If you’re gonna talk about Justin Timberlake’s personal life, you better not let your mouth write a check your butt can’t cash.
Timberlake didn’t take too kindly to an article claiming that he had very publicly stepped out on his gorgeous wife, Jessica Biel, and he wasn’t about to take the assault on his marriage sitting down.
Paris’ Heat magazine published a piece with the headlines, “Justin Timberlake gets flirty with another woman, It is not his wife!” and “The flirty photos that rocked Justin and Jessica’s marriage,” obviously alleging that Timberlake was treating his union less than respectfully. The tabloid also featured quotes that were supposedly from Biel, backing up the cheating rumors. Timberlake swiftly filed a defamation claim against the magazine’s publisher, Bauer Media Group, which quickly offered a financial settlement and an apology to Timberlake and Biel, according to Entertainment Tonight.
“The article was based on an unfounded report regarding Justin Timberlake’s alleged behavior at a club following a performance in Paris, to celebrate a birthday and also included a number of purported statements improperly attributed to Jessica Biel, which Heat now understands had never been made by her,” the media group’s apology says, according to ET. “The Defendant accepts that the article was false and withdraws any inferences that questioned the state of Justin and Jessica’s marriage. The Defendant regrets any embarrassment caused to the couple and unreservedly apologizes to them.”
Timberlake and Biel’s people, in turn, released a statement on their behalf, revealing the couple’s pleasure with the outcome and also issuing a warning against anyone else who dares to print false gossip about them. “Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are very satisfied with this categoric retraction of what was a false and unfounded story,” their lawyers said in a statement. “The couple will not be making any further comment in relation to this matter, but will not hesitate to take similar legal action if false allegations regarding the state of their marriage are repeated.”
Timberlake and Biel are just the latest celebs who have joined in fighting the media to keep control of their own images and private lives. Russell Brand was awarded substantial damages after filing a libel suit against British tabloid, the Sun, which published an article claiming Brand had cheated on his girlfriend at the time, Jemima Khan. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt sued another tabloid for writing an article claiming they were divorcing and Kristen Bell has helmed the #NoKidsPolicy, aimed at protecting the privacy of children of celebrities.