He’s been described as the Svengali to her unwilling Trilby.
Now, as she continues to soar with her fruitful Vegas residency, Britney Spears has learned that a jury is to decide if her former manager Sam Lufti is owed commissions.
More on Brit’s old (or new) legal drama below…
The pair met in 2007 when Lufti worked as a consultant at a gas station business, and eventually became so close that he accompanied her to a meeting with record executives and began to assist her in making a number of career-related decisions.
He claims they came to an agreement which would see him take %15 of her earnings ($800,000 a month at the time) if she agreed to stop taking drugs and sign an artist-management contract he’d found online.
Unfortunately for him, the intervention of her parents (who believed he was drugging and taking advantage of their troubled daughter) saw their relationship come to a screeching halt, seeing their alleged agreement thrown out of the window.
Lutfi still felt the management contract was breached and that he had performed services until late January 2008, and in response to the claim, attorneys for Lynn and the conservators argued that the oral contract accepted wasn’t enforceable. The defendants pointed to shifting positions about what was allegedly agreed to and the timing of the alleged deal. Lutfi countered that not every term and condition needed to be set forth.
“We must determine whether Sam’s inconsistent testimony as to the start date, the right to terminate, and calculation of his fees shows insufficient clarity of material terms to enforce the alleged contract as a matter of law,” writes appeals court judge Victoria Chavez. “We find that it does not. As set forth above, it is a factual question for the jury to determine whether an oral contract was formed between Sam and Britney, and if so, to interpret the material terms of that contract.”
The judge adds that variance as to dates and terms “do not fundamentally undermine his claim,” adding, “No miscarriage of justice results from permitting a jury to hear and resolve conflicts in evidence about the dates or terms of any such contract.”
A second argument that Lutfi hadn’t shown a meeting of the minds to support a valid contract — as Britney was allegedly under undue influence — can’t stave off another trial either.
“The conservators were required to prove that Sam actively participated in soliciting Britney’s offer to be her manager,” writes Chavez. “Under Sam’s version of the facts, he did no such thing. In addition, the conservators were required to prove that Sam unduly benefitted from the contract. The facts are certainly in conflict on this point. According to Sam, he is owed the standard percentage for management services that he performed during the time in question.”
The contract claim will now head back to the trial court for more proceedings as will an assault claim arising from an allegation that at one point during the feud, Britney’s father,James, punched the ex-manager with accusations of hurting his family.