear ‘no’ once. We started talking, hit it off and she started calling and texting me. We hung out and became friends,” he says.
Lutfi says he met the singer right after she infamously shaved her head, saying she had drug problems and was “dealing with a lot of anxiety.”
He says, Britney was “in crisis mode. She was very distraught. She was having a child custody battle and was in the middle of a divorce.”
When asked by his attorney if he took steps to control the paparazzi frequently surrounding Britney, he says he helped alleviate the problem by texting the photographers when Britney went out so they could follow at a safe distance.
“I also started setting up meetings at her home with press photographers so they could get to know her as a human being,” he says.
Lufti’s testimony is expected to end late Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera ruled that Lutfi’s lawyer cannot use Britney’s medical records prove that Lufti was not drugging her, as Lynne alleges in her book.
As for his current occupation, Lutfi says he is co-managing Courtney Love and is a consultant for his mother’s chain of gas stations.