Justin Timberlake apologizes to Britney Spears, Janet Jackson amid backlash: 'I am deeply sorry'

Justin Timberlake has issued an apology to his ex Britney Spears and Janet Jackson amid fallout he's received following the release of the "Framing Britney Spears" documentary. 

"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. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism," Timberlake's statement on Instagram begins.

"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…," Timberlake’s statement continues.

"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," he adds.

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Britney Spears' fans have come to her defense amid renewed interest in her split from Justin Timberlake sparked by the documentary 'Frming Britney Spears.' On Friday, the 'Cry Me a River' singer took to his Instagram with an apology. (Getty Images)

"I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career. 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," Timberlake's statement concludes.

The "Cry Me a River" singer's statement comes almost a week after the New York Times documentary "Framing Britney Spears" was released. The documentary which has brought renewed attention to the downfalls of the singer's superstardom and conservatorship battle.

The program also led fans of the star to speak out against Timberlake and Diane Sawyer for the way they treated the pop star in the past, while it's also contributed to those calling for Spears to be released from her conservatorship.

In the documentary, Spears' and Timberlake's past romance is examined, once again bringing attention to their controversial split, which, according to Page Six, sparked rumors that Spears was unfaithful.

Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" video featuring an adultress blonde character fueled such speculation, as did a 2003 interview between the "Toxic" singer and Diane Sawyer, who grilled the actress over what she did that caused "so much suffering" for Timberlake.

Britney Spears' loved ones, fans and fellow celebritites are speaking out in her defense after the release of the 'Framing Britney Spears' documentary. (Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)

Fans of Spears, 39, have since taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the matter, calling out the 40-year-old Timberlake for his behavior at the time.

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"Watching Framing Britney Spears is a pretty easy way to feel angry about misogyny, Justin Timberlake, and how we rake every girl and young woman in the spotlight over the coals," wrote a viewer.

"Everyone owes Britney an apology, but especially Justin Timberlake and Diane Sawyer," said another.

Even actress Valerie Bertinelli name-dropped the "Can't Stop the Feeling!" singer when listing a number of the "many horrible men/leeches in [Spears'] life."

Sawyer's  2003 interview with Spears for "ABC Primetime Thursday" was billed as a "no holds barred" look into the singer’s personal life amid her very public split from Timberlake.

"He has gone on television and pretty much said you broke his heart," Sawyer says to the then-22-year-old singer. "You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering… What did you do?"

The clip prompted backlash for Sawyer, with fans tweeting over the weekend that Sawyer contributed to slut shaming Spears, and one person questioning how the TV journalist sleeps at night.


Singer Britney Spears and anchorwomen Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts celebrate Britney's birthday after her performance on ABC's "Good Morning America" at The Big Apple Circus Tent at Lincoln Center on December 2, 2008 in New York City.  (Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic)

Timberlake's apology to Jackson, however, comes years after the singers' infamous 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in which he pulled back Jackson's outfit and exposed her breast. The incident led to an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission.

Jackson received most of the criticism for the incident. In 2018,Timberlake told Beats 1 host Zane Lowe he had "made peace" and moved past the drama from the show.

"I stumbled through it, to be quite honest," the 36-year-old singer told Lowe. "I had my wires crossed."

Timberlake added that he "absolutely" took time with Jackson to "resolve the situation" and "make peace" after the debacle. Jackson's music videos were reportedly blacklisted by MTV and U.S. radios after the incident.

On Tuesday, co-hosts of "The View" also discussed the Spears documentary, and Meghan McCain called for Timberlake to apologize to both the "Toxic" singer and Jackson.

"I think Justin Timberlake has some things to answer to, not just about Britney Spears but about his role in sexualizing and demonizing Janet Jackson after the Super Bowl," McCain said.

"Why we treat women like they're always crazy, why women have no other option but we're insane maniacs. We as a society have not treated Britney Spears right. We have done her dirty. I think this is a moment in time for us to give her the support that she needs. And if she is in some kind of what looks like being held against her own will by her dad -- again, this is speculation from what I saw from the documentary -- we as a society have a right to do the right thing with Britney Spears right now," the "View" co-host added.

Reps for Spears and Jackson did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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