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Britney Spears' Mom Loses Defamation Appeal; Court Rules Ex-Manager Isn't 'Libel-Proof'

Britney Spears' mom has lost an effort to convince a California Court of Appeal to toss a defamation claim made by Britney's former manager.

Sam Lutfi, who repped the pop star for about five months in 2007-08, sued Lynne Spears over comments in her 2008 book, Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World. The elder Spears painted a portrait of Lutfi as a predatory Svengali-type who drugged Britney and served as a gatekeeper for all others. Specifically, the book referred to Lufti as a "predator," a "fake" and a "shifty" man, and accused him of "planning evil" and using paparazzi as his "henchmen."

Spears attempted to have the case tossed at the trial court using Calfiornia's strong free speech laws, and when the judge ruled against her, she argued on appeal that the trial court erred when it didn't dismiss the defamation cause of action on a libel-proof claim (the legal theory being that Lutfi's reputation was so bad that he essentially couldn't be defamed). But the appeals court has now rejected that argument, so the case goes back to the trial court.   

Lutfi was repped on the appeal by attorney Joe Schleimer. Michael Adler and Joel Tantalo are representing Spears.