Justin Timberlake Says He Wants to ‘Apologize to Absolutely … Nobody’ – Billboard

When Justin Timberlake said to cry him a river, he meant that wholeheartedly. At the Billboard 200 chart-topper’s one-night-only show at Irving Plaza in New York City on Wednesday night (Jan. 31), he seemingly shaded former girlfriend and pop icon Britney Spears while introducing his Grammy-winning hit.

In fan-captured videos from the free show, Timberlake can be heard proclaiming “I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to absolutely f—king nobody” as his backing band plays a bombastic overture that leads into the opening notes of “Cry Me a River.” His comment, which comes days after Spears apologized on her Instagram account for some of the things in her new memoir and expressed her love for his new music, did not impress her legions of fans.

“Absolutely disgusting that in 2024 and after Britney literally promoted his trashy song, this a–hole Justin Timberlake is shading her,” one fan tweeted.

“He is such a pompous douchebag, even after Britney was kind to him & apologized without actually needing to,” shared another.

In a Monday (Jan. 29) post to her now-private feed, Spears praised Timberlake’s performance of his new music on Saturday Night Live, writing, “I am so in love with Justin Timberlake’s new song ‘Selfish’… It is soo good and how come every time I see Justin and Jimmy together I laugh so hard???” Her caption also included a general mea culpa to anyone impacted by the revelations in her bestselling The Woman in Me memoir. “I wanna apologize for some of the things I wrote about in my book,” she wrote. “If I offended any of the people I genuinely care about I am deeply sorry.”

While Spears is offering up some remorse, JT wants no parts of any of that. His Wednesday night “Cry Me a River” introduction marks a notable change in disposition from the last time his performance of this song went viral. During a Las Vegas show in December — just a month and a half after The Woman in Me hit shelves — Timberlake stressed that he meant “no disrespect” before launching into “River,” a 2003 Billboard Hot 100 No. 3 hit widely considered to be a response to the former couple’s split the year prior.

But Timberlake’s fans don’t believe he owes any mea culpas. “I love this side of Justin,” one person shared on X. “I wouldn’t apologize either, f–king telling secrets from 20 years ago.”

“Because you don’t owe anyone an apology anymore,” shared another. “Mic drop, Mr. Justin Timberlake.”

Since the release of Spears’ memoir, Timberlake’s name has become a magnet for controversy. In her book, the pop princess reflects on his infidelity, him ending their relationship right before her music video shoot, and the actor-singer playing guitar as she sept on the bathroom floor after her abortion.

Timberlake debuted “Selfish,” the lead single from his forthcoming sixth studio album, Everything I Thought It Was, on Jan. 25. In an effort to troll JT and his new release, Spears’ fans rallied to send her own “Selfish” — a bonus track from the deluxe edition of 2011’s Femme Fatale — to the top of the U.S. iTunes chart. In fact, Spears’ “Selfish” sold more pure copies over Jan. 29-31 than Timberlake’s.

Watch Justin Timberlake’s proclamation and see how how fans are reacting below:

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