Justin Timberlake Apologizes To Britney Spears Amid Backlash Over NYT Documentary
Justin Timberlake chats with his caddy before teeing off during day three of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.
Kenny Smith/PA Images via Getty Images

After the release of The New York Times documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” which explores her father’s conservatorship over her finances and the media’s inappropriate treatment of her, Justin Timberlake has apologized for his treatment of the pop icon after the two had dated.

In a statement on Instagram, Timberlake apologized to both Britney Spears and Janet Jackson for how he “fell short” in certain moments, which perpetuated a system of “misogyny and racism.”

“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,” Timberlake said. “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…”

“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. 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,” he continued.

“I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career. I know this apology is a first step and doesn’t absolve the past. I want to take accountability for my own missteps in all of this as well as be part of a world that uplifts and supports. I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better,” he concluded.

As reported by Fox News, the documentary briefly explores the relationship between Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears in the early-2000s:

In the documentary, Spears’ and Timberlake’s past romance is examined, once again bringing attention to their controversial split, which, according to Page Six, sparked rumors that Spears was unfaithful.

Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” video featuring an adultress blonde character fueled such speculation, as did a 2003 interview between the “Toxic” singer and Diane Sawyer, who grilled the actress over what she did that caused “so much suffering” for Timberlake.

ABC reporter Diane Sawyer also received strong criticism on social media after the documentary scrutinized her 2003 interview.

“He has gone on television and pretty much said you broke his heart,” Sawyer told Britney at the time. “You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering… What did you do?”