Britney Spears’s Father Tries to Consolidate Power Over Pop Star

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Britney Spears' ex-manager and an attorney who once claimed to represent her are "predators" who must be ordered to stay away from the singer indefinitely, a lawyer for her father told a judge today.
  
Lawyers for the former manager, Osama "Sam" Lutfi, and the attorney in question, Jon Eardley, say such a harsh measure is unwarranted because there is no evidence either caused the pop star substantial emotional distress as alleged by lawyers for her father.
  
Jamie Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet share co-conservatorship powers over the 27-year-old singer's estate.
  
Jamie Spears is asking Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aviva K. Bobb -- who began hearing final arguments today -- to indefinitely extend a temporary order she issued against both men in late January.
  
Jamie Spears maintains Lutfi and Eardley have tried to undermine the conservatorship, which was established by Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz early last year after the singer exhibited continuing
bizarre behavior that resulted at one point in her hospitalization at UCLA Medical Center.
  
Her father and his lawyers maintain the conservatorship has turned his daughter's life around and made possible her current concert tour, which may be expanded.
  
Joel Boxer, one of Jamie Spears' lawyers, said both Eardley and Lutfi broke promises to stop bothering the singer. Boxer also said Eardley continued to file motions on Spears' behalf even though he never represented her.
  
Last year, Eardley tried to get the conservatorship moved to U.S. District Court, but the effort was stopped by a federal judge.
  
"These two people, I believe, can be fairly characterized as predators," Boxer told Bobb.
  
But Lutfi's lawyer, Bryan J. Freedman, said none of the text messages cited by the opposition as evidence of his client's alleged attempt to interfere with the conservatorship were sent to the singer. He also said she
was unhappy with the conservatorship and wanted Lutfi to assist her.  
  
"The evidence is unequivocal that Britney reached out, she asked for help," Freedman said.
  
The lawyer said none of the conduct cited by Jamie Spears' lawyers would cause a reasonable person to suffer severe emotional distress.
   
Eardley's lawyer, Roger Diamond, said although his client's behavior may have been "bizarre and inappropriate," it did not constitute harassment.
  
"He was not seeking money for himself," Diamond said. "He was only seeking a remedy."
  
But some of Diamond's remarks brought a sharp rebuke from Bobb, who criticized Eardley for trying to take the conservatorship to federal court.
  
"It is incomprehensible to me ... that your client did what he did," the judge said.
  
Bobb previously issued an indefinite stay-away order against Adnan Ghalib, an ex-boyfriend of Spears. That order is in effect until 2012.
  
Ghalib, 36, pleaded not guilty in February to three felony charges for allegedly ramming his car into a process server who was trying to serve him with the restraining order earlier that month.
  
Lutfi, 34, has not attended the hearings before Bobb, which began in late February.
  
Spears also has not been in the courtroom, although Diamond unsuccessfully attempted to have Bobb order the singer to be present.
  
The final arguments are expected to conclude April 28.
 

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