The civil trial pitting Britney Spears' ex-manager Sam Lutfi against the singer's conservatorship and her parents opened ugly Thursday, with accusations of drug abuse and a desperate attempt to hide addiction leveled against Spears by Lutfi's lawyer.
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Sam Lutfi was so heartless ... he would hide Britney Spears' precious pooch from her and watch her cry and then save the day by "finding it" ... so claims lawyers for Britney's family.
In their opening statements, lawyers for Lynne Spears and the conservatorship told the jury ... Sam tried to look like a savior to Britney and would stoop so low as to emotionally torture her.
Britney's side is painting Sam as a master manipulator who would prey on the singer's weaknesses to build himself up and at the same time create distance between Britney and her family.
Lawyers for the defense in the Britney Spears trial have just blamed Britney's breakup with Justin Timberlake for her downward spiral that ultimately got her 5150'd, TMZ has learned.
According to a lawyer for Lynne Spears and Britney -- who made opening statements for the defense just moments ago -- the breakup with Justin ended in pain and sent the singer in a downward spiral.
According to the lawyer, prior to the relationship with Justin, Britney was a "ray of light." But after the breakup ... she became "angered and depressed."
Interesting ... because based on JT's "Cry Me a River" video, we were under the impression that he dumped Britney's ass because she cheated on him.
Story developing ...
Britney Spears took a huge amount of amphetamines the night she was strapped to a stretcher and placed on a 5150 hold -- so claims Sam Lutfi's lawyer in the opening statements of his defamation case.
Lutfi's lawyer, Joseph Schleimer, told the jury, on January 28, 2008, Britney had an amphetamine script filled. Schleimer says she took 6 to 8 pills early in the day, and several more later and went off the rails.
Lutfi's lawyer also said he tried to get Britney to meet with a psychiatrist 2 days before she was 5150'd, but Brit refused.
And there's this ... during Britney's disastrous appearance on the MTV Awards in 2007, Lutfi felt she was such a mess she shouldn't do it, because she was overweight and didn't rehearse, but Britney wouldn't hear it.
Britney Spears was super-paranoid that her hair contained traces of the hardcore drugs she was using -- and that's why she SHAVED IT ALL OFF during her infamous 2007 meltdown ... at least according to Sam Lutfi.
Sam's lawyer, Joseph Schleimer, has been telling the court ... Britney was a serious drug-abuser ... who had a penchant for crystal meth.
Schleimer suggested Britney was concerned that a judge would test her hair for drugs -- and when it turned up positive, she would lose custody of her kids.
So, Britney ... being Britney ... believed that if she chopped off her hair, she could beat the drug test ... at least that's what Lutfi's lawyer is implying.
Britney's side has yet to respond.
The "Britney Spears" trial has officially begun, and right out the gate Sam Lutfi's lawyer told the jury ... "She liked to use amphetamines. Most everything that went wrong was because of this drug."
Sam's lawyer, Joseph Schleimer, admitted in opening statements ... Sam used Adderall (an amphetamine) for ADD, but he was adamant, Sam never gave her the drug.
And Schleimer claimed, Sam repeatedly told Britney she needed to get off drugs, to no avail. Schleimer says Sam wanted to bring a new team in -- he called it "the varsity team" -- to help save her.
And Schleimer says in an attempt to clean Brit's house of drugs, he brought in a drug-sniffing dog and found a baggie of crystal meth.
Schleimer also said Britney's dad Jamie Spears attacked Sam while Sam was working for Britney, punching Sam and knocking the wind out of him.
As for Sam's managerial role with Britney -- Schleimer says Britney approached HIM to be her manager, offering 15% of her total earnings ... $800,000 a month when she wasn't on tour, and MILLIONS when she was.
Schleimer also gives Sam credit for hooking Britney up with her fiance Jason Trawick -- claiming he introduced the two at Jason's Halloween party in 2007.
Britney Spears' lawyers will come out of the gate swinging in Sam Lutfi's lawsuit against her and her family ... calling BS on his argument that the singer was on drugs and he was trying to save her.
Sources connected with the case tell us ... lawyers for the conservatorship will scoff at Lutfi from the get-go, noting that he is suing her because he claims she signed a contract making him her manager.
Their point -- how can someone deep into drugs be competent enough to sign any contract, and what's the point of signing a contract if she's too wasted to perform?
Lutfi claims Britney was on meth and other drugs and he worked 24/7 to rehab her, to no avail. Lawyers for Britney and Lynne Spears will make the case that Sam was like a sleazy drug pusher and fame whore who fueled Britney with drugs to control her and isolate her from her friends and family.
While lawyers, jurors and reporters hear all about the meltdown of Britney Spears and who's responsible for her drug-fueled downward spiral, Britney was enjoying a frothy drink at Starbucks in Encino.
Check out her boots ... and her bangs.
Britney will not have to take the oath, because the judge in the defamation case has ruled she does not have to testify since she's currently under a conservatorship.
She may not be present in court, but Sam Lutfi is hell-bent on putting her life on trial.