Lance Bass proved that he still has his former NSYNC bandmate Justin Timberlake’s back after all these years.
As Timberlake faces intense scrutiny following the publication of Britney Spears’ new memoir, the 44-year-old Bye Bye Bye singer spoke in defense over his longtime pal, who has faced relentless cyberbullying over the past two weeks.
Amid backlash over stories about how Timberlake treated the Circus hitmaker during their two-year romance, between 1999 to 2001, Bass told TMZ that fans need to take it easier on the SexyBack singer for his past indiscretions.
‘Everyone has their own opinion, but I feel the whole world is so full of hate right now that we need to practice a little forgiveness. Britney did, so let’s take a note from her,’ he suggested.
Supportive: Lance Bass proved that he still has his former NSYNC bandmate Justin Timberlake’s back after all these years as he faces scrutiny following the publication of Britney Spears’ memoir; seen in 2007
The performer continued: ‘Everyone deserves to tell their story. She did, and, you know, I hope the fans can, again, find some forgiveness.’
Bass declined to speak about whether he has spoken with Timberlake following the bombshell claims that his ex-girlfriend made about him, including that he was unfaithful during their relationship and that she had an abortion, at 19, because he ‘didn’t want to be a father.’
When asked if he had real Spears’ new book yet, which hit shelves on Tuesday, Bass revealed he was ‘about to’ on the plane as he headed to catch his flight at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
After hearing clips of the memoir’s audiobook, which is voiced by five-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, the father-of-two stated it ‘sounds amazing.’
As for whether *NSYNC will tour or release any new music anytime soon, the Mississippi native revealed there is ‘no plan for an album’ yet.
‘Might be talking about it soon, but nothing in the works, right now,’ he teased.
Earlier this week, a source exclusively told DailyMail.com that ‘Justin has not reached out to Britney at all about any of this and he is not going to because there is nothing he can say to her.’
‘She was there and is just telling it from her point of view,’ the source added. ‘That does not mean he is okay with it. Justin is not at all happy about what has come out in this book.’
Speaking her truth: On the same day Timberlake disabled the comments on his Instagram page due ‘to the hateful, disgusting things people were saying on his page,’ the B44-year-old Bye Bye Bye singer spoke in defense over his longtime pal, who has faced relentless cyberbullying over the past two weeks; Spears seen in 2016 at the MTV Video Music Awards
Past love: Amid backlash over stories about how Timberlake treated the Circus hitmaker during their two-year romance, between 1999 to 2001, Bass told TMZ that fans need to take it easy on the SexyBack singer for his past indiscretions (Spears and Timberlake pictured in 2001)
‘Everyone has their own opinion, but I feel the whole world is full of hate right now, that we need to practice a little forgiveness. Britney did, so let’s take a note from her,’ Bass suggested; seen in 2001
They went on to note that ‘doing this book has given Britney life and she really doesn’t care who is offended by anything in it because it is what happened.
‘She was there and lived through it. No one can say anything. She has got this all out of her and is moving on now.’
A second insider claimed the ‘baggage’ from Britney’s memoir has been ‘stressful’ for Justin and his wife Jessica, whose wedding anniversary on October 19 was overshadowed.
The pair tied the knot in 2012, a decade after his split from Britney. They share sons Silas, eight and Phineas, three.
‘Britney’s book coming out with all the revelations coming from it has not been the best for his anniversary celebrations,’ they said. ‘Having it in the zeitgeist hasn’t been a topic of constant conversation but Justin and Jessica have definitely talked about it.
‘And to have to think of all of that during a time when they should celebrate their love for each other hasn’t been the most satisfying of days lately, it has been a bit stressful.’
They claimed he is trying to focus on NSYNC’s new music and his upcoming film, adding: ‘He is trying to figure it out and avoid the naysayers.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to reps for Britney and Justin.
The couple dated from 1999 until 2002 when their split was announced to increasing rumors that Britney had been unfaithful.
Justin appeared to bolster the narrative with his 2002 hit Cry Me a River in which he sings: ‘You don’t have to say, what you did / I already know, I found out from him / Now there’s just no chance / For you and me.’
The singer even went so far as to hire a Britney look-a-like for the music video.
Earlier this week, a source exclusively told DailyMail.com that ‘Justin has not reached out to Britney at all about any of this and he is not going to because there is nothing he can say to her’ (seen in 2001)
Britney writes about that period in time and describes the Cry Me A River video as ‘a woman who looks like me cheats on him and he wanders around sad in the rain’.
She went on to write that the media attention the video got turned her into a ‘harlot who’d broken the heart of America’s golden boy,’ when she was actually ‘comatose in Louisiana’ nursing a broken heart while Justin was ‘happily running around Hollywood’.
The mother-of-two has confessed to cheating on her ex by kissing her choreographer Wade Robson in a bar – but she also hinted that Justin was unfaithful on multiple occasions – including with a celebrity whose identity she has refrained from exposing.
She wrote that the What Goes Around Comes Around hitmaker was photographed with ‘one of the girls from All Saints’ in London in 2000 and also bragged to one of her backup dancers about a girl he hooked up with in Las Vegas.
Britney has also opened up in harrowing detail about the abortion she underwent in secret at home when she was just 19.
A separate source previously told DailyMail.com that Justin had hoped that their decision to terminate the pregnancy would have remained a ‘secret forever’.
‘Justin thought that the decision that they made was a decision made together and he intended to never talk about it and for it to be kept their secret forever,’ they said.
‘Now that Britney has mentioned it, and it will live forever in her book and whatever else she decides to mention, Justin is going to try not to say anything about it because he knows whatever he says from this point will likely be thrown back right at him.’
Britney made the ‘agonizing’ decision to terminate the pregnancy after conceiving in late 2000.
She wrote: ‘It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy. I loved Justin so much. I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated.
Justin with his wife Jessica Biel with whom he has sons Silas, eight and Phineas, three
‘He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young. I’m sure people will hate me for this, but I agreed not to have the baby.’
In the years following their breakup, Justin was not very kind when it came to speaking about their past relationship.
During a 2003 interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20, the legendary journalist asked him if Britney had ‘kept her promise to wait to have sex until marriage’. Justin immediately burst out laughing.
A few years later, in 2006, he told journalist Robert Haskell: ‘If I was writing an article about [Britney], I would not be able to fight the urge to write every dirty thing about her.’
In recent years, Justin has shown regret for his past treatment of Britney and publicly apologized to her in 2021 following the release of the FX and Hulu documentary, Framing Britney Spears.
He issued an apology to both his ex – and music icon Janet Jackson – for ‘missteps’ during his career that he admitted contributed to ‘a system that condones misogyny and racism’.
‘I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments and concerns and I want to respond,’ he wrote. ‘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.’
Months later, he went on to show support for Britney amid her battle to put her 13-year conservatorship to an end. She was placed into the guardianship by her father, Jamie Spears, in 2008.
At the height of the #FreeBritney movement, Justin tweeted: ‘No one should ever be held against their will… or ever have to ask permission to access everything they’ve worked so hard for.’
Speaking on behalf of himself and his wife, Jessica, he then added: ‘Jess and I send our love, and our absolute support to Britney during this time. We hope the courts, and her family make this right and let her live however she wants to live.’