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Divorce papers filed, Britney goes skating

Los Angeles, Nov. 8 (AP): 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 yesterday seeking dissolution of her marriage to aspiring rapper Kevin Federline.

As seen in a video posted late yesterday by the entertainment website 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 autumn of 2004. They had a ceremony in September, but court papers state that the couple were officially married on October 6.

It was non-stop 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 tabloids 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.

The divorce papers filed by Britney

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 one on September 14, and an infant son, Jayden James, born on September 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 pre-nuptial 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, Louisiana, in 1981, Spears got her first taste of fame at age 11 when she joined The All New Mickey Mouse Club TV show. Her fellow mouseketeers included future superstars Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.

In an interview two weeks ago, Federline 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.”

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