LOS ANGELES — A restraining order against the man who’s been at Britney Spears’ side during her downward spiral portrays him as a Svengali figure who held her a virtual hostage in her home, drugged her, took over her finances and controlled the ravenous paparazzi “like a general.”
The order against 33-year-old Sam Lutfi was based on a lengthy declaration from Spears’ mother, Lynne, who says they met in October 2007, when he “essentially moved into Britney’s home and has purported to take control of her life, home and finances.”
Lynne Spears’ account of a long, chaotic night at Britney’s home depicted a drugged and confused pop star being led around by Lutfi, who was setting up pictures for the paparazzi even as she was spinning out of control.
The documents released by the court Tuesday ordered Lutfi to stay away from Spears, her homes, her parents and siblings’ homes and the hospital where she is confined for psychiatric evaluation.
On Monday, Lutfi told The Associated Press in a text message: “I have no problems with anyone writing anything negative against me. My image is not of concern, hers is.” He has not responded to further inquiry.
Lynne Spears said in the order that Lutfi “drugged Britney, he has cut Britney’s home phone lines and removed her cell phone chargers. He yells at her. He claims to control everything — Britney’s business manager, her attorneys and the security guards at the gate.”
Slideshow: The Spears years Much of the 6-page declaration centers on the night of Jan. 28, just a few days before Spears was whisked by police and ambulance to a hospital psychiatric ward, where she remained Tuesday night. Her mother outlined increasingly bizarre behavior through the night, and said her daughter asked at one point, “When do I get to see my babies?” to which Lutfi answered, “Wednesday.”
Spears has been in court with ex-husband Kevin Federline over custody of their two small children, 1-year-old Jayden James and 2-year-old Sean Preston. She lost visitation rights last month after refusing to hand them back over to their father.
Lynne Spears described a harrowing night that stretched into the wee hours when she, her husband and a friend went to Britney’s home because they’d heard Britney was crying after a fight with Lutfi. Once inside, Lynne Spears said she was told by Lutfi that her daughter was afraid to see her father, and only wanted her mother in the house.
Lynne Spears also said there were several photographers present, who deferred to Lutfi. “The paparazzi reported to Sam and addressed him with great respect,” she said. “They treated him like a general.”
She said during the evening, “Sam had told Britney she was an unfit mother, a piece of trash and a whore, that she cares more about Adnan (Ghalib), her current boyfriend, than she cares about her kids and that she does not deserve her kids.”
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It was unclear how Lynne Spears knew details of the fight.
She said at one point, Lutfi told her, “You’d better learn that I control everything,” and said he was the one giving Britney her medications and, “he told me if he weren’t in the house to give Britney her medicine, she would kill herself.”
She also alleged that Lutfi threatened her. “Then he said to me, ’If you try to get rid of me, she’ll be dead and I’ll piss on her grave.”’
Throughout the night, she said Britney continued to ask to see her children.
“What do I have to do to see them?” her mother quoted her as saying. “Sam responded, ’Take the pills I tell you to take.’ Britney said, ’I don’t like the pills and I don’t like the psychiatrist. Can’t I see another psychiatrist so I can see my babies?”’
At that point, Lynne Spears said, “Sam responded, ’If I told you to take 10 pills a day, you should do what I tell you to see your babies.”
She said one time Lutfi raised his voice and said “Why don’t you get back with Kevin (Federline).” Britney then said, “I’ll do anything to get them back.”
Lynne Spears described various medications in the house and said Lutfi told her he ground them up and put them in Britney’s food to keep her quiet. “He told us that the doctor who is treating her now is trying to get her into a sleep-induced coma so that they could then give her drugs to heal her brain.”
Late that same evening, she said Britney decided she needed to go to the drug store for lipsticks. Before they left the house, Lutfi took Britney upstairs and said he gave her something “to make her more lighthearted, happy and fun.”
At the store, she said chaos ensued when Britney’s credit card did not work and she started speaking with a British accent. The manager offered to let them leave by a side entrance to elude the photographers, but she said Lutfi insisted they leave through the front door, then put his arms around Britney and Lynne so the paparazzi could take pictures.
A judge has put Britney Spears’ father in control of her personal and financial affairs until Feb. 14 while she is evaluated. The singer’s child custody case, meanwhile, has been continued until Feb. 19.
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