It seems a lot has come to light in the wake of The New York Times releasing its documentary Framing Britney Spears. The project chronicles Spears’ rise to fame and then subsequent fall from grace, including her much-publicized breakdown, and the star being placed under a conservatorship.
First, comedian Sarah Silverman faced backlash for jokes she made about the embattled singer over a decade ago. Now, Spears’ ex, Justin Timberlake, has come under fire for footage aired in the documentary that shows him revealing in a radio interview that despite the “Womanizer” singer’s claims she was a virgin, the two in fact had an intimate relationship. Even though the incident took place a long time ago, Timberlake apparently felt compelled to apologize for his actions, sharing a lengthy statement on Instagram.
In the post, the dad of two wrote in part, “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism” (via People).
Justin Timberlake doesn't win everyone over with his apology, but Jessica Biel stands by her man
Timberlake specifically mentioned both Spears, and Janet Jackson in his remarks, referencing the fallout from a wardrobe malfunction Jackson suffered during their 2004 Super Bowl halftime show (via USA Today). It was widely speculated that Timberlake had knowledge of the stunt ahead of time, and agreed to participate — but later didn’t step up to own what happened, while Jackson faced swift fallout.
It’s worth noting that many commenters to the star’s post were not impressed with his words, with one noting, “I find apologies more genuine when they are the result of self reflection not pressure as a result of negative feedback from a documentary that called you out.” But one supporter who expressed solidarity with Timberlake was his wife since 2012, Jessica Biel (via Insider). The actress, who recently welcomed a second child with Timberlake, took to the comments section of her husband’s post and simply wrote, “I love you,” indicating she is standing by her man as he faces the music for his actions from a decade ago.
Jessica Biel supported Justin Timberlake during another recent scandal and subsequent apology
Meanwhile, this is not the first time Biel has had to support Timberlake during a scandal. In 2019, the star was caught on tape holding hands with Alisha Wainwright, his co-star in the movie Palmer (via Us Weekly). “Jessica was very upset and embarrassed by Justin’s behavior and thought it was completely inappropriate,” a source said about his wife’s reaction to the very public incident. In fact, it was reported she insisted her husband post an apology to Instagram, which he did.
In this apology, the star wrote in part, “A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgement — but let me be clear — nothing happened between me and my costar. I drank way too much that night and I regret my behavior. I should have known better” (via HuffPost). He continued in part, “This is not the example I want to set for my son. I apologize to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be.”
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