Britney Spears and her mother Lynne's attempts to reconcile have been hampered by a public dispute between the singer's friends.

Lynne Spears visited her daughter's Los Angeles home on Monday only to be left alone as the Toxic star chose to spend time with her on-off boyfriend, paparazzo Adnan Ghalib.

The singer and her mother travelled to a Mercedes Benz dealership the following day, but onlookers claim they argued frequently, with Britney pulling her new Escalade to the side of the road at one point to shout at her mother.

However a dispute between Britney and her manager and confidante Sam Lufti soon derailed attempts at a reconciliation, with police officers and paparazzi assembling outside the singer's home and Ghalib later moved to release a statement clarifying the incident.

It has been reported that Lufti has sent abusive text messages to British-born Ghalib in which he advises the snapper to stay away from Britney, sparking a row between Spears and Lufti.

Ghalib later arrived at the North Hollywood residence to speak to Britney but was turned away, according to In Touch Weekly.

He has since issued a statement through his FinalPixx photo agency, which reads: "The truth is that Sam Lufti started an argument with Britney and the two ended up in a screaming fight.

"Sam continued to verbally abuse Britney as she sat barefoot on the curb at her Summit home crying holding her dog London."

The statement continues: "Britney called Adnan for help and he heard the distress in her voice and drove to the Summit immediately. While outside the gates he was denied access as Sam Lutfi had informed the guards that he was not allowed entry.

"When Adnan then tried to call Britney it seems that Sam had turned all of her cell phones off."

It was reported yesterday that sales of celebrity magazines such as In Touch Weekly, Star and Us Weekly have soared in the last year, with many Editors attributing the increased popularity of their publications to Britney's headline-making behaviour.

30/01/2008 11:43:51