LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britney Spears has been “drugged” by her self-styled manager in a bid to take control of her home, life and finances, the troubled pop star’s mother charged in court documents made public on Tuesday.
Lynne Spears, in a sworn declaration submitted to the court to obtain a temporary restraining order against Sam Lutfi, paints a disturbing picture of her 26-year-old daughter as confused, numbed by drugs and virtually held captive by her sometime-manager.
The Grammy-winning superstar has been hospitalized since last week for a mental evaluation, and a Los Angeles judge has appointed a psychiatrist to determine if she is capable of understanding the legal proceedings around her.
The restraining order against Lutfi, which was granted by the same judge, forbids him from contacting Spears in any way.
“Mr. Lutfi drugged Britney. He has cut Britney’s home phone line and removed her cell-phone chargers. He yells at her. He claims to control everything — Britney’s business manager, her attorneys and security guards at the gate,” Lynne Spears wrote in the declaration.
She describes arriving at her daughter’s Los Angeles home on January 28, days before she was forcibly hospitalized, finding Lutfi was in charge and the entertainer confused.
“Britney ... became very agitated and could not stop moving,” Lynne Spears wrote in the court papers.
“She cleaned the house. She changed her clothes many times. She also changed her dogs’ clothes many times. Britney spoke to me in a tone and with the level of understanding of a very young girl,” she said.
Lynne Spears said Lutfi told her and a friend that he gave Britney Spears pills ground up in her food to keep her quiet and at one point he told her she had to take “10 pills a day” if she wanted to see her two young children.
The bitter custody battle between Spears and her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, has been put on hold while she is hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center for her mental issues.
Her father, Jamie Spears, and attorney Andrew Wallete have been granted temporary control of her assets, including her house, pending further legal proceedings.
Spears, a former child star and chart-topping singer, has seen her personal life descend into turmoil since she filed for divorce from Federline in 2006, while in recent months Lutfi has become an almost constant presence in her life.
The Louisiana native was hospitalized in January for a mental evaluation after becoming badly agitated when Federline’s representatives tried to retrieve the children.
Editing by Steve Gorman