On Nov. 7, the Grammy Award-winning producer was slammed with backlash online after he suggested that his close collaborator and friend Justin Timberlake should have placed a “muzzle” on the “Toxic” crooner before she penned her juicy memoir The Woman in Me. Inside, the 41-year-old star shares eyebrow-raising details about her failed relationship with the former N’SYNC member.
The 51-year-old producer’s apology campaign came shortly after a clip from his interview at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. went viral. Timbaland made the “muzzle” remark when an attendee asked him how he felt about the resurgence of his hit song “Cry Me a River” with Timberlake following the release of Spears’ memoir in October.
“Yeah, she’s going crazy, right?” the star, real name Timothy Zachery Mosley, quipped when asked about some of the salacious stories Spears penned in reference to “Cry Me a River” inside her buzzing memoir.
“I wanted to call and say, ‘JT, man, you’ve got to put a muzzle on that girl, man.’”
On X, formerly Twitter, fans of Spears lit into Timbaland after the clip from his Kennedy Center interview soared across the platform. Some users accused the music titan of “bullying” the pop icon. Other netizens called the Hip-Hop mogul “sexist” and a “misogynist” over his words.
Please don’t support this dude! And don’t laught at what he says about Britney Spears. Instead of laughing at this, you better show him that we don’t accept misogyny and bullying! and it has consequences for ” men”! #BritneySpears #BritneyBook #timbaland https://t.co/RnEZ5uiNfa
— I don’t like liars! (@DonLiars12) November 7, 2023
Britney Spears couldn’t unfollow Timbaland on Instagram after his incredibly cruel and sexist comments about her, because she never followed him to begin with. pic.twitter.com/aJ0VncucYg
— Joshua Pingley (@pingley) November 7, 2023
As backlash began to pick up steam on Nov. 8, Timbaland took to TikTok to address his insensitive remark.
“I apologize to all the Britney fans and even to her,” the super producer told fans. You have a voice. You speak what you want to speak. Who am I to tell you what not to speak and I was wrong for saying that.”
“I was looking at it from a different lens. What I am is a reconciled person. I am not a person who takes sides.”
Timbaland apology to Britney Spears and fans pic.twitter.com/SvFkysKirR
— Fan Account 📖🌹 (@britneycharts) November 8, 2023
Britney Spears And Justin Timberlake Dated From 1999 To 2002
The couple’s relationship was filled with trials and tribulations, according to Britney Spears’ new memoir.
Spears claimed that the music video for “Cry Me A River” was loosely based on their bad breakup. The star was accused of cheating on Timberlake at the time of their split, but Spears accused the former boy band artist of also committing infidelity during their relationship.
“I felt there was no way at the time to tell my side of the story. I couldn’t explain, because I knew no one would take my side once Justin had convinced the world of his version,” Spears wrote, according to Today.
“I don’t think Justin realized the power he had in shaming me. I don’t think he understands to this day.”
Further along in her new memoir, Spears also revealed that she had an abortion after she became pregnant with Timberlake’s child. The mother and author claimed that she agreed to the procedure after the former boy band artist expressed doubt about becoming a father.
“It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy. I loved Justin so much. I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated,” Spears penned, according to an excerpt obtained by People. “But Justin definitely wasn’t happy about the pregnancy. He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young.”
“If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father,” she added.