Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake: I Love and Respect Cameron

04/09/2007 at 04:55 PM EDT

Justin Timberlake: I Love and Respect Cameron
Justin Timberlake
Bloomberg news/Landov
Although Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz broke up earlier this year after nearly four years together, the singer has nothing but kind words for his ex.

Asked about the split by British GQ, Timberlake, 26, says, "It's hard for me to talk about because we're talking about a person that I love and respect."

Timberlake, known for being mum about his personal life, makes it clear that he'd never speak badly about Diaz – and wouldn't tolerate anyone else doing it either.

"If I hear anyone say anything bad about Cameron then I'll have something to say to them," he tells the magazine in its May issue.

When it comes to the subject of his other ex, Britney Spears, Timberlake tells the magazine, "Honestly, I am so far removed from that situation."

Timberlake's best friend, Trace Ayala, seconds that, saying, "She just isn't part of his life."

As for the rumor that Timberlake sent a veiled message to Spears while accepting a Brit Award for best international male solo artist in February, the singer is mystified.

At the awards ceremony Timberlake told the crowd, "Stop drinking! You know who you are. I'm speaking to you. You are going to get sloppy," which some tabloids guessed was a reference to Spears, who entered rehab later that month.

Justin Timberlake: I Love and Respect Cameron| Justin Timberlake

Courtesy British GQ

Timberlake says he "didn't know anything" about the rumor and shakes his head in disbelief, asking, "A coded message to Britney?"

He clearly has other things to think about: He's midway through his FutureSex/LoveShow tour, which wraps up in China in September, and stars in Black Snake Moan with Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson, currently in theaters.

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