Fight Over Britney Spears' Finances, Mental State Heats Up

Singer's parents claim she is incapable of testifying in court

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Britney Spears attends the Southern Style St. Bernard Project Event in Beverly Hills, California, May 11, 2011.
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Britney Spears' former manager Sam Lutfi has filed a motion in Los Angeles Superior Court asking a judge to order a psychiatric evaluation of the singer. Lutfi is pursuing a defamation lawsuit against the pop star's mother, Lynne Spears, and wants Britney to give a deposition. Britney's parents have claimed that the singer is mentally incapable of testifying in a court of law. Lutfi cites Britney's recent interviews and promotional activity in support of her new album Femme Fatale as circumstantial evidence of her capacity for logical thinking and mental competency.

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Lutfi, who was fired as Spears' manager in 2008, is pursuing legal action against Lynne Spears in part for her characterization of him as a sinister manipulator in her 2008 memoir Through the Storm. In that book, Lynne claims that he secretly drugged Britney, cut off her means of communication and limited her mobility, effectively acting as her sole gatekeeper.

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Britney is currently under the conservatorship of her father and their family lawyer, Andrew Wallet. If Britney is declared mentally fit by evaluators, it could potentially lead to them losing control over the singer's career and estate.