Justin Timberlake appears to be taking what he’s read or heard about Britney Spears from her memoir to his heart. At least, he’s publicly expressing some sign of understanding. So, Timberlake, 42, offered up a little disclaimer ahead of him singing Cry Me a River. Let’s break this down.
Timberlake was appearing at the opening of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas hotel on Wednesday night. This song’s lyrics happen to talk about an unfaithful partner. Spears recently dumped on the song in her memoir, The Woman in Me, according to EW.com.
According to some video shared on TikTok, Timberlake appears to turn toward the crowd. He puts his hands out and reportedly says, “No disrespect.”
Justin Timberlake Takes Stage With Spears’ Shadow Over Him
Timberlake then launches into a short bit from his 2013 collaboration with Jay-Z, Holy Grail, which interpolates Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. He sings, “Ain’t we all just entertainers? / And we’re stupid and contagious / Know we all just entertainers.”
Both Spears and Timberlake did date for several years before breaking up in 2002. Along with its lyrics, the video for Cry Me a River was released the same year as their split. It features a blonde woman who looks similar to Spears. Spears wrote that the video “shattered” her.
“In the news media, I was described as a harlot who’d broken the heart of America’s golden boy,” Spears writes. “The truth: I was comatose in Louisiana, and he was happily running around Hollywood. May I just say that on his explosive album and in all the press that surrounded it, Justin neglected to mention the several times he’d cheated on me?”
Spears had a definite take on whose side everyone was on after their breakup. “I felt there was no way at the time to tell my side of the story,” Spears writes. “I couldn’t explain, because I knew no one would take my side once Justin had convinced the world of his version. (And) I don’t think Justin realized the power he had in shaming me. I don’t think he understands to this day.”
Singer Did Apologize To His Ex Under A Lot Of Heat
For his part, Timberlake did apologize publicly for how he treated Spears. That happened after he received a ton of backlash from the documentary Framing Britney Spears in 2021.
“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 wrote, according to his account, on Instagram at the time. “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.”
At this time, Timberlake continues to perform while appearing in movies. Spears does grab some of the spotlight through her Instagram videos, which she’s been putting out at different times.
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