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Britney Spears has been granted a temporary restraining order against Sam Lutfi, a man apparently once in the pop star's circle but who she considers a "parasite."
The singer’s legal team filed for the order Tuesday and it was granted Wednesday, according to Entertainment Tonight. A judge ordered Lutfi to remain at least 200 yards away from, and discontinue any contact with Spears as well as anyone in her family and to refrain from disparaging them, according to USA Today.
The next court hearing on the matter is scheduled for May 28, the outlet reports.
Court documents describe Lutfi, 44, as a “parasite” and accused him of “falsely claiming to have been [Spears’] manager,” E! News reports. Lutfi was also accused of sending “threatening” text messages to Spears and her family members, and of releasing “(actual and fabricated) private information” regarding Spears, according to the outlet.
Spears’ team also accused Lutfi of using social media to facilitate harassment against Spears. The 37-year-old singer checked into a mental health facility last month, after previously calling off her Las Vegas residency in order to help support her father, who’s reportedly been struggling with health issues related to a ruptured colon.
Spears’ hospitalization, while voluntary, sparked a social media frenzy, with fans uniting under the “FreeBritney” hash tag (and in actual physical protests) to claim that the singer was being held against her will. It was enough to prompt Spears to take to social media to set the record straight and reassure her fans that she was not being held captive.
The Spears family claimed in their recent court filing that Lutfi was to blame for the #FreeBritney brouhaha, according to E! News. They say that he used his social media platform to spur his followers into doling out “harassment indirectly on his behalf.”
“Ms. Spears is in a court-ordered conservatorship to protect her,” court documents read, according to the outlet. “By directly aiming to disrupt Ms. Spears' conservatorship through calls for vigilante action, bribes and release of private information, Mr. Lutfi’s actions threaten Ms. Spears’ safety and well-being.”
Lutfi’s attorney, Marc S. Gans, said in a statement to E! News that he and his client were “disappointed” in the judge’s decision, calling it “overly broad” and claiming that it “violates Mr. Lutfi's constitutional rights.”
“This is only temporary and we look forward to arguing the matter more fully at the hearing for a more permanent restraining order on May 28,” he said.
Spears was previously granted a three-year restraining order against Lutfi in 2009, and her father Jamie Spears and lawyer Andrew Wallet were granted conservatorship shortly afterward. In an opposition filing, Lutfi claimed that he has not contacted Spears directly since then, according to Entertainment Tonight.
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