Justin Timberlake Breaks Silence Onstage: 'No Disrespect' Precedes Performance of 'Cry Me a River' Amidst Britney Spears Memoir Release

Credit: Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake/Instagram

In a star-studded performance at the grand opening of Fontainebleau on Wednesday night, Justin Timberlake, 42, took a moment to address the crowd before delivering his 2002 breakup ballad "Cry Me a River." The move comes in the wake of the release of Britney Spears' memoir, "The Woman in Me," where she scrutinizes their past relationship.

Timberlake, accompanied by his wife Jessica Biel, 41, offered a brief disclaimer to the audience, saying, "No disrespect," before launching into the emotionally charged track. The song, released as the second single from his debut solo album "Justified," had previously drawn criticism from Spears in her memoir.

In "The Woman in Me," Spears delves into the tumultuous aftermath of their breakup, expressing frustration over Timberlake's portrayal of their relationship in the song and its accompanying music video. The lyrics of "Cry Me a River" touch on themes of infidelity, and the video notably features an actress bearing a strong resemblance to Spears.

"I felt there was no way at the time to tell my side of the story," Spears wrote in her memoir. "I couldn't explain because I knew no one would take my side once Justin had convinced the world of his version. I don't think Justin realized the power he had in shaming me. I don't think he understands to this day."

The pair, who dated for several years, officially ended their relationship in March 2002. Timberlake had previously addressed the song in his 2018 book, "Hindsight," attributing its creation to intense emotions during that period.

"I've been scorned. I've been pissed off. That feeling inspired me to write 'Cry Me a River,'" Timberlake wrote, shedding light on the strong emotions that fueled the creation of the iconic breakup anthem.

Timberlake's onstage acknowledgment is seen by some as an attempt to navigate the aftermath of Spears' revelations and move forward from the controversies surrounding their past relationship. As both artists continue to carve their paths in the entertainment industry, the echoes of their shared history remain a topic of public interest and discussion.

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