Sam Lufti's lawsuit against Britney Spears' parents dismissed
Sam Lutfi leaving UCLA medical center after visiting Britney Spears in Los Angeles, Jan. 31, 2008. (AP Photo)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, November 1, 2012 8:46PM EDT
LOS ANGELES -- Britney Spears' former confidante and self-professed manager failed to prove any of his libel and breach-of-contract claims against the singer's parents and her caretakers, a judge who dismissed his case mid-trial ruled Thursday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera said an attorney for Sam Lutfi hadn't proven any of his claims in the case that centred on events before the singer's public meltdown more than four years ago.
Lutfi's side rested its case Tuesday, but Bruguera agreed with arguments by attorneys for Spears' father and her conservators that there wasn't sufficient evidence to send any of his claims to a jury.
Lutfi had sued Lynne Spears for libel, the singer's father, Jamie, for allegedly hitting him at the singer's mansion in an incident shortly before Jamie Spears and others were granted control over the singer's life. Lutfi also had claimed he was owed a 15 per cent share of the singer's earnings, but Bruguera disagreed.
Lutfi left the courtroom without speaking to reporters, and attorneys on both sides of the case declined to comment.
The case centred on many of Britney Spears' darkest moments, including a pair of psychiatric hospitalizations that led to her father being named her conservator. Spears' father and her fiance, Jason Trawick, continue to serve as her conservators. The arrangement is overseen by a probate judge who had directed them not to allow the singer to appear at the trial.
Lutfi's attorney Joseph Schleimer had contended in opening statements that his client was made a scapegoat for Spears' downfall. He argued Spears' mother lied about claims that Lutfi drugged the singer and isolated her from family, and said his close relationship with the paparazzi was a way to get them to be less unruly and more respectful of the Grammy winner.
Yet Lutfi failed to show he had a binding management agreement that would have entitled him to 15 per cent of the singer's profits from her 2007 album "Blackout" and other projects.
Lutfi sued in 2009, the same year that Spears' conservators obtained a restraining order against him to stop trying to contact her or meddle in her affairs.
He told jurors he endured death threats after the publication of Lynne Spears' book, "Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World," and he claimed the experience left him depressed and suicidal.