Testimony Heard in Sam Lutfi Restraining Order Trial
It was another trip into the strange world of one-time <a href="https://okmagazine.com/search/Britney" target="_blank"><strong>Britney Spears</strong></a> hanger-on <a href="https://okmagazine.com/search/lutfi" target="_blank"><strong>Sam Lutfi</strong></a> today as an L.A. judge heard testimony about whether or not the restraining order keeping him from contacting the pop star should be made permanent.
First up on the Judge Aviva Bobb's witness stand was attorney John Anderson, who testified that he had been contacted by Sam with the goal of taking over Britney's legal representation from Sam Ingham, the attorney appointed by the court after her father had been declared her conservator.
<a href="http://www.okmagazine.com/pixandvids/gallery/9358/" target="_blank"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3359/3182836701_3521c6e4a4_o.jpg" width="163" height="52" alt="brit2" /></a>
Anderson testified that, despite the fact that Lutfi had told him that Britney lacked the legal capacity to hire her own attorney, he nonetheless drew up papers for her to sign. Anderson had been told by Lutfi that all of Britney's phones had been cut off and that the singer was effectively living "in prison."
"Britney asked Sam to help her," Anderson testified. "Her phones had been cut off and her ability to meet anypone was also cut off... She said it was as if she was in prison, that she was completely controlled by her father with no ability to contact anyone... that the conservatorship and her father were causing her emotional distress."
Somehow, Lutfi provided Anderson with a "signed" copy of her petition to change representation, and the lawyer then took steps to ask the court to be named Britney's rep. But after conferring with the conservators, he ultimately opted not to pursue this line of action.
Next up on the stand was Daniel William Haynes, a former roommate of Lutfi who testified that he had to take out a restraining order against Sam after only five months of living together. The main purpose of Haynes' testimony was to help prove that Sam had previously used the screenname "CityGalIn310" — the same screenname that later sent Britney and her father e-mails and texts.
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Longtime Jamie Spears attorney Blair Berk took the stand to testify that she had received threatening messages from the CityGalIn310 screenname. According to Blaie, in January, Sam "made clear to me by his words that there was some embarrassing information that he was fearful would be released against him" by Britney. And if that info were to be made public, Lutfi allegedly told Berk that he would then see to it that "destructive and unflattering information would be released about Jamie and Britney." Berk saw this as "extortion" and contacted the LAPD.
In court, Lutfi's lawyer Bryan Freedman tried to counter this testimony by claiming that Brit was "crying out for help to Sam" and that she "left four messages on his machine asking sam for help" in late December and early January.
As for these messages, which were recently leaked to the press, Berk said, "My opinion was that — based on the unusual language that this person was using, words that I've never heard britney used; turns of phrases, use of language — that was not Britney Spears... Based on the sound, it was clearly edited."
Berk also shot down Sam's claims that Britney had been reaching out to him for help. "She repeatedly asked if I could get Sam arrested for what he'd done to her and to get the court to order him to stay away from her," Berk testified.
On hand to tell yet another side of this sordid tale was Sam's sister, Christina Lutfi, who said she met Brit several times while Sam was "living with Britney." According to Christina, she was borrowing one of Sam's cellphones one day in January and received at least three calls from Britney asking for Sam to help her get a new lawyer. Christina also claimed that Britney asked her to ask Sam to get her a phone so she could contact him. "She wanted sam to get her a lawyer," Christina testified. "She was afraid of her father and wanted a way to get a pre-paid cellphone."
So on Jan. 16, Britney's ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghalib provided Sam with a pre-paid phone, which he then passed on to Christina. And per Britney's alleged instructions, Christima met up with the singer at the Peninsula Hotel's 5th-floor gym, where Brit was working out with mom Lynne Spears.
Christina testified that Britney went into sauna she followed 10 minutes later to give her the phone. Recalls Sam's sister: "At that point Britney asked, 'Will they be able to help me?'"
At the end of the day, Sam's lawyers argued — and failed to win — a dismissal. They tried to convince the judge that, without the testimony of Britney or her doctors, the prosecutors can not prove "substantial emotional distress" that would merit making the restraining order permanent.
Both sides will have their say on April 21, when the judge will hear closing arguments in the case.