That night, less than a month after the pop star’s first forced hospitalization, her father Jamie Spears “barged into the house, lunged at me with fists balled, and chased me around the kitchen island,” her former pal Sam Lutfi testified Wednesday.
That night and the following morning are the central focus of Lutfi’s battery lawsuit against Jamie and his libel suit against Lynne Spears, for which he’s seeking unspecified damages. He’s also suing Britney for hundreds of thousands of dollars in alleged unpaid fees as her manager.
“He was spitting, shouting and angry, saying I’d better leave Britney alone or he’d beat the hell out of me,” Lutfi said of Jamie.
Jamie was ejected by Britney’s security but allegedly returned the next morning. “He came in, started yelling at me, accusing me that I was abusing his wife [Lynne], cornered me in the kitchen, punched me in the [chest] and threatened to kill me,” Lutfi said.
Earlier in the trial, Jamie’s attorney Leon Gladstone admitted his client “touched” Lutfi to get his attention but denied that he struck him, saying that wresting control of his daughter from Lutfi “was a battle for life and death.”
Lutfi broke down several times on the stand Wednesday as he testified about how Lynne Spears’s 2008 book, which described him as a “Svengali” and said he drugged the singer, resulted in a “huge spike in death threats, mainly from Britney’s fans.”
The threats left him “depressed, anxious and suicidal,” he said.
Under cross examination, Gladstone dredged up Lutfi’s checkered past, telling jurors about four restraining orders against him, stretching from 2004 to 2010, only one of which involved the Spears family.
Gladstone read from the allegations of three separate men, including a former neighbor and a former roommate, all of whom accused Lufti of harassing them and sometimes their families, mostly via phone calls and texts. One man alleged that Lutfi hacked into his Facebook, Gmail and Twitter accounts and sent abusive messages to his family.
On the stand, Lutfi denied those claims.
Under further cross examination, Britney’s attorney, Joel Boxer, pointed out numerous inconsistencies in Lutfi’s statements about when he became the singer’s manager.
Jamie and Lynne Spears are both expected to testify in the coming days. The trial is expected to last two more weeks.