Justin Timberlake Addresses His Recent DWI Arrest During Chicago "Forget Tomorrow World Tour" Show

"I know sometimes I'm hard to love."

Justin Timberlake on tour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Justin Timberlake is publicly addressing his recent DWI address for the very first time.

On Friday, June 21, while performing in Chicago in front of a sold-out crowd at the United Center as part of his "Forget Tomorrow World Tour," the former 'N Sync frontman gave a somewhat emotional speech about his "tough week."

"We’ve been together through ups and downs and lefts and rights. And, uh, it’s been a tough week. But you’re here and I’m here. Nothing can change this moment right now,” Timberlake told his fans while carrying an acoustic guitar and at one point giving the crowd a bow, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“I know sometimes I’m hard to love, but you keep on loving me and I love you right back," he continued. "Thank you so much. Now if you’ll oblige me, I’d like to have a little sing-along with you guys."

Timberlake was arrested early Tuesday morning on Long Island by Sag Harbor Police, who according to a police report obtained by the Los Angeles Times say Timberlake's eyes were allegedly "blood shot and glassy."

Justin Timberlake's mugshot

Justin Timberlake's mugshot.

(Image credit: Sag Harbor Police Department)

Officers also say they detected “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from his breath," and alleged that Timberlake "was unable to divide attention, he had slowed speech, he was unsteady afoot and he performed poorly on all standardized field sobriety tests."

According to The New York Times, Timberlake refused to take a breath test three times, telling the arresting officer that he allegedly "had one martini and followed my friends home."

After Timberlake was arraigned hours later in Sag Harbor Village Justice Court, he was released without bail. The "Rock Your Body" singer pled "not guilty" to driving while intoxicated, and is set to appear back in court on July 26, The New York Times reports.

According to a source who spoke to Page Six, the arresting officer did not know who Timberlake was—a report that sparked a slew of online memes.

"The cop didn’t know who he was at first," the insider told the outlet at the time. "Justin said under his breath, ‘This is going to ruin the tour.’ The cop replied, ‘What tour?’ Justin said, ‘The world tour.'”

Timberlake's most recent album, "Everything I Thought It Was," underperformed since its March release, The New York Times reports, marking the singer's first solo release to fail to reach No. 1 in over 20 years.

Timberlake has also recently come under fire for his past treatment of both Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. In 2021, Timberlake apologized to both via an Instagram post, saying in part that he is "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 specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson.” Timberlake has since deleted the post, and in February of this year while on stage in New York appeared to take back his apology.

"I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to absolutely f****** nobody," he said at the time.

Shortly after news of Timberlake's arrest broke, Spears' 2011 hit "Criminal" rose to No. 68 on the iTunes pop charts.

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.