Friend says Spears has mental problems

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image kabc"><span>KABC</span></div><span class="caption-text">Britney Spears arrives at an online gaming tournament hosted by Guy Oseary. (Chris Weeks)</span></div>
January 28, 2008 5:43:07 PM PST
Britney Spears has mental issues, according to her friend and sometimes manager Sam Lutfi. Today on "The View," Barbara Walters paraphrased a statement Lutfi sent to her about how Spears "has been to a psychiatrist" to take care of "mental issues, which are treatable."

"There is a man named Sam Lutfi, who is the manager and very good friend of Britney Spears. He has been staying with her constantly and he got in touch with us," Walters said. "I can't vouch for this. He seemed to be very knowledgeable and he certainly was very nice."

"He said that Britney is suffering from what he describes as mental issues, which are treatable," she continued. "He said that she has been to a psychiatrist and that she, I assume, is starting some kind of treatment. She's been having mood swings, she's been having trouble sleeping, and also she is in touch with her mother, because we had heard she wasn't, and her mother has been very supportive of whatever it is Britney is going to do."

"I said can I discuss this on the air?" Walters added. "He said, yes, you can, and so I have." Reports of Spears having mental illnesses ranging from bipolar disorder to multiple personalities to schizophrenia have swirled since the pop star's breakdown Jan. 3, when she was forced by police to turn over her two young sons to ex-husband Kevin Federline and subsequently spent two nights in Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Since then, Spears has missed multiple court hearings in the custody battle over Jayden James, 1, and Sean Preston, 2, and has frequently been seen out and about on the arm of photographer Adnan Ghalib. Friday, Spears' lawyer scored more time to work on the pop star's other court case, in which she is charged with driving without a valid license.

Over the past year, Spears has been photographed shaving her head in public, furiously attacking a car with an umbrella, and shoplifting a lighter and then bragging about it.