Britney Spears' ex-manager, mom escalate legal feud
By Eriq Gardner
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Did he manipulate, drug and cut off his client from the real world? Was she really the problem, and did she make all this stuff up?
We're, of course, talking about "Britneygate" -- the entertaining dispute between Britney Spears' ex-manager and Britney Spears' mother that's now landed on the doorstep of a California appeals court.
In 2008, ex-manager Sam Lutfi filed a defamation lawsuit against Lynne Spears for things she wrote about him in her memoir, "Through the Storm."
Last August, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge refused to dismiss the case. A few weeks ago, Lynne Spears appealed that decision, and on Monday, Lutfi filed papers, presenting his argument why the case should continue.
Now the Court of Appeal of the State of California gets to hear "Britneygate" and the two widely different tales of who is responsible for the singer's collapse.
Lynne Spears claims that Lufti was a master manipulator who secretly drugged her daughter, cut off her communications and mobility, and set himself up as "gatekeeper" before he was fired.
In contrast, Lutfi says Britney's life was already in turmoil before he got involved. His proof: Two failed marriages, losing custody of her child, shaving her head, a reckless driving arrest, drug rehab, etc.
That aspect of the case is really a sideshow, though, to the interesting legal questions. Continued...