Justin Timberlake’s brand-new book, Hindsight: & All the Things I Can’t See in Front of Me, doesn’t actually mention Britney Spears, but it certainly does include talk about his 2002 breakup anthem, “Cry Me a River,” which is heavily rumored to be about the pop titan.
In the book, which was released on Tuesday (October 30), JT said that the Timbaland-produced track came to fruition pretty fast because of his intense emotions at the time. “I’ve been scorned. I’ve been pissed off,” he explained in an except via PEOPLE. “I wrote ‘Cry Me a River’ in two hours. I didn’t plan on writing it. The feelings I had were so strong that I had to write it, and I translated my feelings into a form where people could listen and, hopefully, relate to it. People heard me and they understood it because we’ve all been there.”
Timberlake continued on, admitting that he has plenty “unconscious sources of inspiration.” “One thing I’ve learned is that I have to let the feelings or ideas that inspire me become what they want to be,” the 37-year-old continued.
Spears and Timberlake dated from 1999 to 2002 after their childhood history together in The Mickey Mouse Club. “When we initially parted ways I felt like she had a couple of opportunities to just sort of stick up for me, and she didn’t, which is fine. But at that time, you know, I fought back,” JT told GQ in 2006. Spears, on the other hand, seems unphased by the former romance, considering that she uploaded a workout video soundtracked to Timberlake’s “LoveStoned” on Instagram.