Justin Timberlake issued a mea culpa to both Britney Spears and Janet Jackson for his actions nearly two decades ago. The pop star has been facing backlash for the past week following the release of the New York Times documentary "Framing Britney Spears," which explores in part how he treated the pop star during and after their high-profile three-year romance. "I've seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism," he wrote on Instagram on Feb. 12. "I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed." Janet, of course, was blamed for a "wardrobe malfunction" that occurred when JT ripped off part of her bodice at the end of their 2004 Super Bowl halftime show performance. She felt much more heat than Justin did after the incident, and many believed that he hung her out to dry. "I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from. The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It's designed this way," he said. "As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn't recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again."
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Gina Carano was fired by Disney and Lucasfilm on Feb. 10 following "abhorrent" social media activity. The star of "The Mandalorian," who's been very outspoken about her views in the past, recently shared a post in which she compared being conservative in the current political climate to being Jewish in Nazi Germany. Soon after her post, #FireGinaCarano was trending on Twitter and the actress was eventually shown the door. In a statement, LucasFilm said, "Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable." In the past, Gina has faced backlash for her views against wearing a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic and been accused of mocking trans people. After her firing, many conservatives were outraged and claimed they were canceling their Disney+ accounts in protest. #CancelDisneyPlus soon trended.
Social media introduction
JoJo Siwa officially introduced her girlfriend to her social media followers on Feb. 8. "After being my best friend for over a year, January 8th 2021 I got to start calling this exceptional human my Girlfriend… and Since then I've been the happiest I have ever been!" JoJo wrote on Instagram of her girlfriend, whose name is Kylie. "She seriously is the most loving, supportive, happiest, protective, and just the most beautiful perfect person in the world. And I get to call her mine! Happy one month to my girl! I love you more and more everyday!" The post came two weeks after the YouTuber and singer came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
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Bruce Springsteen was arrested for DWI and reckless driving in New Jersey, according to reports, but somehow the news remained private for nearly two months. TMZ reported that the music icon was arrested on Nov. 14, 2020, at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, after an officer watched The Boss take a shot of Patron Tequila offered by fans and start his motorcycle. "Springsteen was cooperative throughout the process," a spokesperson for the National Park Service said. A police report indicated that Bruce smelled strongly of alcohol and his eyes were glassy. He was also supposedly swaying during a field sobriety test and took 45 steps when he was supposed to take 18. Curiously, he wasn't legally drunk, according to reports. The Asbury Park Press reported that Bruce had a blood-alcohol content of 0.02 while the threshold in New Jersey is 0.08. A court date is coming in the next few weeks. Due to the fact he was arrested on federal land, The Boss will appear before a federal judge.
One week after he was heard using the N-word in a leaked video, country singer Morgan Wallen is apologizing. In a five-minute video shared on Instagram, Morgan said he was "long overdue to make a statement" and "wanted to collect my thoughts, seek some real guidance" and come before fans "with a complete thought" before doing so. The chart-topping singer said that at the time of the video, he was "on hour 72 of 72 hours of a bender, and that's not something I'm proud of either." Since then, Morgan has met with Black organizations to discuss his words. "I'll admit to y'all I was pretty nervous to accept those invitations from the very people I hurt, and they had every right to step on my neck while I was down, to not show me any grace, but they did the exact opposite," he said. "They offered me grace and they also paired that with an offer to learn and to grow. And I'll be honest, that kindness really inspired me to dig deeper… This week, I heard first hand some personal stories from Black people that honestly shook me. And I know what I'm going through this week doesn't even compare to some of the trials I heard about from them. I came away from those discussions with a deep appreciation for them and a clearer understanding of the weight of my words." At the end of his video, he asked his fans not to defend him for his actions. "I was wrong. It's on me to take ownership for this and I fully accept any penalties I'm facing," he said. "The time of my return is solely upon me and the work I put in."
