Sam Lutfi is quickly earning a name for himself as young Hollywood’s most infamous Svengali. Earlier this month, he became connected to Amanda Bynes’s most recent psychiatric hold. According to reports, Sam convinced Bynes to fly out to LA, ostensibly to meet with some lawyers and sue her parents. This is corroborated by Bynes’s tweet to Lutfi, thanking him and gushing, “you feel like a brother to me.”
Turns out Lutfi, who was working with Bynes’s parents all along, actually betrayed the star by bringing her straight to a treatment center. Bynes is now in a 14-day psychiatric hold, as her parents wait to hear whether they’ll be granted conservatorship.
Lutfi had his “supporting actor in a celebrity meltdown” debut way back in 2007, when he was revealed as a central figure in Britney Spears’s 2007-2008 blue period. Laboring under the moniker of Spears’s manager, Lutfi began “setting up private meetings with Britney and press photographers at her home, so [they] could get to know her as a human being.” He contacted media outlets on the star’s behalf, and purportedly managing her home, finances, medications, and social life. Eventually, the then 33-year-old Lutfi was hit with a restraining order by the Spears family, issued the same day a court turned control over Britney’s affairs over to her father and a lawyer.
Despite his previous (text message!) statement to the Associated Press, in which he insisted that, “I have no problems with anyone writing anything negative against me. My image is not of concern, hers is,” Lutfi quickly struck back with a defamation suit against the Spears family. Of course, Lutfi’s suit against the family was chock full of the sorts of allegations that any good manager would never have leaked to the press—such as the revelation that Spears cut her hair in an attempt to evade possible drug tests, or that Spears bragged about pulling in $800,000 a month “even when I’m not working.”
But the insensitivity doesn’t stop there. Five years later, Lutfi took to Twitter under the guise of congratulating Spears for her recent comeback, sharing, “But anyhow haters, she seems happy and looks better than ever, am happy for her…”
Sweet, right? If only Lutfi hadn’t gone on to post a series of texts he alleged were from Britney’s dark 2007-2008 years—deeply personal, incoherent missives Spears surely would not have wanted to be shared.
So is Sam Lutfi a legitimate manager or just a nasty opportunist? To answer this question accurately would probably require a much fuller picture of shady Sam, whose background is just about as suspect as his motives.
While public records show that Lutfi was born on August 16, 1974, in Los Angeles, that’s about the beginning and end of what we know for sure. Despite a LinkedIn profile claiming that the “Independent Media Production Professional” attended USC, the school’s website does not list Lutfi as an alumnus. Additionally, Lutfi’s Britney beef was far from his first legal battle—according to The LA Times, “Accusations in at least three prior orders range from obscene messages following a business deal to a neighbor who said he was hounded incessantly and threatened with bodily harm.”
After his spectacular Spears termination, Lutfi reportedly starting working for another controversial female celebrity—Courtney Love. But Sam more or less managed to stay out of the limelight until he was connected to the star of Sydney White. Once again, we’re left guessing as to the nature of the relationship between Lutfi and the starlet he’s “helping”—and left wondering where he’ll pop up next.