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NEW YORK — Barbara Walters says she has been contacted by Britney Spears’ manager and “very good friend,” Sam Lutfi, who says the pop singer has seen a psychiatrist.
Lutfi told her the 26-year-old pop singer “is suffering from what he describes as mental issues which are treatable,” Walters said Monday on ABC’s “The View.”
“He said that she has been to a psychiatrist and that she, I assume, is starting some kind of treatment,” said Walters, a co-host on the ABC daytime talk show.
“She has been having mood swings. She’s been having trouble sleeping, and also she is in touch with her mother — ’cause we had heard she wasn’t — and her mother has been very supportive of whatever it is that Britney is going to do,” Walters said.
Lutfi has been staying with Spears constantly, “and he got in touch with us,” Walters said. “I can’t vouch for this, he seemed to be very knowledgeable and he certainly was very nice.”
Spears’ attorney, Sorrell Trope, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment Monday. Spears’ spokeswoman at Jive Records, Gina Orr, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Spears has spiraled downward since filing for divorce from Kevin Federline in November 2006. Her bizarre public antics include shaving her head bald, attacking a car with an umbrella and bringing along a paparazzo pal on trips to a Los Angeles courthouse in her custody case with Federline.
The singer was taken to a Los Angeles hospital by paramedics earlier this month after police were called to her home because of a dispute involving her sons Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1. She has lost custody and visitation rights with the boys.
Spears reportedly has had a rocky relationship with her mother, Lynne Spears, whose book about raising her family in the spotlight was put on indefinite hold last month after younger daughter, Jamie Lynn, 16, announced that she is pregnant.
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