justin and britneyThey were one of pop music's greatest couples: Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. Even if you didn't like them individually, you liked them collectively. They seemed perfect together. Young, beautiful, rich, in love. But when the couple broke up -- AKA when Justin broke up with Britney -- things changed. For the better for Justin. For the much, much worse for Britney. According to the Spears' family attorney, Leon Gladstone, who's currently in the midst of a defamation and breach-of-contract case brought on by Britney's ex-manager Sam Lutfi, it was this break-up that was the beginning of the end for the pop star. In an opening statement, Gladstone stated that Spears' break-up with Timberlake left her depressed and angry, and it was the start of a horrible downward spiral that included bizarre shot-gun weddings in Vegas and serious drug-use.

Meanwhile, in other news, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel just got married in a gorgeous, star-studded event in southern Italy. 

It's hard not to compare the two. As I said, at one time, they were at the exact same point in life -- on top of the world -- and they were doing it as a couple. Spears, arguably, was even more famous and revered than Timberlake at the time. But when they broke up, their lives could not have gone in more different directions. Justin broke off from 'N Sync, and became an extremely successful solo act. He started making hilarious appearances on Saturday Night Live. He formed a clothing line. And he shaved those gelled curls from his head, revealing a seriously sexy dude.

But Britney. Oh Britney. She really went down-hill. She got married -- twice. She was in and out of rehab. And she, too, shaved her head; however, there was not a seriously sexy dude underneath. At first, everyone felt bad for her -- especially seeing her downward spiral juxtaposed against Justin's success. But then it started getting scary.

So, now, here we are. Years later. And Britney seems to be doing ... okay. But this trial is going on. This trial brought on by the extremely shady "former manager" of Britney. And it's happening the same time Justin is marrying the extremely gorgeous -- extremely sane -- Jessica Biel.

As the trial goes on, we're finding out things like how, at one point, Britney locked herself in her bathroom with her son Jayden one night, and paramedics and police were called to the house.  And how after police arrived, she was strapped to a gurney for being "belligerent", and taken to the hospital, where she "didn't sleep a wink" for three days. We're learning that the supposed reason Britney shaved her head was because of crystal meth. And now, we're learning -- even though we kind of already knew -- that the break-up with Justin was, indirectly, the start of this all.

Hopefully, for Britney's sake, this trial will be as swift and pain-free as possible. She seems to be in a decent place right now -- there can't be much good that will come from rehashing things. Oh, and, hey -- congrats to Justin and Jessica.

Do you think Justin had something to do with Britney's downward spiral?


Image via Frank Micelotta/Getty