Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are one of those Hollywood couples that fly relatively under the radar. They have their 4-year-old son, Silas, and have steady careers (check out Biel on Facebook Watch's "Limetown"). The couple went viral over Halloween when Biel dressed as *NSYNC-era Timberlake; she had previously admitted to not knowing any of the boy band's songs, so the costume -- with Timberlake joining her as a microphone -- went over well.
More recently, though, Timberlake's name has been circulating for a less heart-warming reason.
Biel and Timberlake met at a mutual friend's birthday party in 2007 and went public just a few short months later. They took a brief hiatus from March to July 2011 but were engaged by December of that year; less than a year later, they were married in Italy (remember the pink dress on the cover of PEOPLE?). Silas joined them in 2015.
As far as the newly-relevant information, Timberlake is currently filming "Palmer," a Fisher Stevens project about an ex-convict befriending a boy from a troubled home. You'll recognize his co-star, Alisha Wainwright, from "Raising Dion." "Palmer" will be her first major role in a feature film.
A couple of weeks ago, The Sun published photographs that show Timberlake and Wainwright getting...cozy in New Orleans. The two were seen holding hands, and another shot features Wainwright resting her hand on Timberlake's knee. They're not the most compromising positions, but they're not great.
Sources were quick to tell E! News that the two weren't involved in any way:
"They were out with all the cast, crew, makeup artists, and everyone was just hanging out in a social setting. They are just working together. No validity to any other rumor other than that they are filming together," sources said. "They're filming a movie together and it was a group of people hanging out. There is nothing going on between them."
Biel was seen out right after the photos broke, keeping her wedding rings on full display.
Everything was basically put to bed, but Timberlake took to social media today to address it personally.
"I stay away from gossip as much as I can, but for my family I feel it is important to address recent rumors that are hurting the people that I love," he wrote on Instagram.
Timberlake's post went on to explain that, under the influence of too much alcohol, he had "displayed a strong lapse in judgment," but reiterated that there was nothing going on between he and Wainwright. He expressed regret at the type of example he'd set for his son and publicly apologized to Biel for "such an embarrassing situation."
Still no word from Wainwright, though her own social media hasn't been active since the photos were published.
What do we think about it?
1. Either Biel has Timberlake on the most impressive leash, or
2. Timberlake actually has something to be guilty of.
Like I said, no one was talking about this anymore! It'd been two weeks -- for all intents and purposes, the world didn't care anymore. Timberlake coming out now to openly apologize to his family says something, I think, about his conscience. I don't doubt that what we saw in those photographs was completely innocent, but was it truly something that wasn't resolved in private between Biel and Timberlake?
He could just care too much about what the general public thinks of him. Fair. Or Biel was low-key punishing him behind closed doors for embarrassing her and their marriage and refused to let him off the hook until he actually dealt with it. To which I tip my hat. You go, girl.
Also, you "drank way too much"? Give me a break, man. That's your wife, and you're almost 40. A film set isn't a frat house.
What does everyone else think?
Well, they're not happy about Timberlake's failure to defend Wainwright in any way. And they're equally unimpressed and disappointed in his alcohol excuse. Anddd they're going back and drawing parallels to his Britney days, which is great.