A judge recently extended Britney Spears’ restraining order against former manager Sam Lutfi through 2012, but don’t expect him to go quietly into the night.
Lutfi has filed an appeal challenging the ruling and denying that there is a legal need to keep him 100 feet from the embattled pop superstar at all times.
Bryan Freedman, his attorney, told E! News that his client is fighting the order because, contrary to what Spears’ camp claims, she initiated contact with him.
“There was absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Britney Spears was suffering substantial emotional distress as required by the statute,” said Freedman.
“In fact, the evidence was just the opposite,” the attorney added. “It was Britney reaching out for Sam’s help, and all Sam did was get her a lawyer.”
“There is no evidence of threats or stalking or anything whatsoever.”
Freedman argued in the appeal, filed Wednesday, that Sam Lutfi never threatened or harassed Britney Spears, and claimed that he was only laboring at her behest.
“We believe the appellate court will overturn the ruling,” Freedman said.
“Restraining orders were created for stalkers and people who make threats, and the only evidence in this whole case was that Sam sent 10 text messages to the hairdresser – none of which were threatening, vulgar, mean or anything else.”
He said Sam Lutfi was simply looking out for Spears’ best interests and that he doubted the singer herself felt there was a need for the permanent order.
“Sam got her a lawyer, and facilitated his sister, and she requested getting her a cell phone,” he said. “If Britney Spears wanted this restraining order herself, why didn’t she testify, come to court, send a letter to the judge or do anything?”
A judge’s ruling that Britney Spears, who is under a legal conservatorship headed by her father, Jamie Spears, and attorney Andrew Wallet, “lacks the capacity” to testify is apparently not a good enough excuse for Freedman.
Jon Eardley, the attorney who tried unsuccessfully to torpedo the conservatorship, was also named in the restraining order and told to keep away. Adnan Ghalib, Spears’ ex-boyfriend, is similarly barred from contact until 2012.