Why we're also celebrating Britney Spears' divorce

The pop star's 14-month-long marriage is ending, and fans are rejoicing

By Nardos Haile

Staff Writer

Published August 21, 2023 7:35PM (EDT)

Singer Britney Spears (Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic/Getty Images)
Singer Britney Spears (Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Britney Spears and her long-term partner, Sam Asghari have decided to call it quits and everyone's celebrating – the pop star, as well as her fans.

Last week, it was reported that Asghari filed for divorce from Britney after six years together citing "irreconcilable differences." He is asking for spousal support and his legal fees to be paid by Britney.

The couple was together through the end of Britney's tumulous court battle against her father, Jaime Spears, and his control over her through an "abusive" 13-year-long conservatorship. 

After the divorce filing went public, the pop star threw herself festivities that seemingly looked like a divorce party. She shared with her followers a video of a man licking up and down her leg, and a group of shirtless men holding her horizontally by a pool. 

Despite the shock and pain of the breakup, she said, "I'm actually doing pretty damn good." 

Asghari also posted on his story: "After 6 years of love and commitment to each other, my wife and I have decided to end our journey together. We will hold onto the love and respect we have for each other and I wish her the best always."

Despite that statement, Pagesix rumors were circling that following the court filing, Asghari was testing their prenuptial agreement which is set in place to protect Spears' estimated $60 million personal fortune. But in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, he denied that he had any intention to challenge the prenup and allegations that he threatened to extort his soon-to-be ex-wife. 

"All these claims are false, as no negative intention has ever been directed towards her and never will be. Sam has always and will always support her," Asghari's representative told THR.

So why is the internet, especially Britney fans, rejoicing as if she's been freed of a controlling conservatorship again? Her fans alleged that her marriage to Asghari acted as another form of control in a long line of men who have sought to control the singer's life and fortune. Numerous posts across social media emphasized the same #FreeBritney sentiments that called attention to the alleged exploitation she faced during the conservatorship. 

While he supported Spears during the trial, spoke out against her father and the conservatorship — people were still unsure of Asghari's role in her's life. In 2021, shortly after Britney's conservatorship was terminated, the couple revealed to the public they were engaged on social media. Oscar-winning actress Olivia Spencer commented on the post urging her to "sign a prenup."

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The widespread concerns for Britney's relationships with men date as far back as the late '90s because she grew up in the public eye as a sexual object for the media, men and the public to exploit. As a sexualized minor in the '90s, she publically stated that she was waiting until marriage to have sex but her then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake revealed on a radio show that they had slept together. Her second marriage with Kevin Federline took a nose dive shortly after it began in 2004, citing "irreconcilable differences" and of course their bitter custody battle over their two sons. It was during this time that her father put her under the infamous conservatorship that would have her under lock and key for 13 years. 

Under all these circumstances, her marriage to Asghari was supposed to be a positive change in the star's embattled life but the relationship allegedly derailed as Spears found more freedom after the end of the conservatorship. Her newfound freedom allegedly changed the dynamic in their relationship, feeling like Asghari was encroaching on her independence.

That's why seeing Spears party with a slew of her friends in Los Angeles is almost a relief — people are overjoyed that she is relishing her freedom and independence. For a woman who has been tied down to men's whims throughout her adolescence and her adulthood, it's refreshing to see her stay the same — unapologetically voicing her vulnerability while dancing in her underwear on Instagram or throwing a divorce party filled with random men.  







By Nardos Haile

Nardos Haile is a staff writer at Salon covering culture. She’s previously covered all things entertainment, music, fashion and celebrity culture at The Associated Press. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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Britney Spears Commentary Conservatorship Divorce Sam Asghari