Autopsy of a clash: Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, a betrayal at the top

On March 31, 2002, the announcement of the break between Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears shook the media landscape. The couple, symbolizing the perfect love of two young adults, who met in adolescence, was a source of fascination and admiration for her fans.

His separation occurs when rumors, claiming that the interpreter of “Toxic” would have been unfaithful, begin to circulate. Photos of her in the company of Wade Robson, one of her choreographers, are published in the press. The two artists met while the creator was working on the singer’s “Dream Within a Dream” tour. At that time, the choreographer denied having had any relationship with the pop icon, before his tour ended. In other words, he totally refutes the charges of deception. Unfortunately, this speech has no effect on the decision of Justin Timberlake who puts an end to this story.

It could have ended there, but a few months later, the two artists find themselves again at the center of all discussions.

The love breakup anthem

On November 4, 2002, the case experienced a new twist, and not the least. The one who is now evolving solo released his first album, “Justified”, a project consisting of 13 songs, marking the hour of his revenge. In “Cry Me A River”, the one who is also an actor, sings the anthem of the breakup, and signs the descent into hell of his ex-girlfriend.

Written by Timbaland and Scott Storch, the title in question traces the story of a tumultuous relationship, and expresses the pain of a heartbroken man, wishing his former partner felt the same. The chorus is a key moment in the song, the lyrics are simple but powerful: “Your bridges were burned, and now it’s your turn, to cry. Cry me a river. I cried a river over you. Meaning in French: “It’s too late to go back, and now it’s your turn to cry.” Cry me a river. I cried a river for you. »

A fictional revenge

From the first seconds of the clip, directed by Francis Lawrence, doubts about the identity of the person targeted by the song disappear. Indeed, we distinguish two protagonists, a man and a woman with blond hair, to move and enter a car. Then, we recognize Justin Timberlake, accompanied by Timbaland in another vehicle, spinning. We understand then that the young woman seen a few moments earlier, is his companion, and that she is dating another man. In revenge, the singer breaks into his partner’s house and films himself with another woman.

Read also: Child star: Britney Spears, “I’m not perfect, I’m human”

Widely broadcast on television, the clip contributed to the popularity of the title which, as a result, enjoyed real commercial success. It reached #2 on the charts in the US and Australia as well as #1 in the UK. The song also won a Grammy Award in 2004.

Displayed in the public square

Britney Spears did not immediately react publicly. But in 2003, during an interview with American journalist Diane Sawyer, the singer was asked about it and called the lyrics “cruel”, adding that she had been deeply hurt by the clip. A year later, the young woman unveiled a new song, “Everytime”, which was widely interpreted as an answer to “Cry Me A River”. But, the underlying message is radically different. Indeed, in this title, the pop star seems to apologize for past mistakes and even expresses her desire to find her former boyfriend. After that, the two singers evolved on their own.

20 years later, new excuses

Nearly two decades later, Justin Timberlake has issued a public apology to his ex-partner for engaging in sexist and offensive behavior, as well as using his public image. Sam Asghari’s wife, for her part, never reacted to this statement.

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