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Britney Spears' friendship spills into civil court

February 3, 2009 |  1:36 pm

Britney The bitter feud between Britney Spears’ parents and a man they have accused of having a Svengali-like hold on the troubled performer is now a civil matter.

Spears’ former manager, Osama “Sam” Lutfi, has filed suit against her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, in Los Angeles Superior Court for intentional infliction of emotional distress. In the suit, Lutfi also accuses Lynne Spears of libeling and defaming him in her autobiography and accuses Jamie Spears of battery for allegedly punching him in the chest during an incident at Spears’ home last year.

Lutfi is also seeking to collect fees he claims Spears promised him in exchange for managing her business and personal life.

The suit alleges that Spears’ parents are only interested in her money and “launched a campaign of lies and intimidation designed to destroy Lutfi and drive him out of Britney’s life.”

After months of erratic behavior that culminated in two hospitalizations, Spears was placed in a court-ordered conservatorship just over a year ago. Her father, assisted by a team of lawyers, oversees all aspects of her career and personal life. Immediately after assuming control of her affairs, Jamie Spears got a restraining order barring Lutfi from contacting his daughter.

The order expired in July, but on Friday, lawyers for Spears and her father were granted another restraining order against Lutfi. An attorney for Jamie Spears did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

-- Harriet Ryan

Photo: Los Angeles Times