Last night was all about the revelry. Today, it was back to the drama.
Attorneys for Jamie and Britney Spears, as well as ex-Spears second banana Sam Lutfi, congregated in a Los Angeles courtroom this morning for a hearing to determine whether to extend the temporary restraining orders against Lutfi, former beau Adnan Ghalib and lawyer Jon Eardley.
While no formal decision was made this morning, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aviva K. Bobb kept the keep-away orders in place until at least Wednesday while the legal drama plays out.
Today's hearing continued into the afternoon, when Jamie Spears testified as to why he believes the restraining orders are necessary. The paternal unit, acting as his daughter's conservator, went to court after Lutfi allegedly attempted to contact Britney through text message and via her hairstylist.
Jamie described how his security team discovered that his daughter had obtained her own cell phone after a nanny overheard Britney talking in hushed tones "in the wee hours of the morning." The Spears security team subsequently confiscated the phone when Britney went to dance practice, he said.
Britney was allowed use of an authorized cell phone, but "very restricted use of that cell," and "sometimes she is allowed, and sometimes she is not" to use it, the elder Spears continued.
According to Jamie, the phone the security team found was a prepaid Nokia phone that his daughter confessed had been given to her at the Peninsula Hotel. He immediately recognized numbers on the phone as belonging to Lutfi and Ghalib.
"It was very disturbing," Jamie said. "It felt like a threat. It felt like someone was trying to extort my daughter."
Prior to the conservatorship, when Britney was friends with Lutfi and Ghalib, she was not eating at all, wasn't sleeping and was in a very bad emotional state, Jamie testitied.
"It was pretty well a disaster. She had nothing going on at the time, mostly in the tabloids."
Now, his daughter is "physically very wonderful, body and weight-wise," Jamie said. "Very stable. Making her meetings. Taking care of her babies. Doing the things she is supposed to do."
Under cross-examination, Jamie stated that none of the calls or texts were, in themselves, threatening.
But, Jamie said, he believes that Lutfi "is a predator."
"He is very dangerous to my daughter. He causes disbelief in her mind. He is very controlling. We asked him to go away and he did. Now he is back."
The proceedings are scheduled to continue Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
Lutfi, who earlier this month filed suit against Britney for unpaid management fees and against Jamie and Lynn Spears for defamation and a host of other grievances, denies in court papers that his attempts at indirect communication were not threatening or harassing in nature.
"Any communication Lutfi purportedly had with Britney were conveyed by and between Lutfi and Britney through others, including, without limitation, Mr. Ghalib," he says in his filing.
"I have not, in any alleged communications with Britney, her hairdresser or any other person, threatened any act of violence against Britney or her family."
He goes on to say that he himself received anonymous text messages on Jan. 10 from someone going by the user name "CityGalin310," warning him that Jamie Spears was about to go public with "serious accusations."
Lutfi claims he then attempted to contact the Spears patriarch, who told him any conversation would need to take place in the presence of his attorney, Blair Berk.
Meanwhile, an attorney for Eardley, who attempted to get Spears' conservatorship case moved to federal court last year while supposedly under the employ of Lutfi, appeared in court to try and get the restraining order against his client dropped.
"He tried to get her case moved to federal court and he filed a notice of appeal on her behalf a year ago, but since then he has had no contact with her," attorney Roger Diamond said.
"He has not harassed her. He simply wants to be dismissed from this case."
(Originally published Feb. 23, 2009 at 11:40 a.m. PT)