Judge ends case against Britney Spears' parents
Ruling stated there wasn't sufficient evidence to send claims to a jury
Follow HitFix: Follow @hitfix
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears' former confidante and self-professed manager failed to prove his libel and breach-of-contract claims against the singer's parents and her caretakers, a judge who dismissed the case mid-trial ruled Thursday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera said an attorney for Sam Lutfi hadn't proven any of his allegations in the case that centered on events before the singer's public meltdown more than four years ago.
Lutfi's side rested its case Tuesday, but Bruguera agreed with arguments by attorneys for Spears' father and her conservators that there wasn't sufficient evidence to send the claims to a jury.
Lutfi had sued Lynne Spears for libel and the singer's father, Jamie, for allegedly hitting him at the singer's mansion in an incident shortly before Jamie Spears and others were granted control over the singer's life. Lutfi also had claimed he was owed a 15 percent share of the singer's earnings, but Bruguera disagreed.
Lutfi left the courtroom without speaking to reporters, and attorneys on both sides of the case declined to comment.
The case centered on many of Britney Spears' darkest moments, including a pair of psychiatric hospitalizations that led to her father being named her conservator. Her fiance, Jason Trawick, was added as a co-conservator earlier this year. The arrangement is overseen by a probate judge who had directed them not to allow the singer to appear at the trial.
Lutfi's attorney Joseph Schleimer had contended in opening statements that his client was made a scapegoat for Spears' downfall. Schleimer argued Spears' mother lied about claims that Lutfi drugged the singer and isolated her from family. And he said Lutfi's close relationship with the paparazzi was a way to get them to be less unruly and more respectful of the Grammy winner.
Yet Lutfi failed to show he had a binding management agreement that would have entitled him to 15 percent of the singer's profits from her 2007 album "Blackout" and other projects, the judge ruled. Joel Boxer, an attorney for Spears' conservators, argued that even if Lutfi had an agreement to serve as the singer's manager, he obtained it through undue influence.
Lynne Spears' attorney Stephen Rohde noted that many of his client's claims were included in court filings that prompted a judge to place the singer under the conservatorship, and that those statements were made under oath.
Lutfi sued in 2009, the same year that Spears' conservators obtained a restraining order against him to stop trying to contact her or meddle in her affairs.
He told jurors he endured death threats after the publication of Lynne Spears' book, "Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World," and he claimed the experience left him depressed and suicidal.
Schleimer argued he was stymied by rulings that denied him access to sealed court records and Spears' medical files, but Bruguera said the complaints weren't valid. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do with that information," the judge said.
Spears' parents sat through the entire trial, which opened with Schleimer showing videos and photos of Spears' turbulent period, including shaving her head and hitting a sport utility vehicle with an umbrella.
Copyright (2012) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Looking for something to watch?
Let Streaming Genie help you.
Let Streaming Genie help you.