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Friday, 31 August, 2001, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Britney's engagement denied
Britney Spears' record company has denied reports that the pop star is to marry her 'N Sync boyfriend Justin Timberlake.
A spokeswoman for Jive Records said tabloid reports that Spears had accepted a marriage proposal from US boy group member Timberlake were "rubbish".
She added that Spears would deny suggestions that she and Timberlake were engaged in an interview for the ITV show Rich and Famous, to be aired next week.
On Friday, papers including the Sun, the Mirror and London's Evening Standard, reported that Spears, 19, had accepted a marriage proposal more than a month ago.
The couple were reported to have been in the middle of a recording session for the couple's new duet when Timberlake, 20, popped the question.
If true, the news would be a big upset to the millions of male fans of the singer - whose hits include Oops I Did It Again and Baby, One More Time.
It could also be a blow to Spears' young female followers, many of whom look up to Spears - a self-proclaimed virgin - as a role model of female independence.
But the Jive Records spokeswoman assured BBC News Online that there was no truth in the stories.
"They have already said that they bought the rings purely as a mark of 'friendship'."
Spears and Timberlake were recently the subject of hoax reports that they had been involved in a car accident.
Two disc jockeys in Dallas sparked a panic among fans by reporting that Spears had died and Timberlake was in a coma.
The reports were quickly denied by Spears' record label. The DJs from radio station KEGL were dismissed.
Spears and Timberlake have officially been going out for about a year.
But they first met each other on US TV show the Mickey Mouse Club in the early 90s.
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