Britney Spears' temporary restraining order against former manager Sam Lutfi has been extended, Billboard reports. The decision came from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny, who heard testimony from Lutfi and Spears' father, Jamie Spears.
The news comes in the wake of a complicated legal situation for Spears. Since suffering from a public mental health crisis in 2007, Spears' father Jamie has conservatorship over the singer. (Attorney Andrew Wallet, who also acted as conservator, resigned earlier in 2019.) The conservatorship allows Jamie to make certain decisions in Spears' life, and he is entrusted with managing both her physical and mental health as well as her finances.
In January of 2019, Spears canceled her planned Vegas show Domination, citing her father's health issues as reason for her work hiatus. After Spears was admitted to a mental health facility in April of 2019, fans spearheaded the #FreeBritney campaign on social media. Many believe that Spears' father is keeping Spears' under his thumb for nefarious reasons, though Spears, via an Instagram video, adamantly denied any drama. Some fans even protested outside a West Hollywood courthouse when Spears made an appearance in May.
Britney Spears’ fans have gathered outside West Hollywood City Hall demanding #FreeBritney. The #FreeBritney hashtag has been trending on social media after allegations were made on the “Britney’s Gram” podcast that the singer is being held against her will. @etnow pic.twitter.com/SfWLETZWLw— Brendon Geoffrion (@tv_brendon) April 22, 2019
Lutfi comes into play because he seems to be taking part in the #FreeBritney campaign. In court documents, Jamie alleged that Lutfi incited fans with his Twitter account where Lutfi was critical of his control over his daughter. Jamie accused Lutfi, who was close to Spears in 2007 and 2008 and briefly served as her manager, of being a "predator" who continues to harass the Spears family. The judge sided with Jamie's version of events.
The news comes after the courts granted Spears a temporary restraining order against Lutfi, which was issued in May. The new "permanent" restraining order will reportedly last five years, after which Spears can request a new one.
Spears was first granted a restraining order from Lutfi in 2009 after Spears' mother Lynne claimed that he was a controlling force in Spears' life. He reportedly put himself in charge of Spears' medication, limited who Spears interacted with, and acted as her spokesperson.
In May of this year, Spears asked a judge to consider ending the conservatorship with her father. She will go through an evaluation to determine competency, and the next hearing for this issue will be held in September.
Refinery29 has reached out to Spears for comment.