Britney Spears‘ fans took to social media to slam her ex Justin Timberlake after the documentary Framing Britney Spears was released on Hulu and FX on Friday, February 5, but an insider exclusively tells Us Weekly that the Grammy winner has no hard feelings toward the former boybander.
“Britney has been on the receiving end of so much hate through the years, particularly on social media. She would never want her fans to release the hounds on Justin,” the insider told Us. “Hate isn’t going to solve anything, regardless of what happened in the past.”
“Britney does not hold a grudge against Justin over anything he’s said or done,” the source added. “She feels that they were young and in love and both did stupid things when they were together. She was heartbroken when they separated, but it’s not something she dwells on now. She’s happy and happy for him.”
Spears, 39, and Timberlake, 40, dated for four years before splitting in 2002. The former ‘NSync member would go on to write his hit “Cry Me a River,” reportedly about Spears’ infidelity.
Framing Britney Spears looks at the “I’m a Slave 4 U” singer’s conservatorship and the #FreeBritney movement but also suggests that Timberlake pushed the narrative that Spears cheated on him, speaking about having sex with her in post-breakup interviews and sullying her reputation in the process.
The documentary also revisited Spears’ 2003 interview with Primetime‘s Diane Sawyer, where the journalist asked the “Toxic” singer whether she’d been unfaithful to Timberlake during their relationship.
“I think everyone has a side of their story, to make them feel a certain way,” Spears said. “I’m not technically saying he’s wrong, but I’m not technically saying he’s right either.”
She added that she would let her single “Everytime” speak for itself. The song’s lyrics ask for forgiveness for inadvertently hurting an ex.
“Never forget Justin Timberlake launched his solo career by throwing Britney under the bus and Janet Jackson [following the Super Bowl’s Nipplegate] soon after,” one fan tweeted.
“One of the main takeaways: Britney Spears deserved a lot better, from the public, from paparazzi, etc,” another fan wrote. “And I’m mad at Justin Timberlake again, FYI!”
“I am legit disgusted by Justin Timberlake and how he dragged Britney through the mud like that. Gross,” another tweeted.
The Trolls star referenced their relationship, and their iconic double denim look at the 2001 American Music Awards, during The Hollywood Reporter‘s Songwriters Roundtable earlier this month, joking that “the internet won’t allow me to forget” the fashion moment, adding, “It’s all good.”
Spears eloped with her childhood friend Jason Alexander in 2004, but their Vegas wedding was annulled 55 hours later. She wed backup dancer Kevin Federline later that year and the pair welcomed two boys, Sean Preston and Jayden, before splitting in November 2006. The singer has been dating personal trainer Sam Asghari since 2016.
With reporting by Nicholas Hautman