His much derided 'apology' over the furore concerning a video mocking homeless people in LA, made by his close pals with the intention of being shown at his Dh24 million wedding, has proved to be yet another bad bit of PR for Justin Timberlake.
Once seen as a nice-as-pie Southern charmer, the 31-year-old newlywed has, over the past couple of years, slowly seen that image eroded as he’s found himself accused of cheating on Jessica Biel, which lead to their March 2011 split; slammed by a children’s hospital he was supposed to be using his fame to help, and now being unable to deliver a heartfelt apology without throwing in a host of tasteless jokes.
Scene delves into why Justin only has himself to blame for tarnishing his once spotless reputation…
Acting aspirations to blame?
As with most former Disney kids, Justin made no secret of the fact that he longed to break into movies, despite boasting one of the most successful music careers of this generation – with six Grammys and over seven million albums sold, as well as racking up album sales in excess of 50 million with the boy band N*Sync.
Putting himself on the movie radar with a lead in 2005’s Edison opposite Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey, JT’s fledgling acting attempts were slammed by critics, with one dubbing his performance as a hard-hitting reporter as akin to “a reporter from Seventeen magazine”. But used to the adulation his super-successful music career brought him, Justin adopted a ‘what do they know?’ attitude, insisting, “I’m doing what I want to do, no matter what other people think.”
And the Memphis-born star’s big screen aspirations saw him act up during interviews for his 2011 flick, Friends With Benefits, and when a Russian journalist dared to ask him about his music career JT rolled his eyes, bit his fist in ‘mock’ frustration and sniped, “Yeah, Mila’s gonna produce my next album.” “Justin is asked the ‘Music Question’ by a reporter and, predictably, gets annoyed (and annoying) because he is a ‘real actor’,” spilled one Hollywood-watcher.
Cheating allegations: 'He told people it was over with Jessica'
Although his rep denied accusations that he cheated on Jessica Biel with actress Olivia Munn back in October 2012, at the time, Us magazine revealed, “Munn resisted his advances, telling him it was a no-go if he was still with Biel… But Timberlake ‘has been telling people it’s over with Jessica, even though the reality is he’s just doing it behind her back’.”
Splitting from Jessica five months later after it became clear she couldn’t get over his alleged infidelity, details about his alleged fling with The Newsroom actress, Munn, came thick and fast, with sources telling Us, “After exchanging numbers, he ‘started chasing her immediately’.
Believing he had left Biel and that her relationship with Timberlake might develop into something serious, Munn took him to her hotel, the Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC on September 27 and 28, where ‘they were openly affectionate’.” Winning Jessica back in autumn 2011 and popping the question just months later in December, the actress has refused to comment on the allegations concerning Justin and Olivia, instead glossing over their split by insisting, “I needed to be alone for a while.
I think that when you take the time to stand by yourself as an independent person, and you find out that you actually are capable of moving forward alone and being fine on your own, then it is a very empowering feeling to have… you make your own choice about whether to step back into a relationship or whether to go in a different direction.”
Slammed by children's hospital
The multimillionaire star was also on the receiving end of criticism from the US-based Shriners Hospitals For Children back in August, after one of the people behind the fund-raisers took the unprecedented step of calling out JT for his behaviour towards the cause. “Justin’s a wonderful person, and we tried everything we could to get him more involved with our kids and the hospitals.
But it seemed that when the TV cameras weren’t on, he disappeared,” said Raoul Frevel, the chairman of the PGA tournament Justin played at in support of Shriners. And the Hospital’s criticism was followed by claims from Chicago sports anchor, Rafer Weigel, that Justin acted out at the recent Ryder Cup precursor – the Celebrity Scramble.
“Bill Murray is always a hit, working the crowd, this is an A-list celebrity that gets everyone going,” said Weigel on TV show, Windy City Live. “The other big celebrity who was there was Justin Timberlake… he’s an ambassador to the US golf team.
Well, what’s the role of an ambassador? What I’m trying to say is that we interviewed every single person that was there and Justin Timberlake was the only one who not only would not stop to talk to us, but would even not talk to us while we were walking with him.”