Justin Timberlake dumped Britney Spears by sending her this two-word text

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Justin Timberlake dumped Britney Spears by sending her this two-word text

To the outside world, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s early aughts love story was picture-perfect. But new revel

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To the outside world, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s early aughts love story was picture-perfect.

But new revelations about the couple’s relationship show the *NSYNC star was not that innocent behind closed doors.

In her upcoming bombshell memoir, “The Woman in Me,” Spears revealed how she had an abortion after becoming pregnant by Timberlake.

Now Page Six can reveal exactly how he dumped her with a two-word text — prompting her to say: “He blew the best thing he ever had.”

It was February 2002, and Spears was just 20 when she happily stepped on the set of the “Overprotected: The Darkchild Remix” music video in downtown Los Angeles ready to “power through” rigorous dance scenes during a two-day shoot.

“There are those people where there is something inside of them and you don’t know where it comes from — it’s like an ‘X’ factor. That’s what we saw with her,” director Chris Applebaum tells Page Six.

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s relationship came to an end while she filmed the “Overprotected” video in February 2002.
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Director Chris Applebaum (second from left) spoke to Page Six exclusively about what it was like to work with Spears and be there for her during her breakup.
Chris Stapleton / Instagram

“I was so happy that this person who was the biggest star in the world was everything I wanted her to be and then more.”

He shared exclusive photos with Page Six which show Spears behind the scenes in the day and hours before she was cast aside.

But toward the end of a strenuous second day of filming, Applebaum recalls that Spears suddenly went missing for about 20 to 40 minutes — which is a “long time” because it costs “20 grand to sit around.”

The image Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears presented of their romance is being rocked two decades on.
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Timberlake sent Spears a breakup text while she was working on this video.
Britney Spears/VEVO

When he arrived at her trailer, he saw the singer sitting on the floor with her legs crossed, her makeup smudged, and in tears.

Spears, who was dressed in a Juicy Couture sweatsuit, held up her Motorola flip phone to Applebaum and said, “I can’t believe it. Look it. This happened.”

Then she showed a text from Timberlake that read, “It’s over!!!”

Spears exuded an “X factor,” Applebaum says. He shared exclusive photos from the two-day shoot which show her star quality as she rehearsed.
Chris Applebaum
He also recalls her appearing “happy” leading up to the video shoot.
Chris Applebaum
“She’s the greatest performer I’ve ever worked with,” Applebaum tells us.
Chris Applebaum

Timberlake, then 21, had been trying to reach Spears all day while at her shoot, per Applebaum, in big part because he was “pissed” about her cheating with choreographer Wade Robson.

Spears admitted the indiscretion in the new memoir.

Applebaum recalls Spears’ longtime assistant and friend, Felicia Culotta, putting her arm around the singer’s shoulder and comforting her.

Spears was hesitant to finish the shoot, but Applebaum says he encouraged her by saying, “If you don’t have it in you, I totally understand … but if you want to go out there and finish this last set-up in the rain, you can show him that he just made the biggest f—ing mistake of his life.”

We’re told Spears shot all the scenes of her dancing in the rain after Timberlake sent her a breakup text.
Britney Spears/VEVO
Felicia Culotta (left) supported Spears during the emotional shoot.

Spears looked at Applebaum at that moment and said, “You know that? That’s a good idea.

“I’m going to show him that he blew the best thing he ever had.”

Applebaum, who has since worked with the likes of Rihanna and Usher, recalls Spears shooting the rain sequence with even more “conviction,” as if she were “on a mission.”

In her memoir, Spears writes that after the split, she fled home to Louisiana, where she felt “comatose” while Timberlake was “happily running around Hollywood.”

Spears broke down in tears when Diane Sawyer pressed her about her breakup.
Sawyer has since received a lot of backlash for how she handled the interview.

A few months later, the former boy bander released a solo record titled “Cry Me a River” that seemingly confirmed Spears was unfaithful, vilifying his ex.

He sings in the track, “You don’t have to say, what you did / I already know, I found out from him,” referencing the affair with Robson.

Spears writes in her memoir that the chart-topping song and its music video — which featured her lookalike — painted her as a “harlot who’d broken the heart of America’s golden boy.”

