Just days after Britney Spears took to Instagram to shout out Justin Timberlake’s new music and apologize for “some of the things” she wrote about in her 2023 memoir, Timberlake has seemingly responded by shading his ex.
During his intimate show in New York City on Wednesday night (which also happened to be his 43rd birthday), Timberlake said onstage, “I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize...to absolutely fucking nobody.”
Spears clearly took notice of the dig, and clapped back at her ex via Instagram caption on Thursday: “Someone told me someone was talking shit about me on the streets !!! Do you want to bring it to the court or will you go home crying to your mom like you did last time ??? I’m not sorry !!!” She loves a basketball reference.
Initially, Spears had tried to make nice. Last week, she posted a video of Timberlake on Instagram and wrote, clearly extending an olive branch, “I wanna apologize for some of the things I wrote about in my book. If I offended any of the people I genuinely care about I am deeply sorry.” In the same post, she shouted out Timberlake’s recently released comeback single “Selfish,” writing, “I also wanted to say I am in love with Justin Timberlake’s new song ‘Selfish.’ It is soo good.”
In her memoir The Woman in Me, Spears wrote that Timberlake pressured her to get an abortion when she was 19 after she got pregnant with his baby. She also charged her ex with using her “as ammunition” for his music and exploiting their breakup to further his own career.
Timberlake has now been confronted with the task of earning back the public’s good graces before his sixth album, Everything I Thought It Was, arrives in March. Interestingly, Thursday also marks the 20th anniversary of his and Janet Jackson’s infamous Super Bowl performance, which, along with his relationship with Spears, has contributed to the recent re-interrogation of his early career.
Back in 2021, Timberlake addressed both Jackson and Spears in an Instagram apology in which he owned up to “benefit[ting] from a system that condones misogyny and racism.” Judging by his onstage comments from last night, however, it appears his days of apologizing are over.