As some fans express concern about pop singer Britney Spears, she was photographed for the first time in months with her longtime boyfriend, Sam Ashghari. The photos emerged Sunday after Spears reportedly entered a mental health facility in early April.
Here are some things to know about Asghari:
Younger than his superstar girlfriend
Born in Tehran, Iran, on March 4, 1994, Asghari is 12 years Spears’ junior. The youngest of four children, Asghari moved with his father to the U.S. in 2006 when he was 12 years old. His mother and sisters stayed behind.
“I had to leave my friends and family, who I was very close with, and I knew I was moving away and never coming back,” Asghari told Men’s Health in a 2018 interview.
Model and fitness trainer turned actor
Asghari worked as a model in Los Angeles and later got into fitness training.
“I was eating Doritos for breakfast, fast food, sugar, candy, no protein, a lot of carbs, and drinking sugary sodas,” Asghari told Men’s Health. “My nutrition was extremely horrible. The stress and the fear of not going anywhere (in life) combined gave me my depression.”
At 19 years old, Asghari was cut from University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s summer football program and had to move back to Los Angeles. He focused on his health and made changes to lose 100 pounds from his 6-foot-2 frame. He got into fitness training after not liking what he saw in the mirror in 2013 and enrolled in Moorpark College to play football.
He soon left Moorpark and football completely and enrolled in Los Angeles Pierce College to study criminal justice, He worked three jobs to support himself.
According to the Men’s Health profile, he ultimately quit two jobs and got to work in fitness training, teaching himself through YouTube videos and signing up for Gold's Gym’s nutrition course.
“I told the general manager (at Gold’s), ‘I want to be a personal trainer, and learn about the human body and the scientific aspects of it,' and he said, ‘Sam, whatever makes you happy.’”
Met Spears at work
Asghari’s work as a model-turned-actor got him gigs in commercials and music videos like a 2016 Toyota Prius Super Bowl ad and Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” clip. He met Spears when he got a last-minute call to join her “Slumber Party” music video shoot in October 2016.
“I was excited that I get to meet one of the biggest artists of all time,” he said. “I had butterflies.”
The two spoke to each other during breaks in the video shoot and exchanged numbers.
“We started talking about sushi and the things we like,” Spears said in a January 2017 radio interview. “(I said), ‘We should go to sushi one day… yeah, let’s just do this and let’s do this,’ and he goes, ‘OK, I’ll give you my number after the (video shoot).’ So it wasn’t even like a serious thing; it was just one of those things where we were having a conversation to get through the experience, you know?”
Five months later, Spears found Asghari’s number at the bottom of her bag and gave him a call. They quietly dated since then and made things official with a New Year’s Day post in 2017.
He supports Spears
When reports emerged that Spears was entering a mental health treatment facility, Asghari subtly posted a message of support on Instagram.
When TMZ caught up with the fitness trainer two days after their photographed Easter outing, he said his girlfriend was “doing great.”
“She’s doing amazing,” Asghari said. “Her fans are so amazing to be so concerned, but she’s doing great. Nobody needs to worry. She’s doing amazing. She’ll be back soon.”
Asghari told Men’s Health Spears motivates him the most out of anyone in his life.
“It’s crazy how I can be humbled by a person like her,” Asghari said of Spears. “If I could be that humble when I’m that high in life, that would be the best thing. I grew up with three sisters, and my personality is just to be a supportive person for my family and she’s family. I’m always going to support her. She is another blessing that happened to me.”
That support goes both ways: Asghari said Spears is supporting him as he pursues a movie career.
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