Seems a girl can’t have a good cry anymore without rumors running wild. While Britney Spears may have plenty to be upset about, her recent sob session with actress friend Tara Reid wasn’t due to breaking up with boyfriend and ‘NSYNC singer Justin Timberlake, because the split didn’t happen – despite widespread reports from the BBC, the New York Post and various British tabloids.
Spears emphatically denied the reports to MTV Italy on Monday (March 11), saying, “No, that’s not true. Me and Justin did not split up.”
The breakup rumors appear to have spread rapidly in Europe based on a comment Spears made at a press conference she gave in Cologne, Germany, on Friday. In town to promote her big-screen debut, “Crossroads” – called “Not A Girl” in Germany – she told reporters that she and Timberlake hardly get to see each other due to their hectic schedules and “work commitments.” Not an uncommon complaint, but it sparked more speculation than usual, since Spears had been spotted having a public cry at Les Deux CafÃ© in Hollywood with Reid earlier that week.
More reports surfaced that Spears had been seen crying at other Hollywood hot spots, such as the Standard, and that she had stopped wearing a diamond friendship ring Timberlake had given her last summer. Tabloids fed the rumors, quoting unnamed sources said to be close to the couple, who claimed that they were unhappy with all the inquiries into their private life and that each was jealous of the other’s screen kisses and love scenes. For Timberlake, that would be his liplock with the brunette in the “Gone” video.
In the February issue of Cosmopolitan, Spears said Timberlake’s video kiss “devastated” her: “You could have just taken a knife and stabbed me…. I stormed into the bathroom. I was like, ‘Don’t talk to me for a second. I need a moment, please.’ It was just too much for me.” Likewise, Timberlake was said to be miffed at Spears’ kissing scenes with French model Bryce Durand in her Herb Ritts-directed video, “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know,” and with actor Anson Mount in “Crossroads.”
Spears said that despite initial pangs of jealousy, they each realize that whatever happens on screen is no reflection of their relationship. “That’s a part of what we do,” Spears told The Associated Press. “And I accept that… it’s just acting.”