While Britney Spears is busy getting accosted by drunk fans on her Circus tour, a couple of her former clowns are starring in their own shows in L.A.
Spears' ex-manager Sam Lutfi and former boyfriend Adnan Ghalib appeared in separate hearings yesterday. Both shady hangers-on have already been banned from further contact with their former meal ticket through at least 2012.
Now the courts are sorting through the legal fallout.
Sam Lutfi fared considerably better than Adnan Ghalib, as a Superior Court judge set a trial date of March 8, 2010, for the former manager's lawsuit claiming defamation and unpaid fees against Spears and her parents, Jamie and Lynne.
Lawyers for both Lutfi and Jamie and Lynne Spears say they will spend the next 10 months attempting to resolve the case outside of court.
But in case that doesn't work out, they have a game plan. An attorney for Jamie Spears said that a countersuit may be filed against Lutfi.
Lynne Spears' attorney, meanwhile, said that he will likely seek to dismiss the portion of Sam Lutfi's lawsuit that's directed against her.
The grounds for that claim? That his allegation of defamation based on her new memoir, Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World, is actually an infringement on Lynne Spears' right to free speech.
Particularly, her right to freely criticize whomever she chooses, especially when they play as large a part as Lutfi appeared to in the downfall of her daughter.
The trial date comes just days after Lutfi filed an appeal against a judge's extension of the restraining order obtained against him by the Spears family.Adnan Ghalib did not appeal his stay-away order - of course, he has more pressing matters to deal with. The former celebrity gossip photographer appeared at a preliminary hearing for his literal run-in with a process server.
He walked away with two more restraining orders against him.
The D.A. was granted restraining orders on behalf of process server Ram Maskowitz, whom Ghalib allegedly ran over with his car to avoid being served with the Spears restraining order, and, for reasons unknown, a person named Edam Yemini.
Before the proceedings, Adnan Ghalib attorney Peter Korn unsuccessfully attempted to have media removed from the courtroom.
"There's some safety issues for my client," he told Judge Leslie Dunn, who denied his request and set a hearing date for May 18.
By that time, the district attorney is expected to turn over 43 surveillance photos to be used as evidence in the case. The date also gives Korn more time to track down potential witnesses to the incident he claims never occurred.
"Nowhere in the shots do they observe my client running over Mr. Maskowitz," he said.
In February, Ghalib pleaded not guilty to three felony charges stemming from the incident: assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run and battery.
Last month, Ram Maskowitz filed a civil suit against Ghalib, saying he suffered cuts, abrasions and a fractured wrist in the incident.
He's seeking unspecified damages for assault, battery, negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.