A judge in Los Angeles has extended by five years a restraining order taken out by Britney Spears and her family against the singer’s former manager Sam Lutfi.
A temporary restraining order against Lutfi was first set on May 8, with Spears’ lawyers alleging that tweets and texts from Lutfi about or to Spears and her family were causing the singer emotional damage.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny granted the restraining order yesterday (June 13) after hearing testimonies from both Lutfi and Spears’ father and conservator, James Spears. Lutfi is now forbidden from contacting the singer or her family, or making disparaging statements about them online.
The judge rejected the argument made by Lutfi’s lawyer Marc Gans that the restraining order is an unconstitutional restraint on his client’s free speech. Gans told reporters that they are now considering an appeal (via Billboard).
Lutfi also said in court documents obtained by ET Online: “There has been no psychological or other evidence offered by Ms. Spears that she has actually suffered any distress.”
He added that he “could not have caused a reasonable person to suffer the requisite substantial emotional distress” for a restraining order, and that this is a “blatant violation of [his] constitutional rights.”
It’s not the first time the Spears family have sought a restraining order against Lutfi, after a similar request was granted back in 2009. Chad Hummel, an attorney for the conservatorship, said: “[Lutfi]’s been asked repeatedly to stay away from this family. He can’t help himself.”
Lutfi claims that he has not contacted the musician in the decade since, aside from “a brief and non-confrontational text message with [Britney’s mother] Lynne Spears.”
“Don’t believe everything you read and hear,” she wrote in the caption. “These fake emails everywhere were crafted by Sam Lutfi years ago… I did not write them. He was pretending to be me and communicating with my team with a fake email address. My situation is unique, but I promise I’m doing what’s best at this moment.”
Lutfi then responded in a series of Tweets, saying: “I can unequivocally state that I never wrote nor had access to her email. Her team’s desperate attempt to deflect negative attention onto me (yet again) is a rather ineffective way to overshadow the FreeBritney movement.”