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She's from Florida.She's a brilliant science nerd.She's a boxer.She's a mama's girl.She got her big break acting in commercials.She's a huge fan of Michael B. Jordan.She loves to travel.
This weekend, the internet had a bit of a meltdown when pictures of Justin Timberlake (opens in new tab) holding hands with his Palmer costar (opens in new tab), Alisha Wainwright emerged. A source told E! News (opens in new tab) that Timberlake and his wife, Jessica Biel (opens in new tab), are moving past the lapse in judgement.
"They are downplaying everything and trying to laugh it off as nothing. But it was definitely inappropriate and something that would make any wife uncomfortable," the insider told the outlet. "He had too much to drink and got carried away. [Justin] says it was not a big deal, they were all hanging out together and that's the end of the story."
Timberlake and Biel (opens in new tab) might have moved on from the story already, but if you're not there yet, here's everything you need to know about Alisha Wainwright.
Wainwright was born in Florida and stayed in the Sunshine State for college, attending the University of Florida, where she majored in botany.
After graduating from college, Wainwright studied plant reproductive biology and seedling recruitment at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (opens in new tab).
"Science is one of the toughest industries because everyone is vying for the same pot of money to fund their research," Wainwright told W magazine (opens in new tab) of her science obsession. "I had a very weird anthropological-botanical focus, and I couldn't find anyone to give me the money to study it. I had to shift my focus to something a little broader, and I wasn't as interested in it."
Wainwright channeled her inner action star in several scenes for Freeform's supernatural drama, Shadowhunters, and she's even more badass IRL. The actress has shared several clips of her amazing boxing skills to Instagram.
Wainwright was raised by a single mother (opens in new tab) and today, she and her mom have an unbreakable bond.
"Your mother is your guiding light into the world. That's how I think about my mom," Wainwright told Shondaland.com. "My mom is an accountant and she's Jamaican. She's proud and excited that I took a chance on acting and it worked out. She's on board and is my biggest fan."
She says her first professional gig (opens in new tab) was a commercial for the Apple Maps app. Sadly, we could not find the clip on YouTube.
Wainwright costarred with Jordan in Netflix's Raising Dion, and had nothing but praise for the actor.
"The man is non-stop," she told Shondaland. "He is doing so many things, wearing so many hats. I admire his dedication and portfolio of content, movies and projects. A black person making content is creating a voice, a perspective. He was involved in pre-production and checked in while we were shooting, and he’s in half the episodes. He’s so personable, kind and generous."
When she's not acting or kicking literal butt in the boxing gym, Wainwright loves to travel—even if it means jetting off solo.
A post shared by Alisha Wainwright (@alishawainwright) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
"I travel by myself a lot because it's so hard to find someone else who has a schedule that coincides with mine," she told Condé Nast Traveler (opens in new tab). "But I would say my favorite kind of travel is a mix of the two: If I'm traveling by myself, I still like to be part of a group experience, whether that's living aboard a boat so I can scuba dive or signing up for a group hiking trip to Machu Picchu. That way you get to meet new people who are probably traveling from all over the world and explore a culture and a place together, but you're not so tied to those people that you're obligated to spend all of your time with them."
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Sources Say Justin Timberlake "Had Too Much to Drink" and "Feels Guilty" About Alisha Wainwright Photos
Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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