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Justin Timberlake issues apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson: ‘I benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism’

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Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake has issued an apology to Britney Spears following backlash from the Framing Britney Spears documentary (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

Justin Timberlake has made a public apology to ex-girlfriend Britney Spears and fellow artist Janet Jackson following recent backlash.

The singer was trending over the weekend after Hulu’s Framing Britney Spears documentary highlighted ways in which he benefited from the former couple’s famous split, while he was also trending for failing to help Janet Jackson deal with the fallout of their 2014 Super Bowl performance.

Taking to Instagram on Friday, the 40-year-old wrote: ‘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.’

He continued: ‘I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.

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‘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.’

Justim Timberlake and Janet Jackson - Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show
Justin also apologized to Janet Jackson for failing to recognize his privilege after she took the brunt of the fallout from their 2014 Super Bowl performance (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

The Palmer actor added: ‘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. I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career.’

He concluded: ‘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.’

Justin Timberlake issues apology to Britney Spears
Some fans weren’t impressed it took over 15 years for Justin to make his apology (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

Despite claims that Britney holds ‘no grudge’ towards her ex-boyfriend, viewers of the film about her life had been demanding a public apology from the singer in recent days.

The SexyBack singer dated Britney from 1999 to 2002 when they split following reports that she had cheated on him. 

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Justin later fanned these flames with the release of his first solo single Cry Me A River, which tells the story of a man refusing a grovelling apology from an ex.

The subsequent music video featured a Britney lookalike, and in subsequent interviews he would admit to taking the singer’s virginity, bragging: ‘OK I did it.’

These incidents would later play part in a larger media pile-on that culminated in Britney having a nervous breakdown in 2007, resulting in a conservatorship that’s still in place today. 

Justin is now married to actress Jessica Biel – who commented ‘I love you’ on the post – and the pair have two children together.

Britney is currently dating personal trainer Sam Asghari, who recently spoke out against her father, Jamie, in a scathing post.

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MORE : Framing Britney Spears: Justin Timberlake comes under fire from fans following Free Britney documentary

MORE : Mariah Carey shades NFL’s Super Bowl and supports Colin Kaepernick and Janet Jackson appreciation days

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