Britney Spears has "mental issues", manager says

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sam Lufti, the manager and companion of troubled pop star Britney Spears, has said the singer suffers from “mental issues” and has seen a psychiatrist, talk show host Barbara Walters revealed on Monday.

On her ABC television show “The View,” veteran broadcast journalist Walters said she spoke with Lufti by phone after he reached out to her.

“He said that Britney is suffering from what he describes as mental issues which are treatable,” Walters said on “The View.” “He said that she has been to a psychiatrist and that she, I assume, is starting some kind of treatment.”

Walters said Lufti has been staying with the singer “constantly” and added that Spears has been having “mood swings, she’s been having trouble sleeping.”

Walters said she did not know whether Lufti was indeed telling the truth.

Spears, 26, has seen her life spin out of control in the past year since her late 2006 divorce from ex-husband Kevin Federline.

She has exhibited bizarre behavior in public, including being photographed not wearing underwear, and she and Federline have waged a bitter legal battle over custody of their sons.

Late last year, Spears lost custody and visitation rights to Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, and was ordered to undergo drug and alcohol counseling and parental coaching.

She has failed on numerous occassions to appear in Los Angeles family court for hearings dealing with her and Federline’s custody issues.