This Is Why Justin Timberlake And Cameron Diaz Didn't End Up Together

Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake remain one of the most popular celebrity pairings of the '00s. As reported by People, Diaz met Timberlake at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in April 2003 and "had joined her new beau on the road as he toured with Christina Aguilera" by that July. However, despite seeming like the perfect match in many ways, the couple's love story came to an abrupt end in early 2007, shocking fans worldwide. But why exactly couldn't two of Hollywood's most beautiful stars make their relationship work?

During her romance with Timberlake, the actress found herself thrown into the spotlight more than ever before, so it's unsurprising that Diaz decided to take a step back from showbiz in more recent years. During a 2019 interview with InStyle, she revealed, "I started [experiencing fame] when I was 22, so 25 years ago — that's a long time. The way I look at it is that I've given more than half of my life to the public." While the former couple's differing approaches to being famous might have contributed to the split, there are actually several possible explanations for why their love didn't last forever. 

Join us as we explore why Justin Timberlake's romance with Cameron Diaz was relatively short-lived. 

Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz's nine-year age gap

Cameron Diaz's relationship with Justin Timberlake regularly made headlines — partially because of the age gap between the pair. While Diaz was born on Aug. 30, 1972, Timberlake's birth date was Jan. 31, 1981, meaning that they were almost nine years apart in age. While it's not one of the most scandalous age gapx in celeb relationships, it's worth noting that both stars have since settled down with partners closer to them in age. In 2015, Diaz married Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden, who was born on March 11, 1979, meaning that there's less than seven years between them. Meanwhile, Timberlake wed Jessica Biel, who was born on March 3, 1982, in 2012 — so there's a little over a year age gap in that marriage.

In 2004, Diaz addressed the age gap between herself and the former NSYNC singer during an interview with W magazine. She explained (via People), "It's not like this is the first time in the history of human relationships that people were drawn to one another because of who they are, not what age they are." And really, who can argue with that?

Cameron Diaz wasn't ready for marriage

Although Cameron Diaz eventually tied the knot with Benji Madden, she wasn't always into the idea of marriage. As recently as 2014 (the year before the two got hitched), she told Marie Claire, "I'm not looking for a husband or marriage or not not looking for that stuff. I'm living, and not thinking what I should or shouldn't be doing with my life." While Diaz's relationship with Madden must have changed her mind, she was originally pretty staunch about the fact that she didn't want to become anyone's wife. 

According to People, Diaz appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2006 and said of her relationship with Justin Timberlake, "I'm a commitment-phobe. [I] don't want to [get married]." Explaining her opinion that marriage wasn't necessary, the movie star later alluded to the pressure placed on women to get married and start families, telling Marie Claire, "We live in a society where everyone has kids, so they want other people to have kids. There is this culture that says celebrities are supposed to be just like us, so people think, 'I have children, why doesn't she?' But I'm not going to do something because it's expected." 

Ultimately, Diaz took a leap of faith with Madden. "I don't know if I was ready [when I got married], but I knew Benji was special," she told InStyle in 2019. "He's just a good man."

Justin Timberlake wasn't hearing wedding bells either

Although there could be innumerate reasons why Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz parted ways, one could be that they felt the same about marriage at the time. Namely, the former boy band star didn't seem to be in any rush to walk down the aisle, either, and he wasn't afraid to say so with a few eyebrow-raising comments in a very public forum.

Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2006, the titular host asked (via TMZ), "I need to know ... Should I get a bridesmaid dress now or not?" Timberlake responded with, "Go ahead, reserve one ... The only thing is, you will have to stay the same size for the next 15 years." That same year, the pop star reaffirmed his ideas about marriage and children during an interview with British GQ. "Men are monkeys, man," he said. "Listen, as for marriage and so on ... I have my two dogs for kids so you should ask them how I'm doing!" The publication noted that Timberlake's girlfriend at the time, Diaz, was within earshot, and he appeared to try to correct his answer with, "Never say never, but why ruin a good thing?" 

But it would seem that the damage had already been done — it doesn't exactly make sense for a couple to stay together when neither appear to be in it for the long haul.

Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz are better off as friends

After splitting up in January 2007, Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz were forced back together again to launch the movie Shrek the Third. Yep, the exes reunited for several red carpet events that summer and even posed for photos together, proving that they remained cordial even after calling it quits. 

While their work on the third Shrek movie would have been completed during their relationship, the friendly exes decided to make another movie together when they co-starred in 2011's Bad Teacher. Diaz and Timberlake's characters even hooked up in the movie, which must have been a little awkward, but they were nothing but professional about it. Of casting Timberlake in the movie, Diaz joked to Digital Spy, "And then we begged him, begged him our hands and knees."

