19 years after his breakup with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake has apologized to both Spears and Janet Jackson in a recent Instagram post.
“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,” the singer wrote. “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”
In February, The New York Times Presents revisited moments from Spears’ life, from her first record’s release in 1999 to the ongoing legal dispute surrounding her court-sanctioned conservatorship. It makes nearly everyone involved in her career in some form—interviewers, paparazzi, even exes—look terrible, and rightfully so.
A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake)
One conversation that stuck out was the media coverage of her relationship and eventual breakup with singer Justin Timberlake in 2002. In the aftermath of the breakup, Timberlake released a song written about her, ultimately incriminating Spears. It was a media frenzy, and most took Timberlake’s side.
Since the episode’s release, social media has lit up, placing blame on Timberlake for both the media coverage and his silence surrounding the 2004 Super Bowl controversy with Janet Jackson. The incident ultimately stalled Jackson’s career, with little impact on Timberlake’s.
Spears and Jackson have not yet publicly addressed his apology.
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