"I've seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism," Timberlake's statement on Instagram begins.
"I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed. I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from…," Timberlake’s statement continues.
"The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again," he adds.
"I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career. I know this apology is a first step and doesn't absolve the past. I want to take accountability for my own missteps in all of this as well as be part of a world that uplifts and supports. I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better," Timberlake's statement concludes.
The "Cry Me a River" singer's statement comes almost a week after the New York Times documentary "Framing Britney Spears" was released. The documentary which has brought renewed attention to the downfalls of the singer's superstardom and conservatorship battle.
The program also led fans of the star to speak out against Timberlake and Diane Sawyer for the way they treated the pop star in the past, while it's also contributed to those calling for Spears to be released from her conservatorship.
In the documentary, Spears' and Timberlake's past romance is examined, once again bringing attention to their controversial split, which, according to Page Six, sparked rumors that Spears was unfaithful.
Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" video featuring an adultress blonde character fueled such speculation, as did a 2003 interview between the "Toxic" singer and Diane Sawyer, who grilled the actress over what she did that caused "so much suffering" for Timberlake.
Fans of Spears, 39, have since taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the matter, calling out the 40-year-old Timberlake for his behavior at the time.