"Does Britney Spears want out from under her daddy's thumb?
That was the big storyline today as a Los Angeles court heard testimony on whether to extend the restraining orders barring former manager/sidekick Sam Lutfi and other hangers-on from having contact with the "Toxic" singer.
Attorney John Anderson took the stand this morning and told Superior Court Commissioner Aviva K. Bobb that he was asked to represent the pop star in a battle to free her from the conservatorship controlled by her father, Jamie Spears.
"A person who purported to be Lutfi told me that all of Britney Spears' phone rights were cut off," he said, adding that he was also told that the mother of two was under tight control by her father and virtually "in prison."
Anderson testified that he drew up papers to be retained as counsel and in turn received copies back allegedly signed by Spears herself.
He said he was made aware that another court-appointed attorney had already been assigned to Spears, but was told the singer was "not confident" in the other legal eagle's abilities and wanted to hire a new representative in the courtroom.
Eventually, Anderson told the court, he did contact the attorneys representing Spears' conservatorship, who dissuaded him from attempting to further pursue working for the star.
Anderson said he voluntarily ended his involvement in the Spears legal debacle on Jan. 28 of this year, after learning Jamie Spears and the conservatorship were getting temporary restraining orders against Lutfi, former Britney boyfriend Adnan Ghalib and Eardley.
The orders were obtained Jan. 30. During his testimony in February, Jamie Spears said he had evidence the trio was trying to undermine the conservatorship, and he labeled ostensible mastermind Lutfi a "predator."
For his part, Lutfi has filed suit against the Spearses - Britney, for unpaid management fees, and Jamie and Lynn for slander as well as a host of other grievances.
Last month, Bobb extended the restraining order against Ghalib to three years after the former paparazzo failed to show at any of his three previous hearings on the matter. Today's hearing will help the commissioner determine whether to do likewise for Lutfi and Eardley."