The pop superstar has set women all over the world swooning with his romantic lyrics and slick dance moves, but it seems Justin Timberlake isn't so smooth when it comes to real-life relationships. Just days after the Weekly reported the SexyBack singer was secretly seeing R&B princess Rihanna, love rat Justin whisked Jessica Biel away on holiday in North California so he could privately call it quits on their three-year romance.
"It wasn't a blow-out fight or some big drama," says a mutual friend of the couple. "He told her he was done. She was too much to deal with." However, Jessica is reportedly in "severe denial" and refuses to accept their relationship is at an end. The pal tells, "She still plays like nothing's wrong because she needs him emotionally and for her career."
Justin (28) and Jessica (27) first met in December 2007 - just weeks after the former *NSync singer had ended his four-year relationship with Cameron Diaz - and became an item during a ski trip in Utah one month later. The pair took things to the next level when Jessica moved into Justin's New York apartment late last year, but rumours of furious rows started soon after they began settling in to their love nest.
Justin allegedly threatened to dump the Easy Virtue actress last Valentine's Day, with a friend revealing, "He said he needed time apart to just experience being single again, but Jess called him nonstop trying to save it. She can't imagine her life without him." The couple hit another rocky spot in July while Justin was away on a boys' weekend in Las Vegas.
One of his mates reports, "He had to leave dinner because Jess was calling him incessantly. They got in a huge screaming match over the phone about how she's always checking up on him." The pal adds, "She's extremely needy and is always keeping tabs on him. All of Justin's friends think she's really annoying. She's always trying to be one of the guys but she and Justin have no chemistry."
While the constant phone calls may have been annoying, there's no doubt why Jessica found it necessary to check up on her boyfriend. In recent months, Justin has been partying like a single man as he travels around the world to promote his William Rast clothing line. Back in June, Lindsay Lohan spotted the singer kissing an unidentified girl in a New York nightclub, writing on her Twitter webpage, "Where's JB, cheater?"
She later claimed the website had been "hacked" but a close source tells us it was only because a panicked Justin had "told all his people to ban Lindsay and make her life miserable". More recently, Justin was acting like a bachelor at New York Fashion Week, where witnesses say he dirty-danced with a tall, blonde woman in a short black dress. "He was clearly on the hunt," says one onlooker.
But the rumour mill only went into overdrive when Justin began working on R&B chart-topper Rihanna's upcoming album. Spies say the music they're making is hot - however it's what the two singers are getting up to outside the recording studio that's really steamy. Several music industry insiders have reported that Rihanna (21) is giving Justin sexy lapdances. one reveals, "She is a total tease and loves fl irting with him. She digs him and wants to date him too."
The dirty-dancing continued at a party after the MTV Video Music Awards last month, with the couple allegedly ending up together in Rihanna's hotel room. "Since then," our source says, "they have been talking and texting nonstop. Rihanna asked him on the phone, 'Are you still with Jess?' and he hinted that things were cooling off between them."
Friends of Jessica say the actress knows her relationship with Justin has hit a rough patch. "She feels like they haven't been on the same page recently and haven't had the same priorities," one pal tells. However, a determined Jessica is doing everything in her power to keep Justin and is so convinced they'll last the distance, she has even invited him to join her when she climbs ot Kilimanjaro for a charity expedition in January. our source explains, "She desperately wants to make it work. When she travels for a job, she wants him to come. She doesn't like to be apart."
Indeed, many of those close to Justin and Jessica don't believe the couple will be separated for long. One mutual friend tells, "There's no way of knowing if it's a firm break-up because it's always so hot and cold with them. It could be momentary and they could be back on again tomorrow."
Words by: Sebastian van der Zwan