John Sundahl, a pilot and former boyfriend of Britney Spears, was tragically killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan after he was shot down flying a helicopter.
John, 44, had been working for the last few months as a private contractor ferrying officials across the war-torn country. Sundahl was killed outside Kabul.
His brother Karl said: “It’s heartbreaking. John went there to try to repair the country. He was trying to help people, he [often said] the country was in chaos.”
Karl Sundahl told the Mirror (UK) that the U.S. State Department informed John's family of his death and that the Taliban was responsible for the attack.
Britney Spears, now 33, dated Sundahl in 2007 after they met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in L.A. Their romance didn't last, but their bond did.
At one point the pair were rumored to be engaged, though the singer’s rep denied this. What can't be denied is that he tried to help her quit drinking.
John recalled telling her she would die unless she got this under control.
He said in an interview: “I told her, ‘If you fall off the wagon I don’t think you’ll live. I told her, ‘If you don’t want to get sober for yourself, do it for your kids.'"
As a result, “She truly wants to stop what she’s doing, and she has changed her life in another direction. She doesn’t get drunk every night and pass out.”
Sundahl helping her through her darkest time is not something she forgot, especially after the meltdown in which Britney Spears shaved her head.
The pop superstar is reportedly taking his passing quite hard, too.
It had a profound affect on the mother of Jayden James, 8, and Sean Preston, 9. Says a friend: “She is devastated. Britney thought he was a lovely man.”
“John was still good friends with Britney, he talked to her regularly," says the source. "They dated for a while but they always kept in touch afterwards.”
Britney, who is in the midst of two-year stint with her Piece of Me show at Planet Hollywood in Vegas, is now dating TV writer and producer Charlie Ebersol.
She recently, and abruptly, broke up with previous boyfriend David Lucado when she discovered he cheated on her, a claim he has denied in vain.
Here's an anthology of Britney's long, turbulent romantic history: