Britney Spears is in a war of words with her former employers at "The X Factor."
The pop diva released a statement Friday confirming weeks of speculation that she won't be returning as a judge for the Fox singing show's third season. Except that, according to Spears, it wasn't the producers' decision. It was all hers.
"I've made the very difficult decision not to return for another season," a statement attributed to Spears said. "I had an incredible time doing the show and I love the other judges and I am so proud of my teens, but it's time for me to get back in the studio. Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much! I can't wait to get back out there and do what I love most."
These words raised a few eyebrows Friday afternoon because Simon Cowell and the other producers have done nothing to stem reports that they were unhappy with Spears' lackluster judging performance this past season. "X Factor" suffered through double-digit ratings declines despite expectations that Spears' presence would boost viewership.