Justin Timberlake said it himself: "What goes around... comes around."
According to Page Six, a source close to the Trolls star says he is "seething" because he believes the drama surrounding his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears is "overshadowing his new music."
“Justin had hoped the backlash (from Spears’ memoir) would’ve blown over by now so that he could focus on his new album, which he’s very excited about," the source told the publication. "But every day is something new."
Timberlake has been scrutinized for years for how he allegedly treated Spears during their relationship and many of the public comments and jokes he made about her in the years that followed, primarily about their sex life and her mental health.
In Spears’ bestselling, scathing memoir, The Woman in Me, the pop star said she was "described as a harlot who'd broken the heart of America's golden boy," after the former couple called it quits in 2002 and after three years of dating.
Shortly after their split, Timberlake alluded to rumors that Spears had been unfaithful by casting a Spears look-alike actress for his "Cry Me a River" music video.
“The truth: I was comatose in Louisiana, and he was happy running around Hollywood," Spears wrote, before alleging that Timberlake had actually cheated on her "several times."
“There’s always more leeway in Hollywood for men than for women,” she added. “And I see how men are encouraged to talk trash about women in order to become famous and powerful. But I was shattered.”
in addition to the release of “Cry Me a River,” Timberlake repeatedly made crude and disrespectful comments about his sex life with Spears, BuzzFeed reports, and in the years that followed made public, not-so-thinly veiled jabs at Spear’s highly-publicized and scrutinized mental health condition.
Timberlake has yet to publicly comment on any of the allegations in Spears' memoir, but in December, 2023 seemed to allude to them during a performance at the opening of the Fountainbleau Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Before performing "Cry Me a River," Timberlake told the crowd: “No disrespect.” He then started singing the line: “But aren’t all just entertainers?”
In January, Spears inexplicably apologized to Timberlake for the allegations she made in her memoir. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Spears wrote that she wanted to "apologize for some of the things I wrote about in my book."
"If I offended any of the people I genuinely care about I am deeply sorry," the post continued. "I also wanted to say I am in love with Justin Timberlake’s new song 'Selfish' It is soo good and how come every time I see Justin and Jimmy together I laugh so hard?"
Shortly after, Timberlake added fuel to the controversial fire he is allegedly so upset about by telling a New York crowd that in no uncertain terms he is done apologizing.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to absolutely f****** nobody," Timberlake said, according to People.
Spears quickly responded with another Instagram post, TMZ reported, featuring a golden hour shot of the moon, clouds and a basketball hoop and one scathing caption.
"Someone told me someone was talking s*** about me on the streets !!! Do you want to bring it to the court or will you go home crying to your mom like you did last time???" the singer wrote. "I'm not sorry !!!"
If Timberlake is truly upset about how much oxygen this so-called revived "feud" is taking up, maybe.... don't talk about it?
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Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.
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