LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Justin Timberlake issued an extensive, public apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson for instances in which his “actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right.”
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“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,” Timberlake said in his apology. “I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better.”
The apology comes in the wake of a documentary that makes the case he waged a smear campaign against Spears after their 2002 breakup, which contributed to her being placed under her father’s conservatorship. Spears is currently involved in a court battle to remove the court-ordered conservatorship, and a judge on Thursday ordered Spears’ father to develop an investment plan and budget for the pop star.
“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 apology said. “I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect this women and I know I failed.”
Timberlake and Jackson were the Super Bowl halftime show performers on Feb. 1, 2004, an event that ended in controversy. During the performance, Timberlake ripped a part of Jackson’s top off, exposing her during TV’s most-watched sports event of the year. Jackson bore the brunt of the criticism over the so-called wardrobe malfunction, while Timberlake escaped most of the blame unscathed.MORE NEWS: Video: Multiple Trees Fall On Homes, Leading To Injuries During Severe Winds
“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way,” he continued in his apology. “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.”