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The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears, released last Friday, examines the singer’s conservatorship and her early 2000s downward spiral, which became fodder for late night hosts and tabloids that delighted in her struggles. The doc includes a discussion of the high-profile relationship between Spears and Timberlake and suggests Spears was shamed in the media for her behavior when the relationship ended while Timberlake boasted about having slept with her.
Timberlake, in his statement posted to Instagram, apologizes to both Spears and Janet Jackson, his fellow Super Bowl halftime performer during the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” incident, “because I know and respect these women and I know I failed.”
The doc specifically features a section about how Timberlake was seemingly able to control the media narrative about his relationship and then break up with Spears, meaning he walked away unscathed and she was shamed.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he began, referencing the backlash from Spears fans that has been directed at him and others in the wake of the doc. “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.”
Timberlake continued, “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism. 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.”
Spears on Tuesday for the first time appeared to address the emotional documentary.
Seemingly referring to the project, Spears wrote, “Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!! We all have so many different bright beautiful lives !!! Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens!!!!”
Among the harsh moments shown in Framing Britney Spears is when the singer attacked the paparazzi with an umbrella around the time she shaved her head. The doc highlights how late night hosts had a ball as the young star’s life appeared to be spiraling out of control. Craig Ferguson recently made headlines when a clip of him hosting the Late Late Show in 2007 resurfaced where he said he could no longer pick on Spears because it broke his heart.
“Tonight — no Britney Spears jokes,” said Ferguson during his opening monologue. “This woman has two kids, she’s 25 years old, she’s a baby herself. She’s a baby.”
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