Britney Spears has filed new retraining orders against Sam Lutfi and Adnan Ghalib, the two men most associated with her chaotic decline a little over a year ago that ended with a pair of trips to Los Angeles psychiatric hospitals and the loss of custody of her two children. Attorney Jon Eardley, who at one time said he represented Spears, was also named on the order. Lutfi, who enjoyed a stint as Spears' domineering manager, and Ghalib, Spears' temporary paparazzi boyfriend who peddled private pictures of the singer on the side, were both reportedly "trying to gain control of the singer's affairs," according to the AP.
Britney's father, Jamie, seized the reigns of Britney's career and assets when he was named her conservator last year. In a restraining order filed in 2008, Jamie claimed Lutfi had drugged Britney and prevented her from making phone calls in an attempt to control her. The original restraining order against Lutfi expired in July 2008, and it's unclear why a new one was filed now. Documents detailing the specifics of the new orders were behind locked doors, a court official told the AP, but court papers obtained by Spears fan site Breathe Heavy indicate that attorney Eardley, who once tried to get Britney's conservatorship case moved to a federal court, has been in touch with Lutfi and Ghalib.
In a January 2008 letter to Spears, Eardley wrote, "You may not be aware of the fact that your civil rights were violated ... Please recognize that aside from some anxiety and depression, which are totally normal under these circumstances, there is nothing wrong with you. But that the court system routinely engages in character assassination to conceal its internal bias and to break you down."
Rolling Stone's Jenny Eliscu examined Jamie Spears' conservatorship when Spears appeared on her most recent Rolling Stone cover, noting that it's unusual for such an order to be placed on an individual who is not judged seriously mentally ill. While Spears' career has had a turnaround since Jamie took over, thanks to her comeback album Circus and a planned tour for later this year, Eliscu says the conservatorship could be trouble:
"It's a problem for her now. And the commissioner recently granted their request to make it permanent. If something doesn't change — if somebody doesn't contest it — it would theoretically remain in effect until her father dies," Eliscu said. "So far, Britney has failed in her attempts to hire her own lawyer."Related Stories:Cover Story: Britney ReturnsBritney Spears: The Rolling Stone Covers and Cover StoriesBehind the Britney Story: A Conversation With Writer Jenny Eliscu