FILE – In this Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 file photo, Britney Spears’ parents, Lynne Spears, left, and Jamie Spears arrive at court in Los Angeles. Testimony has opened in a defamation lawsuit against Britney Spears’ parents, with a top record executive, Barry Weiss, saying on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, he was never told that plaintiff Sam Lutfi was her manager. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ self-styled manager took the stand in his defamation lawsuit against her parents Tuesday, claiming he acted to protect her from paparazzi and others during a critical period in her life.
Sam Lutfi told jurors how he met Spears at a nightclub in May 2007 and said she struck up a conversation by asking him if she could have his hat.
He said he told her no. “She liked that. She doesn’t get told ‘no’ often. So it was refreshing to hear ‘no’ once. We started talking, hit it off, and she started calling and texting me. We hung out and became friends,” he said.
Lutfi described the singer at that time as being “in crisis mode.”
“She was very distraught,” he said. “She was having a child custody battle and was in the middle of a divorce.” He added she also had drug problems.
Lutfi said he met Spears right after she had shaved her head during a very Login to read more