Justin Timberlake has apologized to both his former girlfriend Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, who he performed with at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” Timberlake wrote on Instagram. “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 added. “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.”
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Timberlake has been criticized for his treatment of Spears following the release of a New York Times documentary following her rise to fame and legal struggles. Spears and Timberlake dated from 1999 to 2002. The film says Timberlake painted her as unfaithful in the press and with his 2002 music video “Cry Me a River” following the couple’s split.
For years, Timberlake has been panned for not initially defending Jackson, who was widely blamed for the infamous wardrobe malfunction that exposed her breast during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004. The incident crippled Jackson’s career and it took Timberlake several years to come to Jackson’s defense in public.
“I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career,” Timberlake said Friday. “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 a part of a world that uplifts and supports.”
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