By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
April 23, 2019
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.
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.
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.’”
“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?"
“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.