Justin Timberlake has apologised to Britney Spears after a new documentary led to criticism of how he treated the pop star following their high-profile breakup.
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In a statement posted to Instagram, the 40-year-old said he was "deeply sorry" for his behaviour following their split almost 20 years ago, which has been highlighted in the documentary titled Framing Britney Spears.
"I've seen the messages, tags, comments and concerns and I want to respond," he wrote. "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."
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In the lengthy post, Justin apologised directly to both his ex-girlfriend and artist Janet Jackson, writing: "I specifically want to apologise to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed."
The way Justin failed to support Janet following her infamous wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, has also come under fresh scrutiny as the release of the documentary coincided with the annual sporting event.
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The documentary, which was released on US streaming platform Hulu last week, looks at Britney's' rise to fame and the intense media scrutiny that she faced as a young woman in the music industry. It featured archival clips of the N*Sync boy band member, who dated Britney between 1999 and 2002, discussing his sexual relationship with the singer.
Justin and Britney dated from 1999 to 2003
It also highlighted how Britney's image was affected by Justin's music video for Cry Me a River, which seemed to suggest that Britney had been unfaithful during their relationship.
Justin continued in his statement: "The industry is fawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It's designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this.
"Because of my ignorance, I didn't recognise 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.
The post concluded: "I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career. I know this apology is a first step and doesn't absolve the past. 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. I care deeply about the well-being of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better."
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