Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake of NSYNC (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

It might be almost twenty years since Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake called time on their four year relationship, but we still haven’t recovered. The couple were arguably one of the most iconic celebrity pairings at the time, as childhood sweethearts who reconnected and started dating in 1998 as both their pop careers were taking off.

Their highly publicised split in 2002 was fuelled by rumours of cheating, which shocked fans of the seemingly perfect superstar couple. In a new interview with the podcast Call Her Daddy, Britney’s younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears recalls feeling as devastated by the unexpected breakup as the rest of the world.

“I think everyone thought it was forever,” said Jamie Lynn, who was only 10 years old at the time. “I was so sad, first off, because my sister was so sad, but that, too, was the first time I saw maybe I didn’t know everything about the relationship. Perhaps they were protecting me and obviously why would they talk to me about anything. It was really sad, though, seeing my sister be so heartbroken.”

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Further driving speculation in the wake of the breakup, Timberlake released a notorious kiss-off to his former flame, Cry Me A River, not long after the split, which appeared to confirm allegations that Britney had cheated on him.

“I thought, ‘How heartbreaking it must have been for my sister when ‘Cry Me a River’ came out,'” Jamie Lynn said. “Don’t get me wrong, like that’s a way to launch your solo career, right? That’s a way to do it, but I felt really sad.”

Justin Timberlake and Jamie Lynn Spears (Photo by Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Britney later released her own ballad, Everytime, which Jamie Lynn confirms was about her split from Timberlake. “And my sister she wrote that song ‘Everytime’ and she’s beyond brilliant with anything creative and she picked that song out on the piano. And she wrote it, and it still makes me cry because I think about how heartbroken she was, because that was her song and that was his song.”

Jamie Lynn has herself been the topic of controversy recently, as her decision to publish a book about her estranged sister has drawn widespread criticism. Britney recently took to her social media to condemn comments made by her younger sibling while doing press for the book, calling Jamie Lynn a “scum person”.

thoughts?