Justin Timberlake has at least one person on his side in the wake of the Free Britney Spears documentary: his wife, Jessica Biel.
On February 12, Timberlake extended an official apology to Britney Spears for his disparaging behavior following their breakup nearly 20 years ago. He also apologized to Janet Jackson for his inaction in the wake of their controversial Super Bowl halftime show performance in 2004, another instance where he took part in the destruction of a female artist’s character.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he wrote on Instagram in response to immense backlash after the release of the New York Times documentary. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success,” the Palmer actor continued. “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.”
Timberlake ended his message by promising that the apology was just his “first step” in his plans to take “accountability” for his “missteps.” He didn’t specify what any next step would entail.
Though comments on Timberlake’s post range from encouraging to skeptical, the pop star clearly has support at home. Justin Timberlake’s wife of nine years and the mother of his two children, Jessica Biel, took to the comments on February 12 to write, “I love you. ❤️”
Britney Spears and Janet Jackson have yet to publicly comment on the apology, however, Spears seemingly responded to the documentary on February 9.
“Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!! We all have so many different bright beautiful lives,” she tweeted. “Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens.”