Jurors in Spears trial say evidence was weak
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jurors who heard libel and breach of contract claims by Britney Spears' ex-confidante said they were unimpressed by his case and agreed with a judge's ruling to dismiss his case mid-trial.
Thursday's ruling by Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera was also praised by attorneys for Spears' family and her conservators, who said it was the right result after years of legal fights with Sam Lutfi, who claimed he was the singer's manager and entitled to a share of her fortune.
"It was a very weak case," said Veronica Jones, one of the jurors who spoke to reporters after being released from service Friday morning. "I wasn't convinced that he had a real case, a real strong case. I kept wondering how it got this far."
Jones' comments were echoed by other jurors who sat through more than a week's worth of testimony. Lutfi sued Spears' conservators, claiming he had a valid agreement to serve as her manager. He also sued the singer's mother, Lynne Spears, for libel and her father for hitting him during a confrontation toward the end of her public meltdown in early 2008.
Fellow juror LaJuan Collins said she felt there was a lack of evidence and that the case Lutfi presented seemed "inconsistent each day."
Lynne Spears, who was sued over passages in her book that described Lutfi as a Svengali who used paparazzi as his henchmen, said her daughter was pleased with the outcome. "She's so excited that justice has prevailed," Lynne Spears said.
The singer's father, Jamie Spears, has served as her conservator of her personal affairs since February 2008 and was joined earlier this year by her fiance, Jason Trawick.
"Finally, it's over. The system worked," said Andrew Wallet, an attorney who serves as co-conservator over Britney Spears' estate. "The truth came out," he said, adding that the trial definitively showed that Lutfi never served as Spears' manager.
Jones agreed, saying Lutfi's actions didn't demonstrate work that a manager would have to perform.
She said she sympathized with Spears' mother, who sat through the trial as photos and videos of the singer's erratic behavior were shown and Lutfi's attorney repeatedly described her as a drug addict.
Colins said she also empathized with Britney Spears, who didn't attend the trial, and her parents. "This could be any family," she said. "I feel they did the right thing. They were trying to save their daughter."
Jones, a worker for the city of Pasadena, said the case demonstrated for her the high price of fame and how she wouldn't want her family to go through similar troubles.
"I would rather go to work every day than have my daughter go through all that," Jones said.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP
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