LOS ANGELES – Britney Spears appeared upbeat, if a little off balance, as she took to the ice skating rink at New York’s Rockefeller Center just hours after filing for divorce in Los Angeles.
The 24-year-old pop star cited “irreconcilable differences” in court papers filed Tuesday seeking dissolution of her marriage to aspiring rapper Kevin Federline.
As seen in a video posted late Tuesday by the entertainment Web site TMZ.com, Spears, bundled up in a striped sweater and fuzzy white hat, looked happy as she rounded the world-famous rink. Maybe that’s because the curtain had finally fallen on her problem-plagued romantic life, a drama that played out publicly in magazines and on television over the past two years.
Spears wed Federline in the fall of 2004. They had a ceremony in September, but court papers state that the couple were officially married Oct. 6.
It was nonstop drama from there.
Magazines couldn’t get enough of the pair, documenting their every tender gesture and teary-eyed fight. The couple contributed to the coverage with their self-filmed reality TV show, “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic.” The tabloid depicted him as a party-goer living off his wife’s fame and fortune. She was painted as a bumbling mother with fading figure and visage. Her chart-topping career all but imploded.
It was the first marriage for Federline, 28, though he was still dating his pregnant girlfriend Shar Jackson when he met the pop star. Jackson gave birth to Federline’s second child just months before he married Spears.
It was the second marriage for Spears, whose 55-hour union with childhood friend Jason Alexander ended in annulment.
Spears and Federline have two children: Sean Preston, who turned 1 on Sept. 14, and an infant son, Jayden James, born Sept. 12. Spears is seeking “legal and physical” custody of both.
She declared in court papers that she and Federline have no community assets, which indicates they had a prenuptial agreement and don’t want to disclose their divorce settlement to the court, said Leon Bennett, a Los Angeles divorce attorney who does not represent either party.
The filing came a day after Spears, back in shape after the birth of her second child, made a surprise appearance on David Letterman’s “Late Show” in New York by popping up behind him as he was sitting at his desk.
Born in Kentwood, La., in 1981, Spears got her first taste of fame at age 11 when she joined the “The All New Mickey Mouse Club” TV show. Her fellow Mouseketeers included future superstars Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.
Five years after Spears left the show she released her debut album, “Baby One More Time.” In the video for the title track, Spears, still a teenager, dressed provocatively in a skimpy school uniform and moaned “baby, baby, baby.” Yet she proclaimed her chastity, insisting she remained a virgin throughout her four-year relationship with Timberlake.
By 2003, Spears had fully embraced her sex-charged image, sharing an open-mouthed kiss with Madonna during the MTV Video Music Awards. That same year, she revealed in an interview with W magazine that she had lost her virginity to Timberlake.
Federline appeared in the 2004 movie “You Got Served” and performed as a backup dancer for Timberlake, Pink and Michael Jackson. He released his debut CD, “Playing With Fire,” on Oct. 31. In an interview with The Associated Press two weeks ago, he praised Spears as a positive force in his life.
“Her influence on me has been really big,” he said. “She’s a strong woman and she knows what she wants out of life and that helps build a strong man. I look up to you baby.”
Calls placed to attorneys for Federline and Spears were not returned Tuesday.