Considering the fact that they chose to make a movie together once they were dating other people proves that there was no bad blood between the stars. And who doesn't love an amicable breakup? However, it's not too surprising, considering Timberlake and Diaz previously highlighted their desire to remain friendly in their breakup statement (via People): "We have, in fact, ended our romantic relationship, and have done so mutually and as friends, with continued love and respect for one another."

Did Justin Timberlake trade Cameron Diaz for Jessica Biel?

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's relationship started in 2007, and the pair went on to tie the knot in October 2012. However, it would seem that when their romance started, Timberlake might still have been dating Cameron Diaz. According to People, in an excerpt from his 2018 autobiography, Hindsight and All the Things I Can't See in Front of Me, Timberlake discussed how he met and fell in love with Biel ... and the timeline seems a little messy. The singer wrote, "Then the Golden Globes [in 2007] came up, and that's when we planned on seeing each other. We were both still seeing other people, keeping ourselves safe from getting hurt, from really putting ourselves out there. It took a bit for both of us to admit to ourselves that we were really, really into each other."

In January 2007, it was reported that Diaz and Timberlake were spotted fighting at a Golden Globes after party, in what People called a "40-minute face-off in a side room." The publication revealed, "According to witnesses, Timberlake was chatting with actress Jessica Biel when Diaz approached. Biel stepped away, and the former couple had a serious exchange." Diaz and Timberlake would announce their breakup days later, and it would seem that the "Cry Me a River" performer had already set his sights on somebody else.

Did Justin Timberlake or Cameron Diaz cheat?

Along with the suggestion that Justin Timberlake fell for Jessica Biel while he was still with Cameron Diaz, there were also claims of infidelity during the couple's relationship. In 2005, MTV News reported that British tabloid News of the World was forced to print an apology to the singer-songwriter after running a story suggesting that he'd had an affair with a model called Lucy Clarkson. After the tabloid lost the court case and was forced to pay Timberlake libel damages, his publicist said, "Yet again, a tabloid has been caught lying. Thankfully, the judicial process worked." However, whispers of alleged cheating continued. 

During a 2014 appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Diaz discussed infidelity without naming names and said, "There's a moment in everybody's time where ... they find that somebody has betrayed them at some level." She added, "It's okay if you did. Everybody gets cheated on." Yikes. While promoting her movieThe Other Woman, which is about a serial cheater, Diaz revisited her anonymous infidelity claims and told the Express, "Whenever there's an end, there's a new beginning. You can't waste your time and energy dwelling on what happened or what could've been or what might've been. Relationships come, relationships go, or they stay or evolve, but we stay alive." 

Whether or not Diaz's relationship with Timberlake ended in this way is unclear, but at least the actress has a healthy approach to moving forward with her life.

Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz's paparazzi clash

Many celebrities find themselves being followed by the paparazzi, so it's unsurprising that Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake were popular subjects for photographers between 2003 and 2007. Diaz discussed her interactions with the paparazzi during a December 2006 interview with W magazine — including an incident in which the two were "surprised" by a couple photographers who'd been hiding in foliage near the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. According to the outlet, "Diaz grabbed a camera from one of them and, he claimed, struck him in the neck and tripped him. The photographers sued Diaz and Timberlake for assault, and the case was settled in 2005." 

Of the incident, Diaz explained, "Something happened in our industry, in our society, and there was an explosion of this really aggressive group of people. I don't even know if they're people, these paparazzi." A similar situation happened to the couple in 2006, with Diaz telling W, "This guy jumps out of the bushes in the middle of the night and starts chasing me down the street ... I'm literally screaming. And Justin's coming out of the house. He thinks his girlfriend's getting assaulted." Although the photographer quickly drove away, Diaz was clearly shaken by the event, and the then-couple contacted the police about the scary incident.

There are clearly some major downsides to being famous, and perhaps the stress of being in such a high-profile romance contributed to the couple's eventual split.

Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz never lived together

Despite being together for over three years, Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake never officially lived together. In 2006, Timberlake told GQ (via CBS News), "I have my own house. It's very important. Healthy. Don't you ever need your own space?" Along with the then-couple's insistence that they didn't want to get married and settle down, they both also valued their independence. Despite now being married to Benji Madden, Diaz told InStyle in 2019, "I like doing my own thing." Could it be that Diaz's love of being independent, and Timberlake's desire to keep his own place, led to their 2007 split?

Regardless of why the couple went their separate ways, they still appear to be on good terms, and have both moved forward with their lives — not only in marriage, but also with children. While Timberlake welcomed a son, Silas, with wife Jessica Biel in 2015, Diaz gave birth to a daughter named Raddix on Dec. 30, 2019.

While it's not always the case when it comes to celeb breakups, things for Timberlake and Diaz seem to have worked out for the best in the end — and we'll always fondly remember one of Hollywood's most glamorous couples of the mid-'00s.