Justin Timberlake appeared to take a dig at his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears during his “One Night Only” birthday show at Irving Plaza in New York City on Wednesday.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to absolutely f**king nobody,” the *NSYNC alum told the audience before singing his 2002 hit Cry Me a River, which was inspired by the pop star allegedly cheating on him during their relationship.
Justin Timberlake faced criticism on social media for seemingly shading Britney Spears just two days after she praised his new single, “Selfish.” People expressed disapproval of Timberlake’s actions, with some calling him a “prick” and using vomiting emojis to convey their reaction. However, there were also defenders who suggested that Timberlake didn’t have to apologize, labeling Spears as the bad person and her fans as unpleasant. In response, Spears seemingly retaliated on her now-private Instagram account by posting a cryptic photo of a basketball hoop.
“Someone told me someone was talking shit about me on the streets !!!,” Spears wrote in the caption. “Do you want to bring it to the court or will you go home crying to your mama like you did last time ???”
In October, Justin Timberlake faced criticism when Britney Spears revealed in her memoir, “The Woman in Me,” that she had an abortion while they were dating, stating Timberlake “wasn’t happy” about the pregnancy and “didn’t want to be a father.” Recently, Spears issued an apology on Instagram for anyone she may have offended with her book. She specifically expressed love for Timberlake’s new song, “Selfish,” in a since-deleted post, extending an olive branch to him.
The post was captioned “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 [Fallon] together I laugh so hard ???”
Spears also praised another of her ex’s new tracks, adding, “Ps Sanctified is wow too.”
Britney Spears unexpectedly praised Justin Timberlake after her fans engaged in a streaming and buying campaign for her 2011 song “Selfish” to prevent Timberlake’s new single with the same name from topping the charts.
The move propelled Spears’ song to the top spot on the US iTunes chart, while Timberlake’s track fell to No. 3. The music superstars dated from 1999 to 2002, and their breakup was accompanied by Timberlake implying that Spears had cheated on him, a claim that Spears neither confirmed nor denied at the time.
In her memoir, Britney Spears admitted to cheating on Justin Timberlake “one time” with dancer and choreographer Wade Robson. Timberlake’s treatment of Spears was previously examined in the 2021 documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” prompting him to publicly apologize to her.
In the same year, Timberlake supported Spears as she spoke out in court against her “abusive” 13-year conservatorship, which was terminated in November. Timberlake is married to Jessica Biel, and they have two sons. Spears is currently going through a divorce from Sam Asghari and shares two sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline.