Justin Timberlake apologizes to Britney Spears after backlash

Timberlake also issued an apology to Janet Jackson. File/AFP
Timberlake also issued an apology to Janet Jackson. File/AFP
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Updated 13 February 2021

Justin Timberlake apologizes to Britney Spears after backlash

Timberlake also issued an apology to Janet Jackson. File/AFP

DUBAI: In a statement on Instagram on Friday, Justin Timberlake said he was “deeply sorry” and “wants to take accountability” for how he treated Britney Spears in the past after a new documentary led to backlash online. 

The former *NSYNC star faced criticism for the way he treated Spears during and after their high-profile relationship, which was highlighted in “Framing Britney Spears,” a new documentary released on Hulu. 

Timberlake and Spears dated between 1999 and 2002. After their split, he indirectly accused her of cheating on him when he hired a lookalike actress to appear in the video for his single “Cry Me A River.”

He also apologized to Janet Jackson, after failing to support her over their controversial Super Bowl performance in 2004.

“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments and concerns and I want to respond. 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,” said Timberlake in the statement. 

“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed. I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from,” he added.




Timberlake and Spears dated between 1999 and 2002. File/AFP

The singer went on to state that the “industry is flawed,” favoring white men – something he did not recognize when he was younger but is trying to address now.

“It sets men, especially white men, up for success,” he wrote. “It’s designed this way. As a man in a privileged position, I have to be vocal about this. 

“Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”

“Framing Britney Spears” was created by The New York Times and examines the popstar’s humble beginnings, rise to fame and the misogyny she faced during her career.

The 75-minute documentary also goes into detail about the singer’s conservatorship, a legal arrangement that has given her father Jamie Spears control over her career and finances since 2008, and which she is currently fighting in court.