A win for Britney Spears. On Thursday, June 13, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered the singer’s former manager, Sam Lutfi, to stay at least 200 yards away from Spears and her family for five years.
According to the order, judge Brenda J. Penny ordered Lutfi, 44, not to make “statements encouraging any persons to raise hell, stop at nothing, unleash, #FreeBritney (or any variation thereof), or otherwise disrupt the conservatorship” and he cannot make any “statement alleging that Ms. Spears is being held against her will.” Spears previously filed for a restraining order against Lutfi on May 7.
During the nearly three-hour hearing, attorneys representing Spears’ conservatorship pleaded with the judge that Lutfi will no longer send harassing text messages to Lynne Spears or the 37-year-old’s brother-in-law, James Watson.
Chad Hummel, one of the attorneys representing the conservatorship, explained that Lutfi has been asked multiple times to stay away from Spears, her family and current business manager.
“This has to stop,” he told the judge. “Over the last two hearing days, we think we presented more than convincing evidence that Mr. Lutfi has engaged in conduct that rises to the level of civil harassment. We are asking for terms consistent with temporary order you issued on May 8, covering same individuals. Mr. Lutfi has been asked repeatedly to stay away. He can’t help himself. He may need a court order enforced to finally stop this.”
Sam Ingham, the court-appointed attorney who represents the pop star, told the judge that after hearing all the evidence, a protective order against Lutfi should be set in place.
However, Lutfi’s attorney, Marc Gans, said the request for a restraining order violates Lutfi’s First Amendment rights and is too vague. “This is not a defamation trial,” he said in his closing remarks. “The court has no power to make judgments on his statements or future statements. That’s unconstitutional. He cannot be barred from making these statements. Hate him or love him, Mr. Lutfi was a part of Ms. Spears’ life.”
After the trial, Gans told In Touch: “We think the restrictions on speech are unconstitutional and are considering appealing.”
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