Britney Spears Slammed Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake for "Pouring Salt in the Wound" With Their 2003 'Rolling Stone' Cover

It came out just a year after Spears and Timberlake's breakup.

Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera 'Rolling Stone' Cover
(Image credit: Courtesy of Rolling Stone)

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have had a very up-and-down relationship since they appeared together as Mouseketeers on The Mickey Mouse Club in the mid 1990s—and sadly there seems to have been more "down" than "up."

In Spears' memoir The Woman in Me, which is out now, the "Toxic" singer called out Aguilera for her decision to tour with Justin Timberlake on The Justified & Stripped Tour in 2003—as well as for Aguilera and Timberlake's joint appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone at that time, just one year after Spears and Timberlake's difficult breakup.

"They were together on the cover of Rolling Stone, him in a black tank top, looking at her with sexy eyes, her looking out at the camera, wearing a lace-up black shirt," Spears writes in her new book.

"In that story, she said she thought Justin and I should get back together, which was just confusing, given how negative she'd been elsewhere.

"Even if they weren't trying to be cruel, it felt like they were just pouring salt in the wound. Why was it so easy for everyone to forget that I was a human being—vulnerable enough that these headlines could leave a bruise?"

Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera 'Rolling Stone' Cover

(Image credit: Courtesy of Rolling Stone)

The Daily Mail notes that, elsewhere in the memoir, Spears praised Aguilera, saying she came off "really professional on TV" while she was on The Voice in 2016. The Woman in Me author, however, didn't mention the "Genie in a Bottle" singer's involvement in the 2003 VMA stunt when Spears and Madonna kissed each other on stage, with Aguilera standing nearby.

The Mail reports that Aguilera said in an interview with Blender after the VMAs that Spears "seemed nervous the whole time" before the stunt, describing her as "a lost little girl, someone who needs guidance."

Understandably, Spears wasn't exactly thrilled by this description, later telling Blender, "When someone has been rude to you so many times, it's like, 'You know what, Christina, I'm really not about the fake anymore.'"

Asked last week whether she thought she would appear in the memoir, Aguilera told Jimmy Kimmel, "Dude, I don’t know" (via Billboard).

When Kimmel asked whether she hoped to be in it, she said, "I don’t know! I don’t know! Am I hoping? I mean, I’m hoping that, you know, everything is all good with her and everything’s beautiful. I think the future should be celebrated."

You can shop The Woman in Me below, or anywhere you buy your books.

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.