Scoop! Britney’s comeback: ‘bigger and better’ comeback 

Britney Spears has taken to the Interwebs to defend herself against a recent barrage of bad press. Said to be, ahem, resting at an Arizona spa following her New Year’s nod-off, the pop star posted a new message to fans promising to "com[e] back this year bigger and better than ever."

"The last couple of years have been quite a ride for me," Britney understates on her Web site. "The media has criticized my every move and printed a skewed perception of who I really am as a human being." (Uh, Brit, we’re not really sure how the press "skewed" those shots of you stumbling around sans panties, but whatever. We’ll go with it. We want you to succeed!)

Brit acknowledges her recent behavior may have turned off fans, but again shifts the blame to the media "exaggerating" her antics, saying: "If I were you I’d be unhappy too if I had to read what I’ve been reading every day. But trust me, I get it."

As for the hoped-for comeback her loyal fans have been patiently anticipating, Britney gushes, "I’ve been working so hard on this new album and I can’t wait for you all to hear it and to go on tour again!" The disc will drop "sometime later this year, but the date is … notcertain," Britney says. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype — and gets her career back on track.

Justin: Seeing Scarlett?

The rumored breakup of sexy singer Justin Timberlake and free-spirited actress Cameron Diaz hasn’t been confirmed, but already J.T. is said to be moving on. The object of his alleged admiration? Hottie starlet Scarlett Johansson, reports the U.K.’s "News of the World."

Scarlett stars in Justin’s new video for "What Comes Around," and a source tells the British paper they "really hit it off" at the shoot.

Last week at the L.A. premiere of his flick "Alpha Dog," says the source, Justin was all about Scarlett as soon as he saw her: "There were other people trying to speak to Justin but he kept his attention on her for around an hour. They looked very intimate." The source adds, "But he’s still trying to make it look low-key — because he left with his mum Lynn later through a back exit."

While Justin has not officially announced the demise of his nearly four-year relationship with Cameron, Scarlett is hardly free of romantic entanglements herself: She was seen not long ago canoodling with nonexclusive on-off boyfriend Josh Harnett.

Renee: Ready to Love Again?

Intensely private Oscar winner Renee Zellwegger usually expresses herself through onscreen characters "so I never feel exposed," as she tells "Life." But in the magazine’s new cover story, she’s startlingly candid about her sudden separation from country star Kenny Chesney last year after a whirlwind five-month marriage.

Asked to look back on the hardest part of 2006, Renee cracks, "Well, I’m sure that if you buy groceries, you might have read something about it." But then she tears up as she goes on to point out that the end of a marriage is "a very sad experience for anyone to go through, and it’s not fun when people decide that it’s a lovely thing to capitalize on. But you’re oblivious to that because you are living the reality of the experience — which is devastating."

That experience has made the "Miss Potter" star more cautious, but hasn’t hardened her heart altogether. She says she’s not sure whether she’ll fall in love again: "I’m open to something new. … I just don’t have any expectations. That doesn’t mean that I’m not a romantic." As for having a family someday, "I don’t think about it. ... I don’t have a list of things I need in order to be happy."

Next up: "Leatherheads," with George Clooney, whom Renee says she’s "scared" of owing to his notorious rep as a prankster. Renee, perhaps you should be more worried about his equally notorious rep as a heartbreaker.

Kitty Raymond is an entertainment writer who has a celebrity astrology blog at www.celebastroblogy.com.

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