CHICAGO – Justin Timberlake had kind words about Britney Spears, but said he hasn't spoken to his ex-girlfriend in a long time and couldn't offer any explanation for her recent bizarre behavior.
"What do you think is going on with Britney?" asked talk-show host Oprah Winfrey during an interview with Timberlake that aired Wednesday.
"I don't know, to be honest with you. I haven't spoken to her in years," the 26-year-old singer said. "There's no ill will. I have nothing but love for her."
"It's funny because we dated each other at a time," he said. "Wow, I haven't talked about this in a long time, this is interesting."
"We were teenagers," he said.
"Famous teenagers," Winfrey added.
"And I think that's basically the best way to describe what happened to us," Timberlake said. "I think she's a great person. And I don't know her as well as I did."
Spears and Timberlake, both Mouseketeer alumni, dated for three years before breaking up in March 2002.
Timberlake wouldn't speculate about what's going on now with Spears, who has divorced Kevin Federline, shaved her own head, spent time in rehab and delivered a sloppy performance at MTV's Video Music Awards during the past year.
"What I do know about her is she has a huge heart and she's a great person," he said.
Asked if he's dating anyone now, Timberlake said yes, but wouldn't give her name.
During his appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Timberlake did talk about his struggles to deal with the paparazzi who shadow his every move. He said tabloids try to turn celebrities' lives into soap operas.
"If two famous people are dating each other, what I've found and I could be wrong, but just in my personal experience, if you're not going to get married, then you're breaking up," he said. "It's one or the other."