Lynne Spears, Britney’s mom, has been locked in a legal battle with her daughter’s former business manager, Sam Lufti, since 2009 after he filed a lawsuit against the family for defamation and breach of contract.
The suit also alleges that the Spears family is guilty of “libel, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress” after several disagreements about the way he was handling Britney’s career. Both parties claim wrongdoing by the other; Lufti says that Jamie Spears forced his way into his home in 2008–a year after he became Britney’s manager–and punched him in the chest over a misunderstanding, and a year later Spears obtained a restraining order against Lufti after saying he was harassing the family.
But the real damage came with Lynne Spears’ memoir, “Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Fortune in a Tabloid World”. In it, she spoke candidly about Lufti’s affiliation with the family and claimed he held control over her daughter, which Lufti says damaged his reputation. He filed the lawsuit soon after.
“Since the publication of the book, Lutfi has been subjected to unfathomable amounts of ridicule and scorn,” and has received “numerous death threats from overzealous fans,” the lawsuit reads, also stating that Lutfi can “no longer find work as a counselor of at-risk teens.”
Apparently, Spears also referred to Lufti as a “Svengali”, a term used to describe someone who controls another using deceit. It has a place in the Christian world, as well, and refers to the “Wandering Jew” character in folklore. Now, Spears is afraid Lufti will try and paint her as an anti-Semite during the trial and has obtained a court-order to stop him from calling in an expert witness to testify to that fact.
A jury is being selected for the case now, but it seems to be one that won’t be closed easily.