Justin Timberlake issued an open letter today to apologize for a wedding video featuring homeless people that surfaced this week. On Wednesday, Gawker reported on a video made by Timberlake’s friend Justin Huchel for the singer and his bride Jessica Biel on the premise of finding friends who couldn’t fund a trip to the couple’s wedding in Italy. The video asked people on the streets of Los Angeles, including individuals who appear to be homeless, to offer wedding congratulations in their absence, as if they were the couple’s friends.
Today, Timberlake was contrite on his website. He said that although he is a private person, these events compelled him to clear the air. “I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t live my life making fun of people (unless, of course, I’m making fun of myself on SNL)… Especially those who are less fortunate or those in need,” he wrote. He cited his family and upbringing in Tennessee for instilling a compassionate, open-minded mentality of equality. “We have a saying there that ‘everyone puts their pants on the same way,'” continued Timberlake.
The singer-actor maintained that he had no part in the video or its creation. “I had no knowledge of its existence. I had absolutely ZERO contribution to it,” he wrote. Still, he defended his friends as “good people” despite the “lapse in judgment.” “I don’t believe it was made to be insensitive,” Timberlake wrote. “More so, I think it was made as a joke on me not having that many friends attending my own wedding.” Timberlake made clear that the video was absolutely not shown at his wedding and that “we can all agree that it was distasteful.”
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Timberlake didn’t dispel the blame, however. “I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by the video. Again, it was something that I was not made aware of,” he wrote. “But I do understand the reaction and, by association, I am holding myself accountable.” Huchel isn’t getting off the hook so easily, either. “You can bet your ass that I’m having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service,” added Timberlake in a postscript.