One week after Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel tied the knot in Italy, the singer/actor is addressing reports about a video that was allegedly shown at the lavish nuptials that featured homeless people wishing the newlyweds "congratulations" on their wedding day.
While Timberlake has remained mum on the issue in the days since the story broke, he posted a lengthy statement on his website Friday (October 26), in which he says he had nothing to do with the creation of the headline-making clip and that, in the end, it wasn't actually shown at his reception.
"Normally, as some of you know, I am (by nature) a pretty private person," he wrote in the statement. "So, I don't really take it upon myself to comment on things that so often go misunderstood or something that has even shed any kind of dark light on what was and will always be one of the most special weeks of my life. But, in light of the recent events, I can't fight the urge to clarify my thoughts and feelings on what has been a very upsetting portrayal of the people closest to me and myself. It's not who I am as a professional or as a man.
"I'd like to start off by saying that I don't live my life making fun of people (unless, of course, I'm making fun of myself on SNL)... Especially, those who are less fortunate or those in need. I grew up with a family and community that instilled ideals in me like hard work, honesty and empathy. As a matter of fact, growing up in Tennessee, I was always taught that we as people, no matter what your race, sex, or stature may be, are equal."
The video, titled "Greetings from Your Hollywood Friends Who Just Couldn't Make It," was reportedly made by Timberlake's friend Justin Huchel and features what appears to be homeless people in Los Angeles sharing their well-wishes with the couple. After a snippet of the video leaked, lawyers for the real-estate agent sent out gag orders on it.
"I had no knowledge of its existence. I had absolutely ZERO contribution to it," Timberlake clarified in his statement, noting that despite their decision to make the video, "My friends are good people. This was clearly a lapse in judgment which I'm sure no one who is reading this is exempt from. But, I don't believe it was made to be insensitive. More so, I think it was made as a joke on me not having that many friends attending my own wedding (which IS kind of funny if you think about it)."
From there, Timberlake continued, "Like many silly rumors that I have been made aware of about the week: It was NOT shown at my wedding. I think we can all agree that it was distasteful, even though that was not its intention.
"Once again, in the world that we live in where everyone thinks that they know everything, I want to be very clear... I am NOT defending the video. I agree with the overall consensus," he further noted, adding, "It seems that these days, misconception gets around the world before the actual truth even wakes up."
As the extensive "open letter" reaches its conclusion, Timberlake wrote, "I want to say that, on behalf of my friends, family, and associative knuckleheads, I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by the video. Again, it was something that I was not made aware of. But, I do understand the reaction and, by association, I am holding myself accountable.
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts. It really is a blessing to be able to speak directly to my true fans so that you can know exactly where I stand," he continued. "P.S. You can bet your ass that I'm having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service... Boom."