Britney, 22, and 21-year-old Columbus made headlines last year (03), after they were photographed affectionately embracing while rehearsing her new dance routines.
At the time, they denied being romantically involved, but now Columbus tells America's STAR magazine in an exclusive interview, "It's true I slept with Britney, (but) we never had sex," because another person was in the room at the time.
He explains, "We shared a bed (and) were really close, kissing and hugging. There was a chemistry between Britney and me like I've never known before.
"Britney and I got on great both on and off stage. We both have lots of energy, and she is really fun to be around. It was tough for me because I didn't understand the press would react so quickly, and my wife was expecting our first child."
When the pair jetted to Europe, their romance deepened when they were seen cavorting around the HOTEL HASSLER in Rome.
Columbus adds, "It was during this period that Britney and I were at our closest. I'll never forget one night when we were dancing in this club and I pulled her close to me and we just stared into one another's eyes. The chemistry was magical, and at that moment, any problems didn't matter because our feelings were so strong."
But Columbus knew the romance was doomed from the start, explaining, "We both knew a relationship wasn't going to happen. Britney's mom LYNNE stepped in to prevent that as soon as our feelings started to develop."
Britney's management later dropped him from the TOXIC singer's 2004 tour. He's now teaching dance classes in Japan to earn extra cash, while JENNIFER LOPEZ's ex-husband Cris Judd has taken over choreographing duties for the Louisiana native.23/02/2004 13:54