Justin Timberlake recently made headlines after seemingly taking a shot at his ex-girlfriend, Britney Spears, during his “One Night Only” birthday concert at Irving Plaza in New York City on Wednesday. The NSYNC alum told the audience, “I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to absolutely nobody,” before performing his 2002 hit “Cry Me a River,” which was inspired by the pop star cheating on him during their relationship.
Social media was quick to react, with many criticizing Timberlake for shading Spears just days after she publicly praised his new single, “Selfish.” However, some came to his defense, with one person even telling the former boy bander, “You don’t have to Justin. She is the bad person and her fans are horrible people!”
The pair dated from 1999 to 2002, and their relationship has been the subject of public scrutiny. In her memoir, Spears revealed she had an abortion while dating Timberlake because he “wasn’t happy” about the pregnancy and “didn’t want to be a father.” She later extended an olive branch to Timberlake by expressing her love for his new song.
In response to Spears’ revelations in her memoir, Timberlake was previously explored in the New York Times’ 2021 documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” where he publicly apologized to his ex. Later that year, he showed support for Spears after she came forward about her “abusive” 13-year conservatorship, which was officially terminated.
The music superstars started dating in 1999 and broke up in 2002. At the time, Timberlake implied Spears had cheated on him, which she later admitted in her memoir was true. Their complex history, including cheating allegations, has continued to be a topic of interest among fans.
Timberlake is currently married to Jessica Biel and shares two sons with her, while Spears is going through a divorce from Sam Asghari and shares two sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline. The intricate dynamics of their personal and professional lives continue to captivate public interest.