The internet loves to speculate about the love lives of celebrities - and after Britney Spears announced her engagment to partner Sam Asghari after being together for more than four years, many were convinced that the two had already married in secret, due to Spears referring to Asghari as her “husband” on social media.
However, Asghari has recently shut those rumours down by announcing that a date for the big day has officially been set.
The pop superstar, who last year celebrated a legal victory in the conservatorship that controls her life and career, also recently announced that she is pregnant.
This is everything you need to know about her partner, 27-year-old Sam Asghari, and how they met.
Who is Sam Asghari?
According to Men’s Health, whom Asghari did an interview with in 2018, he was born in Tehran, Iran, on 4 March 1994.
He was the youngest of four, and when he was two his father moved to LA with the hopes that his family would be able to eventually join him in America.
In 2006, Asghari joined his father in the US at 12-years-old, however his mother, Fatima, and his sisters, Maddy, Ellie and Faye, would stay behind.
Asghari said: “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.”
In high school, Asghari joined the football team which eventually led to him taking part in a football programme at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, however he was cut before his freshman year. After getting cut, Asghari went back to LA to play for Moorpark College.
He then gave up on football and enrolled in Los Angeles Pierce College to study criminal justice - whilst he was there, he worked three jobs to support himself, as a Best Buy clerk, Gold’s Gym sales rep, and nightclub bouncer.
During this time, Asghari ended up gaining a lot of weight and in 2013 he decided to make a change. He quit his jobs at Best Buy and at the nightclub, and decided to pursue a career in fitness.
He said: “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”.”
According to Men’s Health, Asghari dropped almost 100 pounds in six months. In 2015 his sister Faye, who had moved to the US by this point, suggested Asghari tried his hand at modelling. She suggested Michael Costella, who was a fashion designer and close friend.
Asghari said: “I was a very masculine guy - I played football and was in the police academy. At the time, my Sunday best was basketball shorts.
“My sister said, “I will take you to this audition, just come with me”.”
His audition led to his first runway show in Palm Springs and from there Asghari booked more modelling jobs, music video gigs and acting.
Many might recognise Asghari from his role in the Work From Home music video by Fifth Harmony, where he played a construction worker.
Asghari has an estimated net worth of around $1 million, with website What’s Their Net Worth stating: “Our website has round figured his net wealth by approximating the payments he got from the acting, modelling, and training.”
How did they meet - and how long have they been together?
As part of Asghari’s newfound career in performing, in 2016 he was cast in the music video for Slumber Party by Britney Spears.
He said that between takes on set, he tried to break the ice with Spears.
He said: “She said, “Hi, I’m Britney,” and I said, “I’m sorry. What’s your name again?”
“I tried to be funny. I don’t think anybody got it.”
However his initial failed attempt at humour wasn’t enough to put Spears off Asghari, and the two ended up talking more between breaks on set.
Talking to ET Online, Asghari said: “At the music video, we connected. We talked. We talked at the music video about what [we] like to eat - sushi - and then [exchanged] text messages and the next thing you know, [we’re] just like a normal couple.”
Spears announced their relationship on Instagram on New Year’s Day 2017 with a photo of her and Asghari.
Speaking about her relationship, Spears said in a radio interview: “I found his number in my bag. I was like, “He is really cute, this guy is really cute”... So I called him and ever since then, he is just a really fun, funny person.”
In 2018, Spears shared on Instagram that they had now been together for over a year, writing: “I’ve been with this man for over a year... everyday he inspires me to be a better person and that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world!! @samasghari.”
What has he said about Spears and her conservatorship arrangement?
When Framing Britney Spears aired, which was a documentary about Spears and her conservatorship arrangement, Asghari told Entertainment Tonight: “I have always wanted nothing but the best for my better half and will continue to support her following her dreams and creating the future she wants and deserves.”
After the documentary aired, Asghari took to Instagram to express his feelings and confirmed that he was not a fan of Spears’ father, Jamie.
He wrote: “Now it’s important for people to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way.
“In my opinion James is a total dick. I won’t be going into details because I’ve always respected our privacy but at the same time I didn’t come to this country to not be able to express my opinion and freedom.”
Whilst Spears spoke out in court about her conservatorship, Asghari posted a selfie of himself wearing a t-shirt with the words “Free Britney” on it.
The #FreeBritney movement began in 2009, when a Britney Spears fansite started the campaign in response to the news of her conservatorship.
Those behind the #FreeBritney hashtag fear that the singer is being controlled and manipulated through her conservatorship arrangement, and that she should be released from it.
Do they have children together?
Spears and Asghari do not have any children together currently - however in April, Spears announced that she was pregnant with fiance Asghari.
The news came after the singer told the court in 2021 that she was unable to “get married or have a baby” under her controversial conservatorship arrangement.
Speaking out in court, Spears said that the arrangement required her to use birth control and that it prevented her from having her IUD (intrauterine device) removed.
Spears said: “I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone. And I’m tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights, having a child or any of those things.”
The singer is mother to two children from her previous relationship with Kevin Federline, 15-year-old Sean and 14-year-old Jayden.
How did they announce the engagement?
Both Spears and Asghari posted their own announcements on Instagram - Asghari posted a photo in which the two are kissing, but their faces are obscured by Spears’ hand showing off the engagement ring.
Spears posted a video on Instagram with a number of clips of her and Asghari posing with the ring.
In her caption, she wrote: “I can’t f***ing believe it!!!!!!”
Also on Instagram, New York City jewellers Forever Diamonds said in its own post that it had designed the ring.
The business reshared a screenshot from Spears’ video and Asghari’s photo, as well as a video of a close up of the ring, revealing the word “lioness” engraved on the inside.
The Forever Diamonds NYC website states that the ring was custom designed by Roman Malayev, and that it has dubbed the design “the Britney”.
It said: “Working hand in hand with Forever Diamonds NY Founder and Master Jeweler Roman Malayev to create this custom design, Sam [Asghari] selected a four carat round brilliant stone in a platinum cathedral setting.
“He enhanced this timeless floating solitaire design with pavé detailing on the bridge and flush set diamonds on the prongs and basket, adding a sentimental touch by engraving "Lioness," his personal nickname for her, on the inside of the band.”
Is a wedding date set yet?
Asghari posted on his Instagram story a tribute to Spears on the American date for Mother’s Day, which he captioned: “Our lives [have] ben a real life fairytale.”
He added: “Happy Mother’s Day to you my soon to be queen.”
Asghari said that a date for “the big day has been set”, however did not share the actual date itself.
He wrote that “nobody will know until the day after”, suggesting that the ceremony could be a small and private affair.