A US judge has ordered Britney Spears’ former manager and a lawyer to stay away from the pop singer for the next three years.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aviva Bobb issued her ruling last night after hearing evidence and arguments in recent weeks from the men and lawyers for Britney’s father, Jamie.
Ms Bobb ordered Osama “Sam” Lutfi and lawyer Jon Eardley to stay away from the 27-year-old pop singer and to not contact, threaten or try to act on her or her sons’ behalf for the next three years.
Ms Bobb refused to extend the same protection to Britney’s parents.
The singer’s court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, endorsed issuing the orders during a hearing last week, saying they were in the singer’s “best interests”.
Lawyers for Lutfi and Eardley promised to appeal the ruling, saying the lengthy hearing did not prove the singer suffered substantial emotional distress as a result of the men’s actions.
Lutfi’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, said evidence instead pointed to Britney asking his client for help.
“Never before in the history of the world has a restraining order been issued against someone who merely responded to cries for help,” Mr Freedman said.
Roger Diamond, who represented Eardley, said it was disappointing that the ruling didn’t spell out the judge’s reasoning for issuing the orders.
Jamie Spears and his lawyers petitioned for lengthy restraining orders against the men in January, arguing that the pair were conspiring along with paparazzo Adnan Ghalib to undermine the conservatorship. Ms Bobb last month issued a three-year restraining order against Ghalib, who is the singer’s former boyfriend.
Ghalib never appeared in court or contested the restraining order, but is due back in a criminal court next month on charges that he tried to attack a man attempting to deliver papers notifying him of the restraining order case.
Jamie Spears’ lawyer, Joel Boxer, said the restraining order request was “unusual” but was necessary to protect the singer from “people who I think are fairly characterised as predators”.
Lawyers for Lutfi and Eardley vigorously fought against the restraining orders. Lutfi has also filed a defamation lawsuit against Britney and her parents.
The singer remains on a tour promoting her most recent album, Circus.
Her life remains closely managed by her father.