Britney Spears granted restraining order against former friend
The court documents said his actions caused ‘severe mental trauma’ to the singer.
Britney Spears has been granted a temporary restraining order against a former confidante who she said has been harassing her family.
A judge ordered 44-year-old Sam Lutfi, who has been involved in legal disputes with the Spears family for a decade, to stay at least 200 yards from her, her parents and her two sons, who are 12 and 13.
The judge also ordered that he not contact or disparage anyone from the family.
The restraining order petition alleges Mr Lutfi has been sending harassing and threatening texts to Spears’ family and disparaging them on social media.
Can you believe that this album was released 20 years ago today?! I can’t. It’s been the journey of a lifetime, but I’m grateful for every moment. Getting to know you all over the years has been such an incredible experience. Thank you for all your support ❤️ #BabyOneMoreTime20 pic.twitter.com/vbj10cDn2C— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) January 12, 2019
“Mr Lutfi’s actions have caused severe mental trauma at a time where Ms Spears is recovering from stress related to her father’s health and her work,” court documents state.
“Mr Lutfi’s unjustified interference in her life… threaten Ms Spears safety and well-being.”
In January, Spears put her career on indefinite hiatus and delayed the start of a Las Vegas residency so she could focus on her ailing father.
Mr Lutfi said he had not made contact with Spears since 2009, when a previous restraining order against him was granted to Spears.
“We are disappointed at the outcome,” Mr Lutfi’s attorney Marc Gans said in a statement about the restraining order, adding: “I think it is overly broad and violates Mr Lutfi’s constitutional rights.”
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I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination. I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart. However, it’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make. A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand. More information on ticket refunds is available on britneyspears.com. I appreciate your prayers and support for my family during this time. Thank you, and love you all… always.
The order was granted until a May 28 court hearing on the matter.
“This is a temporary order, and we look forward to coming back,” he said.
Mr Lutfi was a major presence in Spears’ life at the height of her fame, and had claimed he was her manager in the years leading up to a public meltdown in 2008.
Her troubles led to the establishment of a court-ordered conservatorship – similar to a power of attorney – which allowed her father, Jamie, and lawyers to run her affairs and remains in effect a decade later.
A court hearing on the arrangement is scheduled for Friday, and a judge ruled late on Wednesday that a lawyer for Britney’s mother and Jamie’s ex-wife Lynne Spears could be part of the proceedings.
Lynne Spears has not previously been involved in her daughter’s conservatorship.
The restraining order granted on Wednesday also alleged that Mr Lutfi has sought to undermine the conservatorship.
Mr Lutfi sued the Spears family in 2009, alleging Britney Spears had breached a contract with him, Jamie Spears had punched him and Lynne Spears had defamed him in a memoir.
A judge threw out the lawsuit in 2012, another judge later restored it on appeal, and it was settled in 2016.