In the latest issue of Playboy, Justin Timberlake defends his ex, Britney Spears.

It seems like forever ago that the two dated ... they were together from 1999 - 2002, when Timberlake, now 30, and Spears, now 29, were in their late teens.

Even though they reportedly broke up because Spears cheated on Timberlake with a dancer, Justin defended Britney when asked about his former flame's current state.

    "I can't remember the last conversation I had with her. But this thing that happens online bothers me -- these anonymous commenters. People think they can say anything and it doesn't matter to people. I'd love to see the people who comment about Britney online say those things to her face, because they couldn't."

Strange that they never run into each other, but sweet that he came to her defense!

Timberlake was also asked about an online video comparing Spears' current dance abilities to her routines from years ago. He said:

    "The internet is a cruel place. What a f--ed-up thing to do. In Britney's defense, if you pulled up a video I did from 2003, I couldn't do the sh-t I did then either."

X17 caught up with Britney's current bf, former manager Jason Trawick, in LA Tuesday. Check out the exclusive pics below!

Also in the interview, which hits newsstands Friday, Timberlake admitted that he smokes pot and talked about how Justin Bieber needs to be careful as he grows up in the spotlight.

This issue of Playboy is a much-talked about one, especially now that the cover has been revealed. It features playmate Crystal Harris with the headline, "Mrs. Crystal Hefner." See the cover after the jump!