LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The father of troubled pop star Britney Spears will retain control over her affairs for about three more weeks, a court ruled on Thursday, even as a new attorney sought to move the case to federal jurisdiction.
The attorney, Jon Eardley, is linked to an associate of Spears’ self-styled manager Sam Lutfi, and in the filing the attorney claims the case should be moved from state court because Spears’ is being deprived of her civil liberties.
Jamie Spears was granted “temporary conservatorship” over his 26-year-old daughter’s affairs two weeks ago when she was in a Los Angeles hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Los Angeles Court Commissioner Reva Goetz has now extended that conservatorship — which gives him control over her business, finances and some personal affairs — until March 10, a court spokesman said.
In addition, Spears’ brother Bryan, 30, was been named co-trustee of his sister’s trust along with Los Angeles attorney Ivan Taback.
But in a related filing, Eardley said the case should be moved to federal court because the essential issue on which Jamie Spears was granted conservatorship centers on medication Spears is supposed to take.
Eardley claims restrictions placed on her by her father “interfere with the effectiveness of the scheduled medications.” The names of the drugs were not disclosed in the suit, and calls to Eardley’s offices in California and New York were not immediately returned.
Michael Sands, a Los Angeles spokesman for Lutfi, said in an e-mail exchange that he also represented Eardley and added he was “not at liberty to discuss” who hired Eardley.
Eardley’s filing said that under the conservatorship, the singer has been denied the right to meet freely with friends, make and receive phone calls, drive a car and gain access to money or credit cards.
In a court filing earlier this month, Spears’ mother, Lynne Spears, said Lutfi controlled her daughter.
She alleged “Mr. Lutfi drugged Britney. He has cut Britney’s home phone line ... He claims to control everything — Britney’s business manager, her attorneys and security guards at the gate” of her home.
The pop singer, who rose to fame on the Disney cable TV channel, has seen her life spin out of control for more than a year since her breakup with ex-husband Kevin Federline, with whom she is battling for visitation rights to their two sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1.
In recent months, the Louisiana native has been photographed wearing pink wigs and talking in a British accent as she traveled around Los Angeles with Lutfi.
In January, Spears was hospitalized for psychiatric care twice, and court officials slapped a restraining order against Lutfi to keep him away from the singer.
Last week Jamie and Lynne Spears said in a statement they believed “her life is presently at risk.”
Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Mohammad Zargham