updated 10/20/2012 AT 4:05 PM ET
•originally published 10/20/2012 AT 1:15 PM ET
An attorney for Britney Spears’s father Jamie told jurors in a Los Angeles courtroom on Friday that the struggle to get control of the pop star during her breakdown beginning in 2007 became a “battle for life and death.”
In day two of the trial between Britney’s former confidante Sam Lutfi and her family, Jamie Spears’s attorney Leon Gladstone portrayed Britney’s parents as humble, working-class folks from Kentwood, La., who supported her Mouseketeer beginnings, grew overwhelmed by their daughter’s superstardom and who ultimately took extreme measures to save her life.
Lutfi, 38, is suing Britney, 30, for allegedly not paying him 15 percent of her earnings as her purported manager; Jamie Spears for alleged battery; and Lynne Spears for defaming him in her 2008 book, Through the Storm.
Gladstone said Britney’s parents saw her as “a ray of light, humble and nice,” but that began to change after her painful breakup with Justin Timberlake in 2002, leaving their daughter “depressed and angry” in her early 20s.
Things went from bad to worse, Gladstone said, citing Britney’s annulled 55-hour marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander, which he called the “beginning of behavior that became increasingly bizarre,” and her marriage to Kevin Federline in Oct. 2004, which he said was another “impulsive decision.”