LOS ANGELES - Britney Spears' self-styled manager took the stand in his defamation lawsuit against her parents on Tuesday, claiming he acted to protect her from paparazzi and others during a critical period in her life.
Sam Lufti told jurors how he met Spears at a nightclub in May 2007 and said she struck up a conversation by asking him if she could have his hat.
He said he told her no. "She liked that. She doesn't get told 'no' often. So it was refreshing to hear 'no' once. We started talking, hit it off and she started calling and texting me. We hung out and became friends," he said.
Lufti described the singer at that time as being "in crisis mode. She was very distraught. She was having a child custody battle and was in the middle of a divorce." He added that she also had drug problems.