Sam Lutfi, the man who claims to have been Britney Spears’ manager in 2007 and 2008, took the stand in a Los Angeles courtroom this morning in the defamation suit he filed against the pop star and her parents, Lynne and Jamie Spears.
Lutfi recalled meeting Spears at a nightclub in early 2007. He said she came to him and asked if she could have his hat. He told the jury he said “no” which he claimed she liked because she wasn’t refused often. “She told me it was refreshing to hear a no,” Lutfi said, adding, “We hit it off. She took my number and email, she began calling and texting. We hung out and became friends.”
Lutfi said Spears later texted and called him as she dealt with her divorce and child custody battle.
“She was in crisis mode, dealing with press photographers, 30, 50, 100 following her every move, speeding, driving next to her,” he said. “She was dealing with a lot of anxiety when they followed her. When she got out of a car they would cluster her, she couldn’t move, she was very anxious.”
Lutfi said that after Spears hired him “as her manager,” he began texting photographers to tell them where they were going in an attempt to stop them from following her. “I was also setting up private meetings with Britney and press photographers at her home, so [they] could get to know her as a human being,” he said.
Judge Suzanne G. Bruguera interrupted Lutfi to review the ground rules of his testimony with him and his attorneys. Outside the presence of the jury, Bruguera scolded Lutfi for saying he was Spears’ manager. ”Do not interject your position of a manager or non-manager, specially if you are not asked,” Bruguera said.
Bruguera also barred admission of Spears’ medical records as testimony, calling them irrelevant.
Lutfi claims he was Spears’ personal manager and deserves millions as his share of her income during that period. The defamation suit stems from the way Lutfi is depicted in a book written by Spears’ mother that detailed the star’s meltdown, “Through The Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World.”
In her book, Lynne Spears wrote that Lutfi secretly drugged her daughter and refused to let her speak freely to family and friends.
Lutfi said he currently works as a consultant for his mother’s company, which owns and operates a chain of gas stations. He also claimed to be a co-manager of problem-prone singer and actress Courtney Love. (Love’s publicist confirmed to ABCNews.com that Lutfi is her co-manager.)
On Monday, Barry Weiss, the former CEO of Jive Records who signed Spears when she was 16, said he never considered Lutfi to be Spears’ manager.
“Sam Lutfi never introduced himself or came in for a meeting. He never discussed records or a record contract,” Weiss told the jury.
“He helped us get a video made,” Weiss acknowledged. “He was trying to keep Britney on the set.”
But ultimately, Weiss said he saw Lutfi’s role as a “gofer … like a personal assistant.”
He added, ”There was no manager involved. She was estranged from her family. I felt I was a lifeline for her. She was texting me constantly from her cellphone.”
ABC News affiliate KABC and the Associated Press contributed to this report.