Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake may have split 14 years ago, but he’s still being accused of using their past relationship for publicity.
The latest Britney and Justin drama happened after Timberlake appeared to reference his Spears breakup in a new interview with Vogue Italy, where he seemingly accused Spears of making him “suffer” during their 2002 split.
Justin didn’t mention Britney by name in the magazine, though BreatheHeavy.com claimed that Timberlake got seriously candid about the pain that went into writing his 2002 breakup anthem “Cry Me A River,” which has long been rumored to be about his and Spears’ bitter breakup.
The site reported that Justin was asked by the magazine if an artist must be “depressed” and “tormented” to create authentic music, to which Timberlake had a pretty interesting response.
“It depends. In the past, suffering helped me write,” Justin told the magazine according to translation provided by the site, dishing on the “moment of pain” that allowed him to write the Britney breakup track.
“‘Cry Me a River’ was written in a moment of pain,” he said, seemingly confirming reports that Spears influenced the song by adding, “and the whole world knew.”
Justin didn’t explicitly say Britney’s name, though his alluding to their past relationship was enough for Lainey Gossip and a number of other outlets to accuse the star of using Spears and their past relationship to sell his latest project, Trolls.
“As much as [Justin] refuses to admit that he would be nothing without Britney, that hasn’t stopped him from using her, still, after all this time, whenever it’s convenient,” the site said.
The gossip site then pointed out Timberlake’s latest Britney relationship reference in the pages of Vogue Italy, claiming that it came “out of f****** nowhere.”
“[Timberlake] could have answered a thousand different ways… But he chose to go there. He chose to invoke Britney,” the site fired off almost 15 years after the breakup. “You need Britney’s help to sell your movie, boy? Is that what this is?”
BreathHeavy.com also teased Timberlake about mentioning his relationship with Spears, asking Justin, “Still talking about it, King?”
Britney fans were also quick to take aim at Justin on social media for seemingly heading back more than a decade to his Spears romance.
“He’s such a cry baby,” Spears fan @H85Mak said of Timberlake in lieu of his “suffering” accusations, while @KQEDPop tweeted, “When will Justin Timberlake stop bringing up Britney’s cheating for sympathy? (Never).”
Britney and Justin have had little interaction after they split after five years together in 2002, though Spears did speak about Justin in 2011 with USA Today where she claimed that her ex-boyfriend actually “inspires” her.
“Justin [is so different and fresh],” Britney told the site of how she really feels about Timberlake five years ago. “It’s inspiring for me, and it makes people eager to listen to music, which helps everyone.”
Justin also got candid about his relationship, and breakup, with Spears in a 2011 interview, where he admitted that he and Spears hadn’t spoken since they sensationally split more than a decade ago.
“We were two birds of the same feather — small-town kids, doing the same thing” Timberlake said of Spears in an interview with Vanity Fair. “Then you become adults, and the way you were as kids doesn’t make any sense. We spent way too much time being the biggest thing for teenyboppers.”
Justin also shot down reports suggesting there could have been bad blood between himself and Britney following the split, which was rumored to have been instigated after Spears cheated on the singer.
“I wish her the best — that goes without saying,” Timberlake said of Britney.
What do you think of Justin Timberlake alluding to his 2002 breakup with Britney Spears?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]