Sam Lutfi says that he was the one who tried to keep Britney Spears off drugs and keep her career going strong when she had shut everyone else out of her life.
Testifying today in his breach-of-contract and defamation case against the pop star and her parents, Lutfi told the court that Britney infamously shaved her head in February 2007 because she was worried her locks would test positive for drugs.
"She told me she wanted to get clean but she was struggling with it," Lutfi said. "I told her it was very difficult to kick a drug habit...but I told her she needed to do it. I explained to her that society was not going to tolerate a mother with two kids abusing drugs."
But with attorneys for Britney and Jamie and Lynne Spears stating last week in court that the singer had a drug problem at the time in question, most of the Spears camp's objections today came when Lutfi repeatedly referred to himself as Britney's manager—a major point of contention between the opposing sides.
Lutfi testified that, after meeting Britney at a club when she approached him and asked him to give her his hat in the spring of 2007, she started texting and calling him. He said Britney was "very distraught" over her divorce and was going through a "wicked child custody battle." (Kevin Federline was later given primary custody of their young sons in October 2007.)
Britney referred to him as her manager when she brought him to a meeting with her record label regarding her Blackout album in early June 2007, Lutfi said. Later that day, he continued, "She said, 'Sam, I really do want you to be my manager.'"
At the time, Britney had fired manager Larry Rudolph, as well as her agent, bodyguards and publicist, and had cut off contact with her parents.
According to Lutfi, Britney told him, "Sam, do you have any idea how much this pays? Fifteen percent of my income. I make $800,000 a month when I'm not even working."
Lutfi claimed that he told Britney he would sleep on it, then agreed to be her manager if she allowed him to put together a "varsity team" and allowed him to bring in drug-sniffing dogs to sweep her house, saying, "I just didn't want to manage anyone who did drugs."
They shook hands on the deal, Lutfi testified.
His team admitted into evidence a purported four-page confidentiality agreement from the canine team that executed the drug search. He said he flushed a baggie that they found down the toilet and had all of the carpets cleaned. (In his opening statement, Lutfi's attorney said there was crystal meth in the bag. He never spoke of her using crystal meth, but said she was using amphetamines when his client met her.)
Lutfi acknowledged that he takes Adderall for attention deficit disorder but denied ever slipping his medication to Britney, as Lynne Spears alleged in a memoir, Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World. Britney's parents obtained a restraining order against Lutfi back in 2008, when their daughter's estate was placed in a conservatorship.
In July 2007, Lutfi said he started putting together the A-team he intended for Britney and that he was the one who suggested she give agent Jason Trawick, whom she had worked with before, another try.
Asked whether he ever approached Britney about putting their deal in writing, Lutfi said, "I believe so." In October 2007, Lutfi continued, he reminded her that they still had only an oral contract and asked her to agree to a five-year deal. She consented to four years, with an option to rescind the deal within 30 days, he said.
Lutfi said he did all sorts of things for Britney while he worked for her in 2007, including serving as a liaison in her child custody case, helping her pick out artwork for her album cover, arranging the shoot for her "Blackout" video, repping her to her record label, speaking to the press (he testified about coming up with a system to keep the paparazzi under control), and dealing with her court-ordered child care monitors and drug testers.
Lutfi said he never had the power to sign checks and that Britney's business manager, Howard Grossman, would present her with checks to sign.
Testifying to his entertainment-industry credentials, of which the Spears have alleged he has none, Lutfi said today that he once served as an associate producer on a Ben Affleck project and worked on videos for Hole and En Vogue. Currently, he said, he's comanaging Courtney Love and working with her on developing a Broadway show about Love's life story and Nirvana.
Britney was judged incompetent to testify and is not expected to be in court for any part of the trial.
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