What did Justin Timberlake do to Britney Spears? The details of the couple's relationship and split as Justin issues public apology

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears
(Image credit: FilmMagic)

Justin Timberlake has issued an apology to Britney Spears following the release of the explosive documentary, Framing Britney Spears - but what did Justin Timberlake do to Britney Spears to warrant such a public apology?

Justin found himself under fire from Britney's legion of fans who, after watching Framing Britney Spears recently, criticised the pop-star's ex boyfriend in light of footage of the former couple that featured in the documentary.

The documentary looks into Britney's rise to fame, her life in the intense media spotlight and the legal arrangements surrounding her father's control over her finances - the conservatorship that sparked the #FreeBritney movement online.

What did Justin Timberlake do to Britney Spears that caused fans to criticise him?

Fans claim that Justin treated Britney poorly during their relationship and have hit back at him for the way he spoke about her during and after their relationship ended.

The archived clips in the documentary show Justin revealing details of his sexual relationship with Britney, after she had told the media she had hoped to wait until after marriage to have sex.

Some have alleged that Justin had a big part to play in the downfall of her career and mental wellbeing.

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears

Credit: Getty

When did Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears date?

Justin and Britney dated between 1999 and 2002, while he was in boyband N*Sync and she was at the height of her early fame.

After their split, Justin sparked rumours that Britney had cheated on him by hiring a 'lookalike' actress to appear in the music video for his song Cry Me a River.

Why did Justin Timberlake apologise to Britney Spears?

Following the recent backlash surrounding his relationship with Britney, Justin has issued a public apology to her, saying he is 'deeply sorry' and ready to 'take accountability'.

Justin shared a public apology to Britney on February 12th 2021, taking to Instagram to release the statement with his 59 million followers.

Justin also admitted that at times he 'contributed to the problem', 'spoke out of turn' and 'didn't stand 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," Justin said in a statement shared on Instagram.

A photo posted by on

"I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from," he said.

"The industry is flawed. 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.

Justin also reached out to Janet Jackson to say sorry for his lack of support, following the controversy surrounding their 2004 Super Bowl performance in which he accidentally tore her outfit, exposing her breast.

The singer finished his statement saying: "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 wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better."

Caitlin Elliott
Junior News Editor

Caitlin is a Junior News Editor for Goodto.com, covering all things royal, celeb, lifestyle, food, and family. Having set her sights on becoming a magazine journalist when she was a child, Caitlin took on work experience stints at local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree and has interviews with celebs, reality stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury under her belt (of course, she couldn't resist asking him about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry).