We were thrilled earlier this week when Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel released photos and little tidbits — via People — of their wedding last week at the Borgo Egnazi resort in Puglia, Italy.
Well, we were thrilled until Gawker posted a video — shot by friend Justin Huchel — showing homeless “friends” of the couple wishing them well in their new marriage.
“Justin and Jessica, I haven’t seen you for a long time,” one homeless man said into the camera. “I hope the wedding goes fine for you. My gift is in the mail.”
The homeless men were allegedly paid around $40 for their participation, according to TMZ. However, Huchel’s lawyer said it was all in good fun. Now, Timberlake is apologizing for the eight-minute clip via an open letter on his official website.
Normally, as some of you know, I am (by nature) a pretty private person. So, I don’t really take it upon myself to comment on things that so often go misunderstood or something that has even shed any kind of dark light on what was and will always be one of the most special weeks of my life. But, in light of the recent events, I can’t fight the urge to clarify my thoughts and feelings on what has been a very upsetting portrayal of the people closest to me and myself. It’s not who I am as a professional or as a man.
I can’t help but think of one of the many great life lessons my Grandfather has taught me… He told me when I was younger that “Sometimes, you are confronted with challenges in life that perhaps are not your own. And, when those moments arise, the right thing for a man to do is accept that responsibility, whatever it may be, and face it with honesty and humility.”
The actor and singer goes on to explain that he doesn’t like to make fun of anyone, excluding himself. He cites his Tennessee upbringing as the reason for his kindness before launching into a detailed explanation of his non-involvement with the video.
As it pertains to this silly, unsavory video that was made as a joke and not in any way in mockery:
1. I had no knowledge of its existence. I had absolutely ZERO contribution to it.
2. My friends are good people. This was clearly a lapse in judgment which I’m sure no one who is reading this is exempt from. But, I don’t believe it was made to be insensitive. More so, I think it was made as a joke on me not having that many friends attending my own wedding (which IS kind of funny if you think about it).
3. Like many silly rumors that I have been made aware of about the week: It was NOT shown at my wedding.
4. I think we can all agree that it was distasteful, even though that was not it’s [sic] intention.
…I want to be very clear… I am NOT defending the video. I agree with the overall consensus. But, to use another “pants” analogy… It seems that these days, misconception gets around the world before the actual truth even wakes up and gets it’s [sic] pants on.
I want to say that, on behalf of my friends, family, and associative knuckleheads, I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by the video. Again, it was something that I was not made aware of. But, I do understand the reaction and, by association, I am holding myself accountable.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts. It really is a blessing to be able to speak directly to my true fans so that you can know exactly where I stand.
As for how he’ll get back at his friend?
“You can bet your ass that I’m having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service… Boom,” he concluded.
While we appreciate the apology, it’s important to drive home the idea of “think before you act.”