Fame Pictures Inc.
Fame Pictures Inc.
Sam Lutfi says his life changed for the worse after Britney Spears' mother painted him in a negative light in her memoir, Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World.
After Lynne Spears wrote in the book—in a chapter titled "The General"—that Lutfi had tried to manipulate Britney in a variety of ways, he became "depressed, anxious and suicidal," Lutfi testified today in his defamation case against the Spears family.
"Did you steal any of Britney's money?" asked his attorney, Joseph Schleimer.
"No, sir," Lutfi replied—the same reply he gave to questions such as, "Did you sexually exploit her?" and "Did you ever take any of Britney Spears' property?"
Lutfi's attorney ticked off more allegations in Lynne's book—that Lutfi hid Britney's dog, disconnected the house telephone, called her a piece of trash and told Lynne he would crush pills and slip them in her food to keep her in a drug-induced coma—all of which Lutfi denied on the stand.
"If I went anywhere public, people would insult me," an emotional Lutfi said, referring to the days after the release of Lynne's book. "People I knew were shunning me...There were threats to kill me, people wishing I was dead. People wishing harm to my family."
Lutfi's morning testimony, largely having to do with a jewelry business he says he asked Lynne Spears to go in on with him, was punctuated with objections from the Spears family counsel.
"Britney was upset that her mom was financially dependent [on Britney] and she wished she had her own way of making her own money," Lutfi said. But then Britney "torpedoed" the deal after she and her mom had a falling out.
Lutfi also testified that he left Britney's orbit for a few weeks at the end of December 2007 when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. He returned to Britney's house on Jan. 3, 2008, he said, after receiving a call from one of her child care monitors. She was locked in the bathroom with one of her sons when he got there, Lutfi said, and later that night she was transported by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was hospitalized on a 5150 (could be a danger to herself or others) hold.
Schleimer showed the court a paparazzo's video of Britney, taken Jan. 28, 2008, walking down the street in her gated community, holding her small dog, after hopping out of a car being driven by Lutfi. Britney then sat down on the sidewalk and appeared to be crying.
Later that night, Lynne and Jamie Spears both went over to Britney's house.
Jamie "chased me around the kitchen island," Lutfi told the court. "He was spitting, yelling, telling me that I had hurt his daughter and that I better leave." Security ultimately "ejected" Jamie from the house, he added.
Lutfi then testified that Jamie came back the following morning—and that's when, according to the plaintiff, Jamie slugged him.
In addition to defamation, Lutfi is suing Britney for breach of contract, claiming she owes him a percentage of her earnings that she agreed to give him as her manager, and he has accused Jamie of battery.
When Jamie came back to the house, Lutfi said, "he cornered me in the kitchen, punched me in the solar plexus and threatened to kill me."
Britney ended up hospitalized in the wee hours of Jan. 31 on another 5150 hold, after which her father and attorney Andrew Wallet established a conservatorship for Britney's estate. Lynne and Jamie also took out a restraining order against Lutfi.