In the wake of the #FreeBritney fiasco, Britney Spears and her family are seeking to extend a temporary restraining order against Sam Lutfi, a former family friend who said he once served as Spears’ manager. The family’s petition alleged that Lutfi, a prominent voice in #FreeBritney, had been sending harassing texts to the Spears family and disparaging them on social media.
On May 8, Lutfi was ordered to remain at least 200 yards from Britney, her parents, and her two sons after the family claimed that Lutfi had acted as a persistently disruptive force in their lives. CNN reported that the filing even disputed Lutfi’s professional link to Spears: “Beginning over a decade ago, Lutfi began pretending to have a professional association with Ms. Spears, even falsely claiming to have been her manager, when in reality he was only a parasite attempting to gain attention by associating himself with her celebrity.”
Lutfi was a central figure in Britney’s life during the height of her fame, and the Spears family has long held him responsible for encouraging her down the destructive path that ended in her 2008 breakdown. The family cut itself off from Lutfi in 2009, when they were granted a three-year restraining order against him. The petition for the latest order alleged that Lutfi was trying to undermine Britney’s conservatorship and had caused the singer “severe mental trauma” during a period of high stress surrounding her father’s poor heath.
The order arrived with a new wave of fan furor over Britney’s situation, including West Hollywood City Hall protestors and a contingent of Twitter supporters calling for Britney to be “freed” from her conservatorship. Lutfi has been vocal in his support of the movement, stoking the outcry by urging his Twitter followers to “raise hell.”