Britney Spears’s husband, Sam Asghari, whom she married after she had been released from the conservatorship that controlled her life for more than a decade, filed for divorce on Wednesday after a little more than a year of marriage, according to Los Angeles court records.
The couple’s marriage in California in June 2022 was one of Ms. Spears’s first major life decisions known to the public after a judge had terminated the conservatorship that governed her personal life and her finances for more than 13 years. Months earlier, the singer had made an anguished speech to a judge in which she said that the conservatorship was “abusive” and was preventing her from getting married and having another child.
According to the divorce filing, which was submitted in Los Angeles Superior Court, the couple separated on July 28. Mr. Asghari cited irreconcilable differences as the legal grounds for divorce.
A lawyer for Ms. Spears, Mathew Rosengart, declined to comment.
The battle over Ms. Spears’s conservatorship prompted a re-examination of the way her tribulations and struggles had been breathlessly covered more than 15 years earlier by glossy magazines, supermarket tabloids, mainstream newspapers and television shows, with some publications issuing public apologies. But the rumors of her latest divorce made headlines around the world even before the court papers had been filed, raising questions about how much had changed.
Ms. Spears’s marriage to Mr. Asghari, a personal trainer, is her third. Her first marriage, to her childhood friend Jason Allan Alexander, was annulled after only a few days in 2004, when she was 22. In 2006, she filed for divorce from Kevin Federline, her second husband and the father of her two children, after two years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
Ms. Spears and Mr. Asghari met in 2016, when he appeared in a music video for her single “Slumber Party,” the couple have said in interviews. Since then, the two have made regular appearances on each other’s social media accounts, with Ms. Spears’s famously personal Instagram documenting their home life and travels. Shortly before the couple were married, Ms. Spears announced that she had experienced a miscarriage.
The conservatorship was established in 2008 amid concerns about her mental health. Her father, James P. Spears, went on to exercise control over her personal life and her finances even as she continued to perform and generate significant profits as a globally known pop star.
The restrictive nature of the conservatorship was described in news accounts and documentary films, and thousands of fans formed what became known as the #FreeBritney movement, helping to draw attention to her plight.
Ms. Spears publicly addressed her struggles with the conservatorship in detail for the first time in 2021, when she told the judge overseeing her case that the arrangement had been “demoralizing” and said that she had been drugged and compelled to work against her will. She said that she had been “traumatized” and that “I just want my life back.”
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” Ms. Spears told the court. “I was told right now in the conservatorship I am not able to get married or have a baby.”
TMZ was first to report the news of the couple’s divorce proceedings. In the court filing, Mr. Asghari noted that he would be seeking spousal support.
In a statement, Brandon Cohen, a representative for Mr. Asghari, said that he had no intention of challenging the couple’s prenuptial agreement and that Mr. Asghari “has always” supported Ms. Spears “and will always support her.”
Ms. Spears’s loyal fan base is awaiting her own account of the conservatorship and its demise. The singer’s memoir, called “The Woman in Me,” is set for release on Oct. 24.
POST AUTHOR: Julia Jacobs and Claire Moses