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3am: Just a bad joke..

Byline: WITH JESSICA CALLAN, EVA SIMPSON AND NIKI WALDEGRAVE

JUSTIN Timberlake proved he's as insecure as the rest of us mere mortals when he broke down after being the victim of MTV's candid camera- style programme, Punk'd.

The *NSync star was convinced by "United States Tax Enforcers" that his property was going to be confiscated because he owed pounds 650,000 to the taxman.

The singer was struck dumb when told that it would be sold at a public auction.

With his head in his hands, the despairing 22-year-old star - riding high with his first solo album Justified - sat on the steps of his LA mansion on the verge of tears...

But just when the pop idol was contemplating having to start from scratch again, he got a call from his mum - who was in on the stunt.

And poor Justin realised it had all been a cruel joke.

Luckily, the star managed to see the funny side and eventually fell about laughing with Punk'd host Ashton Kutcher.

Wish we could have been there.

CAPTION(S):

BAD NEWS: "Tax agents" confront Justin; DRAMA: They inspect star's paperwork; DESPAIR: Shocked Justin's nearly in tears; DISBELIEF: But mum calls to spill beans RELIEVED: Laughs with Ashton
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2003
Words:204
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