Justin Timberlake apologized to ex-girlfriend Britney Spears on Instagram, 19 years after blaming her publicly for their break up and using his ‘broken heart’ to promote his solo music.
Timberlake also apologized to Janet Jackson for tearing off her costume at the 2004 Super Bowl performance to expose her breast — in what they said was an accident at the time — but Jackson greatly suffered the consequences.
“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,” Timberlake said in the long Instagram post.
The apology came after Timberlake was tagged in social media posts about Spears and the campaign to release her from a conservatorship held by her father.
In the Hulu documentary, Framing Britney Spears, which lays bare how Spears has — according to her fans— been exploited by the men in her life.
Spear’s fans claim that Timberlake is one of them. The two dated from 1999 until 2002 after meeting at The Mickey Mouse Club and were an iconic star duo at that time. But they split abruptly and rumors soon emerged that she’d cheated on him.
Timberlake’s career soared at an all-time high. Albums and songs were promoted under the narrative that Spears broke his heart. In the music video for his 2002 hit Cry Me A River, he even used a Britney lookalike. Britney was crucified for their break-up.
In a 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, Sawyer asked Spears about the breakup.
“He’s gone on television and pretty much said you broke his heart, you did something that caused him so much pain. What did you do?” Sawyer asked.
“We’re both really young. It was kind of waiting to happen. I will always love him,” Spears said, who was 21 back then. “Everyone has a side of their story and to make them feel a certain way, make them feel, you know… I’m not saying he’s wrong and I’m not saying he’s right either.”
In his apology post, Timberlake said he’d seen the ‘tags’ about the documentary and his alleged involvement in her downfall.
Timberlake also apologized to Janet Jackson.
He with Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl, and at the end of the performance, he tore off her costume to expose her breast.
Jackson was wearing a nipple cover but looked visibly shocked by what he’d done and the audience was irate.
MTV and Viacom said in a statement said it was not part of the planned show.
Timberlake and Jackson called it a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. However, Jackson’s career suffered greatly afterward and she was blacklisted by Viacom, in addition, she was banned from going to the Grammy’s too.
While Timberlake’s career soared and was even invited back to perform again in 2018.
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