Singer Britney Spears insists she still loves her ex-boyfriend JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE - but she rules out the chances of them ever rekindling their romance.

The pop pair enjoyed a four-year relationship until their break-up last year (02), and Britney admits life without the 'N Sync frontman proved to be extremely tough.

She tells American tabloid the STAR, "I was completely heartbroken. It was like, 'Wow! What do I do now?' It was the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with.

"It took me months to get over it. I finally realised it was over when I'd hear him sing on the radio or hear people say his name - and my heart wouldn't start fluttering.

"You know what - I'll always love him. He's my first love. And there are certain things that I still miss about him. He totally made me laugh. But there's so much that's been laid down, it would be hard to go back. It would never be the same."

She adds, "I'm happy with myself, just being me and - this is bizarre - if we were still together I probably wouldn't be as happy as I am today."

And BOYS singer Britney, who says she and Justin no longer talk, wants to set two rumours straight: "J never proposed to me - and I didn't cheat on him."

25/06/2003 21:05