Although Anderson Cooper and his ex broke up nearly three years ago, he's reminded of his former love every single day… because they still live together! While appearing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Feb. 10, the CNN host spoke of raising his 9-month-old son, Wyatt Morgan Cooper, with his ex, Benjamin Maisani, from whom he split in 2018. "We actually still live in the same house because we get along really well," Anderson said. "It works out. It was interesting because he wasn't really sure he wanted to have a kid, which was one of the reasons we probably broke up. But then he came around on the idea, and now he is just such a great parent." While chatting with Ellen, Anderson was quick to point out that although he loves Benjamin in terms of his parenting, there are no plans for a romantic reconciliation. "No. It's not going to happen," he maintained.
Paris Hilton has claimed she was abused while attending a boarding school in Provo, Utah, in the late '90s. She elaborated in front of a state Senate committee hearing at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Feb. 8. While lobbying for a bill seeking to regulate the state's troubled teen industry, Paris told the committee she was "verbally, mentally and physically" abused every day for the 11 months she spent at Provo Canyon School as a teen, and she was given no access to sunlight or fresh air and "stripped of all of my human rights." The heiress added, "I can not go to sleep at night knowing that there are children that are experiencing the same abuse that I and so many others went through, and neither should you." Her pleas worked. On Feb. 9, the measure passed unanimously in committee, and reps from the youth advocacy group Breaking Code Silence praised Paris. "When Paris came out with [her story in the documentary] 'This is Paris,' she simultaneously let the entire survivor community know that it was OK to speak about their experiences and to speak about their trauma," Breaking Code Silence advocate Caroline Lorson told FOX. "I applaud Paris for using that platform to be so vulnerable and allow thousands of others to heal as well."
Britney Spears is rapidly gaining supporters following the release of a new documentary by The New York Times and FX called "Framing Britney Spears." The documentary focuses on the intense media scrutiny the pop star was under in her 20s and takes a deep dive into her relationship with her father, Jamie Spears, and the conservatorship that's guided her life since 2008. Following the premiere, many began calling for apologies from Justin Timberlake, Diane Sawyer, Sarah Silverman and Matt Lauer, all of whom fans felt wronged the Princess of Pop. "Britney finally feels like there is light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel," a source told Page Six after the doc came out. "There are parts of the film that were too hard and emotional for her to watch — the scenes that describe the most difficult times of her life, the relentless media circus and the harsh focus on her as a young mother. But, she feels, for the first time in many years, that people are on her side and things will get better for her."
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers surprised the world when he said he got "engaged" in 2020 during his NFL MVP acceptance speech on Feb. 6. Engaged?! On Feb. 8, the lucky lady was confirmed to be "Divergent" star Shailene Woodley. "They are very happy together," a source told People magazine. "It's not surprising he proposed so fast. When you know, you know, right?" Rumors that Aaron and Shailene were secretly dating cropped up last year, but the athlete's split from retired race car driver Danica Patrick was only revealed in July 2020. There's a rumor that actress-filmmaker Jodie Foster somehow set Aaron and Shailene up.
Child support issues
Halle Berry thinks that child support laws are legal "extortion" and allow some parents to live a lifestyle "they did not earn." The actress's comments came on Instagram after someone brought up the fact that she has to pay ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry nearly $16,000 a month in child support for their 12-year-old daughter, Nahla. "And BTW it's wrong and it's extortion!" she wrote. Halle then elaborated, "I feel if a woman or man is having to pay child support that is way more than the reasonable needs to help SUPPORT the child, I think that is wrong. I understand some parents (man or woman) may need help, but I also feel that in these modern times both men and women have the responsibility to financially take care of their children and work hard and make every effort to do so." The Oscar winner wasn't done. "The way many laws are set up people are allowed to USE children in order to be awarded money to live a lifestyle that not only they did not earn but that is way above and beyond the child's reasonable needs, and that is 'THE WRONG' and where I see the abuse. The laws are outdated and no longer reflect the modern world."