BRITNEY SPEARS’ former manager SAM LUTFI’s links to the paparazzi have come into question as part of a magazine expose on the hardcore photographers who follow the pop star around Los Angeles.
Maxim magazine reporter Michael Joseph Gross infiltrated Britney’s paparazzi army for an article about the individuals who live to chase the singer.
But the piece became more of a hard news look at Lutfi’s publicity efforts after the journalist discovered Spears’ sidekick had a hotline to photographers – and may have tipped them off about Britney’s whereabouts at all times.
Lutfi was served a restraining order on Friday (01Feb08) and instructed to keep his distance from the Spears family after Britney’s mother Lynne claimed the manager had admitted he drugged her daughter.
And now the new Maxim expose suggests Lutfi was making sure his former charge was hounded by the paparazzi.
Gross explains, “The media frenzy (surrounding Spears) was significantly aided and abetted and intensified after Sam Lutfi came on the scene.
“There’s one paparazzi agency that’s emerged as having the inside track on Britney all the time – they’re the ones who know where she is, where she’s going… It’s called X17.
“One of the owners of X17 told me that last year she began getting messages from lots of people with funny names; we know that Sam, in the past, has used a lot of pseudonyms.
“After that she said one day out of the blue, Sam Lutfi called and introduced himself by name, then he started calling more and more often.
“By the time I was with the paparazzi, they were sitting there getting text messages from him at regular intervals telling them where she was, where she was gonna go.”