Justin Timberlake apologises for "distasteful" wedding video which mocked the homeless


'I am deeply sorry': Justin Timberlake apologises for 'distasteful' wedding video which mocked the homeless

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UPDATED:

18:31 GMT, 26 October 2012

Justin TImberlake has issued an apology over a wedding video which mocked homeless people.

The singer, 31, who married Jessica Biel, 30, in a lavish $6.5million ceremony in Italy last week, branded the clip 'distasteful' and admitted he was 'deeply sorry' about the incident.

He was eager to distance himself from the controversy, making it clear he had 'no knowledge of its existence' and had 'absolutely ZERO contribution to it.'

The video was created by Justin's real estate friend Justin Huchel. It shows real homeless people on the LA streets purporting to be acquaintances
who couldn't make it to the opulent ceremony.

Scroll down to read Justin's apology in full…

Apology: Justin Timerlake with his new wife Jessica Biel leaving Italy on Sunday

Apology: Justin Timerlake with his new wife Jessica Biel leaving Italy on Sunday

Timerlake posted a 700 word open letter to his fans on his website on Friday.

Message to fans: The singer posted a 700 word apology on his website on Friday

Message to fans: The singer posted a 700 word apology on his website on Friday

He said: '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).

He added: 'I think we can all agree that it was distasteful, even though that was not its intention.'

'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.'

Enlarge

Friend of the stars: This man was billed a friend of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in a video that mocked the homeless that was shown at their post-wedding party

Friend of the stars: This man was billed a friend of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in a video that mocked the homeless that was shown at their post-wedding party

Earlier this week, TMZ tracked down the man used at the
start of the video called Eddie. He told the website he was minding his own business
on the streets of Hollywood when he was approached by a man who offered
him money in exchange for saying a few pre-written lines into the
camera.

'My friends are good people. This was
clearly a lapse in judgment… but, I don't believe it was made to be insensitive'

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Wearing a shabby coat, Eddie says: 'Jessica and Justin, I ain't seen y'all in a while. The gift is in the mail.'

When he found out what his little
piece to camera was being used for, he looked upset and said: 'That
makes me feel real bad … that was a trick played on me.'

Eddie is now on the lookout for a job to get him off the streets and told TMZ: 'I'm gonna do my best to change my life.'

The video, which was first obtained by Gawker and was allegedly shown at their post-ceremony bash, starts with the message, 'greetings from your Hollywood friends
who just couldn't make it.'

After Eddie, the film then switches to a transvestite, who says: 'Good luck and watch your man.'

Watch your man: This transvestite had some sage words for Jessica in his portion of the 'joke' video

Watch your man: This transvestite had some sage words for Jessica in his portion of the 'joke' video

It closes with a shirtless bearded man, who said: 'Justin, Jessica, it's me, Herbert.'

The full film is actually 8mins and 30secs long, and at points features Justin's solo hit SexyBack.

A
man's voice is heard speaking off-camera at one point, apparently
Huchel's, and he asks a man when he last saw Timberlake and Biel,
adding, 'Did you and Jessica mess around'

After the brief messages it fades to black screen with the titling, 'Love Huch and Rachel.'

Huchel's attorney Michael Saltz
confirmed the video was shown to guests at the wedding in a letter sent
to Gawker after the estate agent was approached for comment.

'Distasteful': The video also claimed this shirtless man was another of their unknown chums

'Distasteful': The video also claimed this shirtless man was another of their unknown chums

The
lawyer wrote: 'Mr. Huchel made [the] video to be used and exhibited
privately at Justin Timberlake's wedding as a private joke without Mr
Timberlake's knowledge.'

Mr
Saltz also threatened to 'immediately file suit' if the video was publicized as it would be infringing on Hutchel's copyright.

Of course, the video was screened against a backdrop of A-list extravagance.

The couple spared no expense on the nuptials which set them back $6.5 million, according to HollyScoop.

Around $1 million was splashed out on renting out the stunning Italian resort and around $100,000 spent on entertaining their 80 guests with fireworks, dinner parties and bike rides.

Rather surprisingly, for the usually private and very wealthy couple, they decided to cash in on their romantic day by selling the pictures to a magazine.

Cashing in: The couple are said to have sold their wedding pictures for $300,000 to America's People magazine

Magical: Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel opened up about their romantic wedding ceremony as they revealed the first picture of their happy day to America's People magazine

The pair pocketed an estimated
$300,000 for their wedding photos by striking a deal with People
magazine, and Hello! magazine to publish pictures of their nuptials.

The
leaking of the video is sure to be an embarrassment for well known
philanthropist Justin, who previously donated an item to watchmaker
Nixon to be made into a
watch, the sale of which benefited the MusiCares MAP Fund which helps
address addiction and recovery needs of members of the music community.

