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Spears trial paints troubling portrait

Published: October 27, 2012 | 10:27 am
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Court hears how young superstar came unhinged and family battled with manager

The troubled tabloid staple has been portrayed as a young woman who became completely divorced from reality as her life, marriage and career spiralled down the drain in 2008.

Centre stage in the fight over the superstar’s welfare are her parents in one corner and her former manager in the other. Court has heard a litany of lurid details this week as the trial prepares to wrap for the weekend.

Former Spears manager Sam Lutfi this week painted for the court a portrait of domestic warfare, saying the superstar’s father chased him around a kitchen, punched him and threatened his life.

Lutfi – who is suing Spears’ parents for defamation – testified while they watched from across the courtroom.

He denied accusations made in a book by Lynne Spears that he was a Svengali who became the gatekeeper of her daughter’s world, locking her parents out of her life.

He contends he was a benevolent caretaker who protected the singer during her highly publicized meltdown.

Lutfi’s direct testimony concluded in dramatic fashion as he was overcome by tears while describing the aftermath of the publication of the book.

“After the book came out, there was a huge spike of death threats that were pretty bad,” he said.

Lutfi is suing for damages for defamation and for a 15 per cent share of the millions of dollars Britney made while he was with her.

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