July 31, 2008 / 8:21 PM / 11 years ago

Britney Spears' dad still in charge

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A judge on Thursday extended the conservatorship over pop star Britney Spears’ personal affairs for five months, leaving control of the singer’s business and legal matters to her father and a lawyer.

Britney Spears performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas, September 9, 2007. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Separately, her father, Jamie Spears, agreed to drop a restraining order against her self-styled former manager, Sam Lutfi. He was Spears’ near-constant companion through most of 2007 as her personal life seemed to spin out of control.

The ruling on the conservatorship followed a closed-door meeting between Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz, who is presiding over the matter, and attorneys for Spears and others involved in the case.

“It is my understanding that Ms. Spears is reluctantly agreeing that we extend the temporary letters (of conservatorship),” Goetz said in issuing her ruling.

No other details emerged about the conservatorship, Spears’ health or business matters.

Spears, 26, rose to fame as a teenage singing sensation. But in late 2006 and throughout 2007, her personal life seemed to slip into a downward spiral of bizarre public behavior.

The blonde-haired native of Kentwood, Louisiana, began wearing pink wigs and started talking in a British accent, among other things.

In January she was taken to Los Angeles-area hospitals twice and held for psychiatric evaluations. In February Jamie Spears and Los Angeles attorney Andrew Wallet were made co-conservators of her estate.

But in recent months, Spears has seemed to be on the mend, working on a TV show, recording a new CD and settling a custody battle over her two sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Still, Goetz extended to December 31 the co-conservators’ ability to make decisions for her, and said the matter was subject to review on October 28. The judge also set another hearing date for December 22.


Also on Thursday, Jamie Spears’ attorney Jeffrey Wexler asked Los Angeles judge Aviva Bobb to cancel a hearing on extending a restraining order against Lutfi.

The keep away order expires at the end of Thursday.

“Mr. Spears and Mr. Lutfi have reached a private agreement and no hearing or order is required at this time,” Wexler said outside of court.

A source with knowledge of Spears’ affairs, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the legal issue, said Lutfi would not be going near Spears.

“He’s going to be respectful,” said the source.

Lutfi was unavailable for comment.

Spears’ attorney Samuel Ingham said in a statement on Wednesday that the conservatorship gives Jamie Spears adequate power to keep Lutfi away. He also said that Jamie Spears would take legal action if he tried to contact her when the conservatorship ends.

“Britney has made clear to everyone that she does not want to be further harassed or contacted in any way by Osama ‘Sam’ Lutfi,” Ingham’s statement said.

Lutfi’s former spokesman, Michael Sands, issued his own statement saying his one-time client had become a “tabloid villain” and adding “everything will work out.”

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Xavier Briand

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