Britney Spears turned 30 last year, but there was a time where she seemed hellbent on joining the 27 Club. Many believe that the pop star’s notorious 2007 breakdown stemmed from an, ahem, toxic relationship with former self-described manager Sam Lutfi. Now, three years after Brit’s family successfully hit the man with a restraining order, he’s now in court suing the entire Spears clan, and the headlines are rolling in once again.
Lutfi, 38, is suing Britney for 15 percent of her earnings during the period in which he was in the picture — parts of 2007 and 2008, when she was estimated to be making up to a million per month. He’s suing father James Spears for allegedly punching him in the chest at Britney’s Los Angeles home where Lutfi lived and acted as her “gate-keeper.” And he is suing mother Lynne Spears for libeling him in her 2008 book, Through the Storm.
While Spears has done a tremendous job recovering her life and career from that tumultuous time, the civil trial is dredging up bad memories. According to Reuters, Brit’s dad’s lawyer detailed Mr. Spears’ emotions at the time: “Jamie was living in constant fear that he was going to look at the TV one day and see Britney was dead.” And later: “He’s thinking to himself, ‘My daughter has lost everything. Here she is, in a psychiatric ward, out of her head.'”
While Spears voluntarily admitted herself into the Promises rehab clinic after shaving her head in early 2007, by January of 2008, she’d been committed to the psych ward of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. As TMZ reports, Lutfi now claims that, as his client, Britney cut her hair off because she was addicted to crystal meth and feared that authorities would test her locks for evidence. His lawyer says he was “terrified of being her manager” during the storm.
Naturally, that hasn’t kept him from claiming responsibility for her successes in hindsight even if, according to Spears estate attorney Joel Boxer, his only proof of being her manager was an incomplete form contract he’d downloaded from the Internet and an oral agreement with Britney. James Spears’ attorney Leon Gladstone echoed what everyone else already knew — that Britney’s decent began after she and Justin Timberlake split in 2002.
Timberlake, who wed longtime girlfriend Jessica Biel in Italy on Friday, October 19, and who desperately owes us a new album, probably feels bad about this one now: