4:26 PM PT — Sam Lutfi walked out of court with his attorney but refused to answer any questions about what went down.
4:26 PM PT — The hearing to make the restraining order permanent was continued to June 13. The TRO will remain in effect until then.
2:05 PM PT — Both Sam Lutfi and Jamie Spears showed up to the hearing. Jamie’s legal team declared the intention to call both Jamie and Lutfi to the stand for testimony.
Because of the nature of what may be discussed, including sensitive information concerning Britney’s condition, Jamie’s team asked that the courtroom be sealed.
Britney’s attorney argued that the singer has a greater vulnerability to being damaged if she sees information online about her condition and the conservatorship. The judge sided with Spears and sealed the courtroom.
Britney Spears‘ former manager is fighting back against her attempt to get a permanent restraining order against him, claiming it violates his First Amendment rights.
Sam Lutfi is due in court this afternoon to argue against a permanent restraining order being put in place that would bar him from coming within 200 yards of Spears and her family.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Lutfi claims that trying to prevent him from making “any disparaging public statements” against Spears and her family is “an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech that has not been adjudicated as defamatory.”
He claims the TRO request is too vague and argues that critical speech about Spears is not the same as something said to her.
“Something as innocuous as saying that he does not care for one of Ms. Spears’ songs, or stating something factually truthful about her, could subject Mr. Lutfi to criminal penalties,” he argues.
In the docs, Lutfi expands on that idea, saying. “Such an order is vague and ambiguous as to what Mr. Lutfi can and cannot permissibly say. What exactly does ‘disparaging’ mean? Would Mr. Lutfi face criminal prosecution if he publicly states that he does not like one of Ms. Spears’ songs? What if he simply states that one of her new songs is not as good as one of her old songs? What if Mr. Lutfi states something factually true about Ms. Spears, but it is potentially embarrassing? Something factually true cannot be defamatory, but it could be disparaging.”
He also argues that his messages to Lynne Spears do not rise to the level of harassment against Britney. He says that none of those messages were directed at Britney herself and argues that “Ms. Spears could simply have blocked Mr. Lutfi on Twitter, and asked her mother not to show her any more text messages that she received from Mr. Lutfi.”
Both sides are due in court later today.
As The Blast first reported, Spears filed for the restraining order against Lutfi on May 7, claiming his actions have caused “severe mental trauma” while interfering with her life.
Spears’ legal team claimed Lutfi has been trying to disrupt Britney’s conservatorship through calls for “vigilante action, bribes and release of private information.” They claimed his actions were problematic for Britney’s safety and well-being and made it clear they need him kept away to “prevent future harm and further psychological trauma.”
Along with herself, Britney Spears asked that her father, mother and two sons were to be protected.
The TRO was granted by a judge the day after it was requested, despite Lutfi’s opposition. He argued that text messages to Lynne Spears and tweets about the singer should result in a restraining order.
Lutfi also says he has not caused “substantial emotional distress” to Britney and believes her team’s move to block his public comments is a restraint on free speech.
Ultimately, he was ordered to stay at least 200 yards away from the singer, her parents, and her kids.
Lutfi was Britney Spears’ manager in the early 2000s and her family holds him responsible for her mental downfall in 2008.
He later sued Britney’s parents after Lynne accused him of being the “gatekeeper” and contributing to Britney’s illness, and the two parties settled for an undisclosed amount.