Ex-Britney Spears confidante sobs over death threats
By Brandon Lowrey
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The former confidante of pop star Britney Spears broke down on the witness stand on Wednesday, saying his villainous portrayal in a book written by the singer's mother triggered a deluge of death threats that drove him into a suicidal depression.
"If I went anywhere public, people were assaulting me," Sam Lutfi told jurors at a civil trial in Los Angeles.
"People I knew were shunning me. There were numerous postings online on websites ... that were threats to kill me. People wishing that I was dead," Lutfi said, choking up and beginning to cry. "People wishing harm on my family."
Lutfi, who emerged as Spears' closest friend during her 2007 personal and career meltdown, was testifying for the second day in his lawsuit against the "Toxic" superstar and her parents.
He is suing Britney's mother, Lynne Spears, alleging she libeled him in her 2008 book, "Through the Storm," and made him a scapegoat for the singer's problems.
He is also suing Britney Spears for a chunk of her earnings, claiming she hired him as her manager soon after meeting him in 2007. And he is suing her father, Jamie Spears, for assault.
Lutfi said on Wednesday that Spears' father chased him, punched him and threatened to kill him in her Los Angeles home in early 2008.
"(Jamie Spears) was spitting and shouting, yelling at me, telling me that I had hurt his daughter and I had better leave or he was going to beat the hell out of me," Lutfi testified. Continued...