Pop beauty Britney Spears has hinted her relationship with JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE would still be very much alive if they'd established a firmer friendship beforehand.

The ME AGAINST THE MUSIC beauty - who split with the singer last year (02) - believes their union failed because they weren't pals for long enough before they started dating.

However, the sexy star offers nothing but praise for the Justin she knew during their high-profile romance.

She says, "He was a good guy friend. If we could have been friends for longer before we went out, maybe our relationship would have been different.

"He was always making me laugh and being silly."

21/11/2003 03:01