Most would agree that she was not okay before it ended. The platinum-selling pop star had become increasingly vocal about her unhappiness and the barriers she alleged were in place to prevent her from living as she saw fit. (Dad and co-conservator Jamie Spears always maintained he did whatever he thought was best for his daughter's well-being.)
But once Britney was left to her own devices, much to the delight of many of her famous peers and the fans who hashtagged their hearts out in support of the cause, it's not as if life all of a sudden became uncomplicated.
"I've been playing it strong for way too long and my Instagram may seem perfect but it's far from reality and I think we all know that !!!" Britney wrote in an Aug. 18 post.
The same could of course be said about almost anyone's Instagram. But amid her vacation pics and relatable memes, there was also plenty of content keeping her 42.6 million Instagram followers on high alert.
But Sam, who's always been protective of Britney, made a fair point on Instagram Stories last December when he noted that NSFW photos (let alone airing dirty family laundry) were pretty par for the course and yet, for whatever reason, she sure came under a lot of fire for her posts.
And in May, without naming names or entities, he slammed those who claimed to know the inside story about Britney, both now and back when "she didn't have a voice."
"Not gonna allow that," he wrote. "And that should stop. It should stop absolutely. The gaslighting and all that s--t gotta stop."
But after nearly seven years by Britney's side, much of it spent supporting the fight to free her, he's out.
Sam proposed in September 2021 as light started to appear at the end of the legal tunnel. And days before Britney—"the person and the estate," as the judge put it—was released from her conservatorship, she excitedly shared that wedding planning was underway.
And this is what has happened in her life since:
(Originally published Aug. 27, 2023, at 12 a.m. PT)