Why’d she have to go and make things so complicated? Kelly Clarkson opened up in a new interview about that time her pop peer Avril Lavigne elbowed her at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. The “Love So Soft” songstress, 35, recounted the awkward moment during a very candid chat with Howard Stern last week.

“I got elbowed in the face by someone I was giving an award to at the VMAs,” Kelly said, not directly mentioning Avril’s name. However, Howard, 63, quickly did some research in the middle of his interview with the American Idol alum — and discovered that it was indeed the pop-punk princess who jostled Kelly on stage. As viewers may recall, Avril, then 17, aggressively brushed her body against Kelly’s as the reality TV vet, then 20, handed her the award for Best New Artist.

“It was her,” Kelly said of Avril, “but I will say this: Years later she saw me and she said, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know, people keep saying I elbowed you in the face, and I’m so sorry!’…She did it, but I don’t know if she felt bad about it, or, like, she didn’t mean to do it or what. But it felt purposeful.”

Whether or not Avril meant it (watch the video below and make your own judgment), Kelly said she was upset about their interaction because she had looked up to the Canadian-born singer as an artist. “I think what I was bummed about is I’m a fan of hers,” Kelly admitted. “I loved her music.”

The musicians eventually put their drama behind them when they teamed up for Kelly’s 2004 mega-hit “Breakaway.” Avril co-wrote the song with Bridget Benenate and Matthew Gerrard. Despite Avril’s assistance, Kelly believes the track — which appeared on the soundtrack for The Princess Diaries 2 — was so successful because of Disney’s immense promotion. “Disney promoted the crap out of that song,” she said.

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