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Sam Asghari

Britney’s taciturn other half

J Merritt/Getty Images

For almost 14 years, Britney Spears has been locked in a legal conservatorship that meant her father controlled “nearly every aspect” of her life, says Mia Mercado in The Cut. This week an LA judge ruled that is should end. “I felt like I was on cloud 9,” said Spears on Instagram. “I’ve waited long ENOUGH!!!!” In another post the 39-year-old wrote excitedly: “I’m thinking about having another baby!!!”

Spears already has two sons with her ex-husband, Kevin Federline. If she had another child, it would presumably be with her 27-year-old fiancé, Sam Asghari. He moved from Iran to LA when he was 12, met Spears while working as an extra in one of her music videos in 2016 and asked her to marry him this September. I interviewed him and it was a nightmare, says Caity Weaver in The New York Times. “A nascent actor and erstwhile personal trainer”, he is only known for being Spears’s boyfriend. But he refused to acknowledge her, “by name or even oblique reference”, as a condition of granting me an interview.

In person he would only talk about his fitness subscription service. He sat there speaking in monosyllables, flanked by his publicists Brandon (“reticent; black T-shirt; frequently holding phone to ear”) and Maxi (“garrulous; pink plaid suit; frequently everywhere”). Whenever I asked Asghari for his opinion, Maxi would intervene. He would stop Asghari mid-sentence to reapply a ‘Baby Phat Pink Rose Gold Glitter Hydrogel under-eye mask’ to his lips; he’d leave the room, then pop back in to hurry us up; and he’d interrupt questions with his own comments, then say “Delete, delete, delete”.

Weaver ignored Asghari’s request not to mention Spears – her article was headlined “Who is Sam Asghari, Britney Spears’s fiancé?” – and he hit back. “I was surprised to find out even the most reputable publication will break a written agreement,” he wrote on Instagram. “I have great respect for ethical journalism and every other publication in six years has honoured the same agreement that [The] New York Times broke. Water under the bridge.”