Britney Spears has seemingly returned fire after her ex-boyfriend appeared to shade her in public.
When Justin Timberlake threw a surprise concert Wednesday in New York City to debut new music, he also played his old hits — and introduced the 2002 breakup track “Cry Me a River” by apologizing “to absolutely fucking nobody.”
“Someone told me someone was talking shit about me on the streets!!!” Spears wrote on Instagram Thursday, alongside a photo of a basketball hoop. “Do you want to bring it to the court or will you go home crying to your mom like you did last time?? I’m not sorry!!!”
Neither party has publicly confirmed that their statements are about each other. But there’s enough history between Spears and Timberlake — who dated from 1999 to 2002 — to lend credence to the theory.
Timberlake wrote “Cry Me a River” after allegedly dumping Spears via text message following infidelity on her part. Spears claimed in her 2023 memoir, however, that Timberlake was just as unfaithful — and decried his portrayal of her in the song’s video.
Timberlake “released the video for his song ‘Cry Me a River,’ in which a woman who looks like me cheats on him and he wanders around sad in the rain,” Spears wrote in the book. “In the news media, I was described as a harlot who’d broken the heart of America’s golden boy.”
Pop stars Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake dated from 1999 to 2002. Timberlake allegedly dumped Spears after she was unfaithful to him, though she says he was unfaithful as well.
Her “basketball” dig appeared to be a pointed reference to Timberlake, who, according to Spears, would “cry” after losing to her on the court during their relationship.
Supporters of Spears trounced Timberlake on social media for his “Cry Me a River” concert introduction, and claimed he was only using his ex to promote new music. They also brought up his latest single “Selfish,” pointing out that Spears released a song of the same name in 2011 ― which re-entered the Top 40 iTunes charts this week.
Timberlake’s new album drops March 15.