Handwritten letters from Britney Spears to her high school boyfriend are among a trove of music memorabilia going under the hammer.
The pop singer was in a relationship with Donald “Reg” Jones from her hometown of McComb, Missouri, when she was on the brink of superstardom.
Spears, 39, broke up with her childhood sweetheart in a two-page handwritten note that begins: “Look, I’m really sorry that it had to be this way, but I think we both knew this was coming.”
She later adds: “I’ve had a great two years. Who knows, two years from now or even 10, we might get back together if it’s meant to be.”
Spears wrote Jones a second letter in August 1998, which is postmarked from the New York City apartment she was living in while her former boyfriend was still in McComb.
“What was wrong with you at lunch? You were mean,” Spears wrote. The note included swear words but the singer signed off with a love heart.
The handwritten letters are each estimated to sell for between £2,800-£4,250 at this weekend’s Julien’s Auction’s Music Icons event in Beverly Hills.
Julien’s Auctions executive director Martin Nolan told the PA news agency the letters have attracted fevered interest.
“They are terrific,” he said. “It was a school friendship that developed into a relationship and then she was having a hard time trying to break the relationship, she didn’t see a future for them.
“It’s really very heartfelt, genuine from her to him and from him to her. It’s also unusual to have both sides, if you will, represented in different letters in the one auction. They’re getting a lot of interest.”
Mr Nolan said the letters are made all the more intriguing because they are a throwback to a time before communications were overwhelmingly digital.
He added: “Social media is making our business and it’s killing our business. Because it’ll be texts – but maybe it’ll be an NFT of a text we could sell in the future.”
The Julien’s Auctions sale includes more than 1,000 items linked to some of the music industry’s biggest names.
Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics for the 1969 track Lay Lady Lay have a pre-auction estimate of £350,000-£425,000.
A self-portrait caricature drawing from Kurt Cobain, signed “Kurdt Kobain Rock Star,” could fetch £14,000.
Other lots for sale include items linked to Prince, Sir Elton John and Frank Sinatra.
The Music Icons auction finishes on Sunday. To bid, visit JuliensLive.com.