This Is Weirdly Specific, But 2023 Was A Truly Cursed Year For Famous Men Whose Names Start With The Letter J

Finally, nobody has faced fiercer scrutiny this year than Justin Timberlake — another famous man to be held to account for his past actions in 2023.

As you are probably aware, the way that he treated Britney Spears following their 2002 split resurfaced online amid the release of her memoir, The Woman In Me, in October.

While the heat has undeniably been growing on Justin in recent years, it reached new levels thanks to Britney’s revelations. This included the star opening up about having a secret abortion during her and Justin’s three year relationship because he “didn’t want to be a father.”

In the book, Britney says that the abortion remains “one of the most agonizing things” that she has ever experienced, and that if it’d been left up to her alone she never would have gone through with it. She also detailed Justin playing guitar while she was left “crying and sobbing” on the bathroom floor after the procedure.

In addition, after Justin spent years benefiting from and fueling the narrative that Britney had broken his heart by cheating on him, Britney claimed that he had actually cheated on her “a couple of times” when they were together. 

Unsurprisingly, Britney sharing her side of the story for the first time since their split more than 20 years ago triggered an onslaught of criticism for the way that Justin had behaved

He was called out on social media for crude comments that he’d made about his and Britney’s sex life, the way that he had ridiculed her mental health when it was clear that she was struggling, and for publicly vilifying her.

Justin was also widely mocked after Britney recounted the way that he had “tried too hard to fit in” with the Black scene while they were dating, with the star detailing a particular cringeworthy exchange that he’d had with the R&B artist Ginuwine. 

At the time, Justin did not publicly respond to the backlash, but the fact that he turned off comments on his Instagram posts suggests that he was rattled. 

Furthermore, a source close to the star told ET: “In recent years, Justin has tried to be supportive of Britney from a distance. They dated so long ago, but he still has respect for her. Justin and Jessica [Biel, Justin’s wife] just want everyone to grow and evolve instead of continuing to bring up the past.”

But this only fueled the criticism, with it being pointed out that Justin had seemingly been taking thinly veiled swipes at Britney as recently as five years ago; 16 years after their break up.

Earlier this month, Justin appeared to allude to all of the drama before a performance of “Cry Me A River” — the song that Britney said had “shamed” and “shattered” her back in 2002.