Date: 11th March 2002

Pop Golden Couple Britney And Justin Split

Pop's golden couple BRITNEY SPEARS and Justim Timberlake have broken up - because they never get to spend time together. Britney, who has now taken off her $140,000 (100,000) engagement ring, is said to be distraught at the split from the 'N Sync singer - who was reportedly frustrated that the pair's hectic schedules made it impossible to carry on their three year relationship. The sexy singer, 20, has been spotted in Los Angeles drowning her sorrows with showbiz pals since the split. Britney spent last Monday night (4th March 2002) at trendy Hollywood restaurant Les Delix with AMERICAN PIE (1999) star TARA REID, and was then spotted in the bar of Los Angeles' Standard hotel the next night {5th March 2002).

A source is quoted in Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper as saying, "It was an open secret that Britney and Justin had difficulty finding the time to be together. Now it seems if the pressure has taken it's toll - which is really sad. " The pair, who originally met as young performers on American TV show The Mickey Mouse Club, had been living together in Spears' Hollywood Hills mansion since last year (2001), and had vowed to marry each other. However, Britney's infamous vow to remain celibate until marriage, as well as the pair locking lips with co-stars - in Britney's new film CROSSROADS (2002) and a steamy video for Justin's pop band respectively - have reportedly contributed to tension between the couple. Britney's spokesperson Lisa Kasteler yesterday (10th March 2002) refused to comment on the reports.

Source: WENN