The bride wore ripped jeans and a midriff-exposing crop-top. The only white she wore was the baseball cap on her head. The groom, equally scruffy, was in denim, too, and looked bleary-eyed from days of partying.
For it took just 55 hours for the young superstar’s high-powered legal team to force an annulment to protect her image at the peak of her fame following the phenomenal success of her album Toxic.
Jason was duly dumped – now a mere footnote in the turbulent ups-and-downs of the never-ending Britney melodrama.
But today, with the 39-year-old pop star’s life and finances under the draconian control of her father and the American court system, her ex-husband believes what he calls the ‘destruction’ of their marriage should have been taken more seriously, as it was a portent of darker things to come.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Jason Alexander (right) with Britney at their Las Vegas wedding in 2004, which would end in an annulment just two days later
Britney was married to Jason Alexander, who had been her childhood sweetheart, for just 55 hours back in 2004 (Pictured: Spears performing her single 'Make Me...' from her most recent album Glory at the MTV Music Video Awards in 2016)
He claims that the ‘controlling forces’ currently massed around Britney had their grip on her even back then.
Four years later the singer became the subject of a strict ‘conservatorship’ order. Since 2008, her father Jamie has been given control of everything – from her £36 million fortune to the most intimate aspects of her life, including the implantation of a birth control device to prevent her having any more children.
‘What they did to Britney and me should have rung warning bells,’ says Jason, 39.
‘The men in black swooped in, along with her mum and other family members, and they made us sign paperwork under duress to end our marriage. We didn’t want to annul it. They lied to us. It was always about controlling Britney and controlling her money.
‘She’s been living a nightmare far worse than anyone can imagine for far longer than people realise.’
For the past year, the showbiz world has watched the backlash with the Free Britney movement, a campaign started by her fans to help her break free from the conservatorship she likens to prison.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
In dramatic courtroom testimony last month, the mother-of-two, who shot to global superstardom as a teenager with hits such as Baby One More Time, described her life as being akin to that of a ‘sex slave’, drugged and forced to perform against her will.
Alexander grew up with Britney in Kentwood, Louisiana, and said that he was 'duped' into agreeing to an annulment and misguidedly thought that he and Britney still had a future
Jason with two LG Mobile Phone models at the 2005 BET Awards afterparty in Hollywood - the year after his infamous marriage to Britney
‘My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship, and my management who played a huge role… they should be in jail,’ she said.
But Jason says the warning signs were there in 2004 as her wealth and fame were burgeoning.
‘I was tricked by her mum, dad and lawyers into signing the annulment,’ he claims. ‘I was told our marriage could hurt Britney’s career. I loved her and was a naive kid who had been raised to trust and respect my elders, just like she had.
‘We were told that if we still felt the same way about each other in six months, then we could have a big, white wedding. They strung me along for 30 days, which was how long it took to get the annulment finalised, so I couldn’t contest it, and then they changed Britney’s number so I couldn’t talk to her. There have always been dark forces in her life.’
At the time, the PR team acting for the then 22-year-old singer put out a statement saying: ‘Britney and a friend took a joke too far.’
In fact, says Jason, their romance was genuine and developed from a friendship which began when they were both aged five.
Britney's PR team acting for the then 22-year-old singer put out a statement saying: ‘Britney and a friend took a joke too far' after she wed Jason (pictured) at a chapel in Vegas
The Little White Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the couple got married back in 2004
Jason, now a businessman, speaks in the soft drawl of Louisiana. He and Britney grew up in Kentwood, a small town with a population of just 2,200, and met when he attended a kindergarten run by Britney’s mother Lynne.
‘We always had feelings for each other. Even as a child you know what love is – an obsession, a butterfly feeling,’ he says. ‘As we got older, those feelings turned physical.’
Jason, a 6ft 1in American football star as a young man, does not remember a time when Britney wasn’t performing.
‘She was always singing and dancing. When we were small, my mum put me in modelling pageants and Britney would always be at those kinds of events, singing.’
Even after Britney left Kentwood to launch her career, first as a member of the Disney TV show The All New Mickey Mouse Club (alongside Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera) and then as a solo performer, she would return home for holidays.
Then, she and Jason would resume their romance. ‘It was periodic but consistent. I was in love with Britney before she was Britney Spears,’ says Jason. ‘Her family were like my family. We’d spend holidays together. The feelings were always there between us.’
So when Britney completed her fourth