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Sam Asghari wooed Britney Spears on the set of a 2016 music video but their romance had an inauspicious start.
The Iranian actor and fitness instructor, 27, landed a role on the video for Slumber Party but admitted his first attempt at breaking the ice did not go as planned.
He told Men’s Health in 2018: “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.”
Luckily for Asghari, Spears, 39, was not turned off by his failed attempt at humour and they started talking between breaks and built up enough of a rapport that they exchanged numbers before filming wrapped.
The pop superstar then invited the aspiring model for sushi and they have been together since, announcing their engagement on Sunday.
For Asghari, it capped a remarkable journey.
Asghari was born in Tehran and moved to the US in 2006 aged 12.
He played American football as a teenager and worked as a fitness instructor at a Gold’s Gym in Los Angeles after struggling while holding down multiple jobs – including nightclub bouncer.
Asghari’s sister suggested he try modelling and he enjoyed early success, with gigs including a 2016 Super Bowl advert for Toyota.
He landed a role on Fifth Harmony’s Work From Home music video later that year, playing a burly construction worker in the steamy clip.
That led to a job that would change his life.
One morning in October 2016, Asghari woke up to missed calls from his agent frantically telling him about a music video for Spears.
Two days later he found himself on the set at a California mansion.
Following Asghari’s joke and Spears’s sushi invite, she made the relationship Instagram official in 2017.
In February of the following year, she celebrated being together for over a year.
Alongside a picture of the pair at a waterfall, Spears wrote: “Every day he inspires me to be a better person and that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world!!”
Asghari has shared his support for Spears – whom he lovingly calls his “lioness” – throughout her conservatorship battle.
Earlier this year, as attention on the legal drama intensified, he publicly criticised his girlfriend’s father over his role controlling her estate.
He wrote on Instagram: “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 Jamie is a total dick.”
In June, Asghari’s relationship with Spears became a focal point of the conservatorship after the singer claimed she was being prevented from marrying and having children.
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.”
In August, Spears publicly thanked Asghari for his support during her “hardest years”.
They announced their engagement the following month, with a delighted Spears confirming the news on Instagram.