Britney Spears has hit back at pop legend Cher after the veteran singer branded her a "ho" - despite the fact the pair will star together in forthcoming movie IN THE PINK.

Spears was reportedly left fuming when the BELIEVE singer criticised her in front of 20,000 fans at a gig in Auckland, New Zealand, during the Australasian leg of her farewell tour.

Cher famously said, "I'm not going to give up show business, but there are new girls coming up like Britney and J.Lo."

But when the crowd booed, the superstar turned on her contemporaries, snapping "I know. They are hoes, aren't they?"

According to British newspaper the DAILY SPORT, the TOXIC beauty told friends, "I wanna know just who's the ho, Cher?"

A close friend confides, "This remark by Cher has been very upsetting to Britney because she always looked up to and admired Cher. Now she feels she's been stabbed in the back. She told me, 'Before she starts calling anyone a ho, Cher should take a look in the mirror.'"

Relations between Spears and Cher first became strained when Cher pulled out of a duet with the 23-year-old at the last minute three years ago (02).

09/03/2005 10:32