He
also teamed up with REM’s Michael Stipe for a charity single to
continue aid for Hurricane Katrina victims; proceeds benefit Mercy
Corps.

Lavish: The pair's nuptials were held at the luxurious Borgo Egnazia Resort in Southern Italy

Lavish: The pair's nuptials were held at the luxurious Borgo Egnazia Resort in Southern Italy

No expense spared: Guests sipped on champagne while staying at the venue ahead of the ceremony

No expense spared: Guests sipped on champagne while staying at the venue ahead of the ceremony

Paid to create a rustic Italian experience: Employees dressed in country costume roamed around

Paid to create a rustic Italian experience: Employees dressed in country costume roamed around

A taste of the good life: Guests enjoyed an Italian feast during their stay

A taste of the good life: Guests enjoyed an Italian feast during their stay

And
last year he was awarded the Big Help award for his charity work at the
2011 Kids’ Choice Awards held at the USC Galen Center in Los Angeles.

Jessica
meanwhile has appeared in videos supporting GoodSearch and Much Love,
as well as founding the Make The Difference Network with her family.

Huchel’s
lawyer's attempts to distance the former boy band singer from the video
has not made him immune to scathing criticism from 'former' fans.

'It’s
official I am no longer a @jtimberlake fan!! Unfollowing you right now!
Mocking the homeless is wrong!' tweeted @StephBreezy678.

While others condemned the video as 'tacky' and 'disgusting.'

Over the top: The couple are understood to have spent $6.5m on their wedding

Over the top: The couple are understood to have spent $6.5m on their wedding

Dolce vita: Interior photographs of the venue

Dolce vita: Interior photographs of the venue

Actor
and heartthrob Rob Lowe was also shocked by the video and tweeted:
'Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Wedding Video Featuring Homeless
Draws Criticism. Wow.'

One
person that watched the video on TMZ commented: 'I don't really get the
joke or their humour but I'm not sure I understand how it's offensive
either.

'I only hope
Huch and Rachel at least paid those three people for their appearances –
somehow I suspect Huch and Rachel only did like Peter and gave them
''hope'' in a cup.'

The row broke hours after the couple revealed the first picture of their magical
wedding ceremony in the pages of America's People magazine.

Country living (A-list style): The grounds of the venue featured beds and cushions dotted around

Country living (A-list style): The grounds of the venue featured beds and cushions dotted around

It's a tough life: The guests enjoyed all the comforts of home as they reclined on day beds scattered around the property

It's a tough life: The guests enjoyed all the comforts of home as they reclined on day beds scattered around the property

Justin, seen wearing a Tom Ford tuxedo that he helped to design,
is seen literally jumping for joy, while his new wife sits serenely in
the foreground in the pictures.

Jessica wore a custom-made Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown – shunning traditional white or ivory for a beautiful petal pink colour.

And it seems that Justin was a fan of Jessica's brave gown choice, revealing in the magazine that his bride was 'the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.'

Jessica teamed the strapless gown with a matching ethereal cathedral-length veil, clutching a bouquet of white flowers as she beamed for the camera.

Speaking about their romantic Italian ceremony, Jessica said: 'It was a total fantasy experience', with Justin adding, 'It was a really special evening.'

JUSTIN'S OPEN LETTER IN FULL

To my family, friends, and fans:

The last time I wrote a letter like this, it was when I had the good fortune of attending a once in a lifetime experience by sharing an evening with some of America's finest at the Marine Corps Ball about a year ago. I was so moved by that night, I wanted to share it with everyone. Unfortunately, this letter holds a different kind of weight for me.

Normally, as some of you know, I am (by nature) a pretty private person. 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 can't help but think of one of the many great life lessons my Grandfather has taught me… He told me when I was younger that “Sometimes, you are confronted with challenges in life that perhaps are not your own. And, when those moments arise, the right thing for a man to do is accept that responsibility, whatever it may be, and face it with honesty and humility.”

So, I'm taking his advice. If for no other reason, than to clear the air so no one has to ever wonder how I feel about it.

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. We have a saying there that “Everyone puts their pants on the same way(maybe this saying doesn't apply to guys who wear kilts. Although, I'm sure they put theirs on the same way too…)”

As it pertains to this silly, unsavory video that was made as a joke and not in any way in mockery:

1. I had no knowledge of its existence. I had absolutely ZERO contribution to it.

2. 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).

3. Like many silly rumors that I have been made aware of about the week: It was NOT shown at my wedding.

4. I think we can all agree that it was distasteful, even though that was not it's 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. But, to use another “pants” analogy… It seems that these days, misconception gets around the world before the actual truth even wakes up and gets it's pants on.

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.

Justin

P.S. You can bet your ass that I'm having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service… Boom.

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