Spears admitted in her memoir that she cheated on Timberlake with choreographer Wade Robson (right).

The narrative that Spears broke Timberlake’s heart was one that was again emphasized in an emotional interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2003.

The renowned journalist asked the “Oops! … I Did It Again” singer during the sit-down, “You broke his heart, you did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering … what did you do?”

Spears writes in her new book that she felt “exploited” by Sawyer, her father, Jamie Spears, and her management team, who pushed her to do the interview before she was ready to speak on the split.

Timberlake broke up with Spears in a text that read, “It’s over!!!”

The only way the Grammy winner was able to channel her heartbreak was with her own heartfelt track, “Everytime,” in which she acknowledged her contribution to the end of the relationship.

In “Everytime” she sings, “I may have made it rain / Please, forgive me / My weakness caused you pain / And this song’s my sorry.”

Both she and Timberlake seemingly rebounded with other celebs for short-lived flings and then moved on to their respective spouses years later.

Spears and Timberlake dated from 1999 to 2002.

Timberlake wed Jessica Biel in 2012 and Spears had a 72-hour marriage with Jason Alexander, was married to her son’s father, Kevin Federline, from 2004 to 2007, and, most recently, was married to actor Sam Asghari from 2022 to 2023.

However, in February 2021, amid the peak of the #FreeBritney movement, which was aimed to help Spears escape her controversial conservatorship, a groundbreaking documentary titled, “Framing Britney Spears” shone new light on the singer’s career highs and lows, including her split from Timberlake.

Old interviews resurfaced in the series, and Timberlake was accused of being “misogynistic” toward his famous ex post-breakup, forcing him to issue a public apology in 2021.

Spears wrote about the alleged affairs in her new memoir.

Timberlake wrote on Instagram in part at the time, “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right.”

But her memoir reveals much more about the contrast between how their relationship was sold as a wholesome teenage love story between two Mousketeers-turned-pop stars, and the reality behind closed doors.

Spears shares in her memoir that she got pregnant with Timberlake’s child when they were both about 19 years old, but that he convinced her to get an abortion.

Timberlake was caught sneaking around with All Saints singer Nicole Appleton in 2000.

The “Slave 4 U” singer writes, “I don’t know if that was the right decision. If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.”

Spears also alleges in the new book that “Bye, Bye, Bye” singer Timberlake cheated on her with two separate women — and that he was unfaithful to her first.

Spears appears to be confirming, decades on, at least some of the many rumors that plagued the “Sexyback” singer when they were dating.

Timberlake shared a kiss with a model for his “Gone” video — while still dating Spears.

In 2000, Timberlake was rumored to have cheated with Nicole Appleton of the English girl group All Saints after they were spotted heading back to his hotel in London.

On a separate occasion, Spears allegedly flew into a “jealous rage” when she found Timberlake with Tonya Mitchell, an up-and-coming singer who had performed as one of *NSYNC’s opening acts, according to an archived Star magazine article from the early 2000s.

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Mitchell was reportedly waiting for the boy band member on his bed while he took a shower, allegedly causing Spears to go “absolutely ballistic.”

Then, in August 2001, Timberlake and the rest of *NSYNC shot a sultry black-and-white video for their single “Gone.” 

Director Herb Ritts told MTV the following year that Timberlake had a lot of chemistry with his love interest, a Croatian model named Korina Longin.

Spears breaks her silence on her side of the story in her memoir, “The Woman in Me.”

“I was directing so much … ‘Justin, touch her hair,’ they didn’t really have time to think about it,” the acclaimed photographer said. “Then you catch those moments that are suggestive, but not blatant. It felt right.”

Spears does not name the women involved in Timberlake’s alleged dalliances but told Cosmopolitan at the time that she was “devastated” over a kiss that her then-boyfriend had to share with his on-screen lover.

Sources tell us Timberlake is trying to move on from the past and focusing on his family life with Biel and their children. We’re told, “Justin and Jess are very happy. He’s focusing on new music and they’re just enjoying life at home with the kids while working.”

Spears’ “The Woman in Me,” which has already reached No. 1 on Amazon’s bestsellers list, officially hits shelves worldwide on Oct. 24.