Dear Tiger Beat reader:
Whassup, girlfriend? We don't always get the chance to chew the fat together, you and us. But this is one of those times when a heart-to-heart seems totally necessary. Which is why — after mucho soul-searching, we promise — we decided to take one page away from our hunkalicious Ashton Kutcher pull-out and devote it instead to this special open letter to you, our lifelong supporter and bestest pal. (Don't shed too many tears, pretty lady: The only part that's missing is his head. Rowf!)
You've probably heard by now that our gal Britney has an interview in the August issue of W Magazine, in which she drops the major bombshell that she and Justin were doing the dirty deed before their oh-so-sad breakup last year. And it's got to come as a shock to you, her loyal fan, who had seen the subject of le Brit's chastity chronicled extensively in these very pages ever since she left the set of "The Mickey Mouse Club." Surely you remember our exclusive cover story of July 2001: "Britney: If These Walls Could Talk, They'd Be Saying, 'Back it Up, Bub!'"
Now the truth is out: All the while Britney was spewing forth the virgin-4-life rap, she and Justin were running off to secluded hotel rooms and broom closets to make the sign of the double-jointed garden weasel. You're probably feeling pretty betrayed right now. And we want you to know that you're not alone. No matter what you might hear elsewhere like, at school, maybe, or on CNN — we had no idea that the stories we were printing were lies. We're victims in this, too. Honest Injun. When we heard the news, we felt like one of the anonymous case studies in last month's "Hilary Duff hates cheaters" feature. If we had had one inkling of the truth, we would have devoted all those pages we wasted on Britney's brainwash to better, more worthwhile stories, like the latest zit-zapping breakthroughs from our friends at Stridex. (And while we're on the subject, just who was that brown-eyed foxhound in last month's ad? Yummy!)
But all we can do at this stage is shake our heads right along with you, broken-hearted once again at seeing another great role model tumble off the Petting Precipice and into the Netherworld of Nookie.
Oh, and one other thing. We can exhaustively retrace the intelligence failures that caused us to unknowingly perpetuate this fiction on you, the American taxpayer. Or something.
As far as we can tell, it's all England's fault. When we published our "State of Teen Pop" report in January 2002, we relied on our sisters at UK mag Sugar for a bunch of fun factoids. And that momentary dependence on secondhand dish led us to print this unfortunate item:
"Though current photos show that Britney Spears' glutes are hotter than African uranium, word from her peeps is that she's keeping her Weapon of Mass Seduction zipped up tight, like she always said she would. Way to go, girl!"
Of course, we now know that this was not the case. While we were sharing this very "update" with you, Britney was giving it up faster than a beautician at Club Med. And that's just sad. But no matter how badly the truth stings, we should all remember not to blow this little journalistic lapse out of proportion.
What do we mean? Well, if you've read this month's Sassy, you may have seen a certain editorial implying that us innocent, hard-working Tiger Beat types knew full well we were printing a fib. Our so-called competitor even says that Sugar's editor — a groovy Limey chick by the name of Penelope Lawford-Crumpet — had tried to intercept the bogus blurb before it saw print on this side of the pond. And if you believe absolutely everything you read, our response was nothing more than a big ol' yawn.
To them, we say: Get real. If anybody had really told us Britney was playing Hide the Bratwurst with her sweetie, we would have rushed to correct our error — even though we were super busy doing layout on "Tara Reid's Luv-O-Scopes" that week. But we honestly never got the message. And the idea that Ms. Spears might be getting her leather stretched was the furthest thing from our minds. One look at the W article will show you why.
"We were together so long and I had this vision," Britney says. "You think you're going to spend the rest of your life together. Where I come from, the woman is the homemaker, and that's how I was brought up — you cook for your kids."
Now does that sound like somebody who's spending her off hours impersonating a Hoover upright on full suck? No way. In fact, it's the sweetest mouthful of old-fashioned values we've ever heard out of anybody who's used a snake as a fashion accessory.
Let's face it, homegirl: We were all duped. And there's nothing we can do about it now. Nothing, that is, except to put our shock and hurt aside and take comfort in the way it all turned out. Because no matter who did what to who, there had to be regime change in that relationship. You only have to take a peek at what Justin's been up to lately to see that he was bad news. If he had been allowed to remain Mr. Britney Spears, there's no telling what he might have done. He could have become another Hitler. Or Michael Jackson. And neither of those things is good for anybody.
Smiles on ya 'til next month,