May 30, 2024
One message of the #MeToo movement has been to believe survivors. Now Spears fans are trying to figure out whether that also applies to abuse claims by her estranged husband.

Some Britney Spears fans are finding it difficult to dismiss reported claims by her estranged husband Sam Asghari that the pop star frequently got “physical with him” and once gave him a black eye during their six-year relationship.

They still want to support the 41-year-old pop star through this latest crisis. They feel deeply for what she’s suffered in life — the harsh and invasive restrictions she endured under the conservatorship of her father and the way media overly sexualized her and exploited her erratic behavior during her high-profile mental health breakdown in the late 2000s. Some also tend to see the 29-year-old Asghari as a wannabe actor who married Spears for her fame and money.

Still, they recognize that the big message of the #MeToo movement has been to believe survivors. The controversial verdict in Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against Amber Heard — during which he managed to convince a jury that he, not Heard, was the victim of domestic violence — pushed several ideas at once, some that were not considered to be beneficial to female survivors. But on a positive note, the trial at least brought attention to the fact that men also can be victims of domestic violence and deserve to be heard.

“I’m so struggling with this because on one hand I never want to blame a victim of abuse,” said one Reddit user, who admitted that she believes that Asghari still had ulterior motives in marrying Spears.

“This is terrible all across the board and I don’t like where this is headed,” said another Reddit user. “DV ain’t acceptable, ever. I’m so horrified.” Still another said, “Please remember anyone and everyone can be abusers. … Even if it is true, that we treat Sam with the same respect and dignity that we would when Britney was being abused.”

In a statement posted on Instagram Thursday afternoon, Asghari said nothing about Spears allegedly getting “physical” with him or attacking him while he was sleeping, as TMZ reported earlier in the day, citing sources familiar with the situation. TMZ also reported that Asghari left the house and filed for divorce after a “blow-up fight” during which he accused her of cheating, specifically with a member of the household staff.

In his public statement, Asghari kept the tone peaceful and loving. “We will hold onto the love and respect we have for each other and I wish her the best always,” he said. “(Expletive) happens. Asking for privacy seems ridiculous so I will just ask for everyone including media to be kind and thoughtful.”

On social media, many Spears fans were angry at Asghari for either using the singer, or abandoning her in her time of need, but they tempered their comments about the domestic violence allegations. Many expressed particular outrage about a report from Page Six, which said the divorce is likely to “turn nasty,” because Asghari is “attempting to negotiate concessions beyond his prenup and threatening to go public with extraordinarily embarrassing information about (Spears) unless he gets paid.”

They may wonder if Asghari has already begun to leak embarrassing information about his estranged wife, in the form of reports about cheating and domestic violence. The timing of these allegations being reported by TMZ made one Reddit user skeptical of his claims, though this person also said. “Before y’all start, I’m not excusing abuse it’s just so clear as to what’s happening here.”

Someone on Twitter said it would be wrong to immediately dismiss Asghari’s allegations, while also saying Spears shouldn’t immediately be condemned until the public learns more about the situation.

“Overlooking Sam Asghari’s claims against Britney Spears is concerning,” the person said. “Men can face abuse too. Dismissing claims fuels stigma and silences male victims. We mustn’t assume guilt or deem it impossible.”

Overlooking Sam Asghari’s claims against Britney Spears is concerning. Men can face abuse too. Dismissing claims fuels stigma and silences male victims. We mustn’t assume guilt or deem it impossible.

— George (@TooTallDerr) August 17, 2023

After news broke Wednesday that Spears and Asghari were separating after 14 months of marriage, some sources close to the singer expressed concern that she would be without any kind of support system because her husband had long been her “strongest supporter” as she tried to rebuild her life after she was freed from her 13-year conservatorship, sources told TMZ.

But now that the actor is “fully out of her life,” Spears has no other family to lean on, with sources telling TMZ that “she just isn’t capable of handling things on her own.”

Spears is not on speaking terms with her mother, Lynne Spears, and it’s well known that she’s estranged from her father and siblings, while her teenage sons, Jayden and Sean, recently moved to Hawaii with their father, Kevin Federline, without saying goodbye.

“She has one confidant, (her manager) Cade (Hudson),” a source told TMZ. “Then there’s her security team, and after that her support system falls off a cliff.”

Spears has not commented publicly on the divorce. On Wednesday, she posted a curious message, which ignored it all together. The message included a photo of herself on horseback. The pop star said she was thinking about buying a horse but couldn’t decide between one called Sophie or another called Roar.

“I can’t make up my mind!!!” Spears said on a post.

I need Britney Spears’ flex. Her husband Sam Asghari filed for divorce today…

And she’s shopping for horses named, “roar” pic.twitter.com/IHw1QCAkoc

— Siobhan Marie Day (@MarieSiobsbhndy) August 17, 2023

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