It appears that the pop superstar couldn't avoid Timberlake's comeback press tour for long. She apologized days after the former 'NSync frontman dropped a new single, teased his "Everything I Thought It Was" album and announced a corresponding world tour — then guest starred on "Saturday Night Live."
The promotional whirlwind notably comes months after the "SexyBack" singer was named in Spears' October memoir, "The Woman in Me," in which she alleged that she had an abortion at Timberlake's behest when they dated around the turn of the century. Timberlake has not publicly commented on the "Lucky" singer's revelation about their high-profile romance, which harshly cut him and several other powerful men in her life down.
Even though Timberlake, 42, kept a low profile amid the book's publication, Spears was accused of hampering his planned renaissance, which included an 'NSync reunion at the MTV VMAs and the release of the movie "Trolls Band Together." The 10-time Grammy winner did appear to touch on the brouhaha when he headlined the splashy opening of Fontainebleau Las Vegas last month with his wife, Jessica Biel, introducing his performance of his Spears breakup hit "Cry Me a River" with the disclaimer "no disrespect." (He also publicly apologized to Spears in 2021 amid her conservatorship battle.)
Spears, also 42, seems to be sorry for some of what led up to that drama, saying as much Sunday .
"I wanna apologize for some of the things I wrote about in my book," she wrote Sunday on Instagram, sharing clips from Timberlake's Thursday appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon. "If I offended any of the people I genuinely care about I am deeply sorry…"
"I also wanted to say I am in love with Justin Timberlake’s new song 'Selfish' 🌹 It is soo good and how come every time I see Justin and Jimmy together I laugh so hard ???" she added. "Ps 'Sanctified' is wow 🤩 too"
Spears, who said earlier this month that she "will never return to the music industry," did not directly address the fan-fueled competition between Timberlake's new release and her own song "Selfish" from her 2011 album, “Femme Fatale.” Her fervent fans didn't take kindly to Timberlake's musical return hinging on a track that bears the same title, and they immediately staged a digital-music coup in an attempt to drive Spears' 13-year-old song past her ex's on the U.S. iTunes chart .
Meanwhile, Timberlake returned to Studio 8H on Saturday as the musical guest on "SNL," joining his "The Social Network" co-star Dakota Johnson and Fallon onstage throughout the show. Although he toyed with the idea of hosting and didn't officially anchor the episode, the five-time host (resulting in four Emmys) still stole the spotlight repeatedly, according to The Times' recap of the episode.
The musician has also said that his new album — for which he initially wrote 100 songs — is his "best work" and will give listeners a "real" perspective on him.
"I feel like I was able, on some of the songs, to look back at the past and have a real, not a refracted perspective of what it was because they always say ... you always hear that thing about, well, there's never any truth, there's just everybody's perspective of what happened, but to really look at it and be able to metabolize and verbalize my perspective on it, I don't think I've ever really done that before," he told Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe last week.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.