June 22, 2001 -- (ABCNEWS.com) — Pop fans weren't the only folks shocked by a recent radio stunt in which two DJs claimed that Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears had died in a car crash. The singers themselves were rather taken aback.
"The first thing I did was call Britney," said 'N Sync singer Timberlake.
"She was in L.A. and I was in, I believe, Philadelphia the day it happened, so we were across the country from each other," said Timberlake. "The first thing she says to me was, like, 'Hey, where are you?' You know, we both kind of heard about it at the same time."
The two Dallas disc jockeys who aired the news of the false collision have since been fired.
For the young pop stars, being the subject of a false rumor is not an entirely new experience.
"Since the beginning, [when] people knew about our relationship, there's always been things that have been said that were totally not true, but this just, like, took it to a whole 'nother planet," said Timberlake.
And while he says he and Spears routinely deal with the fans and attention their careers attract, he was still upset by how rumors like this one affect their families.
"It just sucks that my family was so worried about it and Britney's family, too, because they're part of my family … I seriously got, like, six phone calls from different people in my family — immediately."