Justin Timberlake is sending a public message of support to his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears, just hours after she made a passionate statement in court, pleading with a judge to end her controversial conservatorship.
“After what we saw today, we should all be supporting Britney at this time,” Timberlake tweeted on Wednesday evening. “Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was…what’s happening to her is just not right. No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body.”
More from Variety
Timberlake’s social media statement continued: “No one should ever be held against their will…or ever have to ask permission to access everything they’ve worked so hard for.”
Speaking on behalf of himself and his wife, Jessica Biel, Timberlake wrote, “Jess and I send our love, and our absolute support to Britney during this time. We hope the courts, and her family make this right and let her live however she wants to live.”
Timberlake’s reference to Spears not being able to make decisions about her own body is in direct response to Spears’ testimony in court on Wednesday, where she made numerous explosive allegations against her father and those who, she says, have wrongfully and abusively controlled her life since the conservatorship was put in place in 2008, at the time of her public breakdown. Aside from claiming that she was forced to go on tour in 2018 and to go on medication, which she did not react well to, Spears stated that she wanted to have a child and wants to get married, but is unable to because she has an IUD and is not allowed to take herself to the doctor.
“I’m not able to get married or have a baby, I have an [IUD] inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant,” she told the judge. “I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have any more children.”
Timberlake and Spears were in a highly publicized relationship in the late ’90s and early 2000’s when they were catapulted into global superstardom as teen icons. Timberlake, the then-frontman for boyband *NSYNC, first met Spears when they were kids in their early showbiz days on Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club.” The pair were tabloid magnets, with the public obsessing over their relationship — and then, their breakup.
Spears, a hyper-sexualized teen pop star, was slut-shamed by the media and portrayed as unfaithful and the sole reason for her and Timberlake’s breakup.
At the time, Timberlake had said in an interview that he had slept with Spears — whose virginity was a point of sick obsession in the press. Later, he vaguely accused Spears of cheating on him, and that narrative played out in the music video for his 2002 song “Cry Me a River,” which featured a Spears lookalike.
This scene played out in FX and Hulu’s documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” which was produced by the New York Times. Following the doc’s release, Timberlake received a considerable amount of pushback, and then apologized for his actions and words back in the day.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” Timberlake said this past February, after the documentary aired. “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…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.”
Timberlake is one of many celebrities who lent their support to Spears on Wednesday following her testimony in court. Mariah Carey, Rose McGowan and Brandy have also spoken out, standing by the star.
Spears has been under a court-ordered conservatorship for nearly 13 years with her father, Jamie Spears, as the sole conservator. While she had previously voiced her concerns over her father, with her lawyer stating that she was “afraid” of him in past court documents, Wednesday is the first time Spears has publicly asked for the entire conservatorship to be terminated.
“I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I’m happy. It’s a lie. I’ve been in denial,” Spears told a judge on Wednesday in the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse. “I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized. Fake it ’til you make it, but now I’m telling you the truth, OK? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
Best of Variety