After being photographed holding hands with his co-star this weekend, Justin Timberlake is back at work on the set of Palmer. The film is about a former athlete who, upon his release from prison, goes home for a fresh start but things get complicated when he can’t put away his past and ends up having to raise an orphan. This is a Black List script from 2016 meaning it’s supposed to have potential. Like this is JT trying to get into the awards race. I’ll just leave that there and back away slowly…

Although I’m already wondering about how the press tour will go. Because, right now, the only thing JT-related that people are talking about is whether not he cheated on Jessica Biel. Team Timberlake was quick to send sources out to entertainment news outlets to downplay the images, saying that it was nothing, that he’d been drinking and that they were there with other people and it was all above board. Then yesterday more sources told E! News that:

"They are downplaying everything and trying to laugh it off as nothing. But it was definitely inappropriate and something that would make any wife uncomfortable," a source shared with E! News. "He had too much to drink and got carried away."
At the same time, the insider assures us that Justin and Jessica are "going to move on from this." After all, the singer and actor knows how special his family is.

"Their marriage will survive. He feels guilty and will make it up to her," a source shared. "She is very good to him and he knows how lucky he is. He says it was not a big deal, they were all hanging out together and that's the end of the story."

So it’s not infidelity. If JT did anything wrong it was a lack of judgment. He feels guilty because… I mean I’ve read that paragraph eight times and I still don’t understand, exactly, what is being explained, only that JT feels bad so feel bad for him because he feels bad, OK? 

I do feel bad – for Jessica Biel. It’s embarrassing. And some might say that it’s the paparazzi’s fault. The tabloid media and gossip culture’s fault. I get that, I get why she and her supporters might feel that way. But also, part of the work of celebrity is image and that applies to celebrity couples too. Some celebrities are unconventional, they don’t prescribe to tradition. Tilda Swinton comes to mind. She hasn’t built her brand around a gender-normed version of relationship. If Tilda Swinton was photographed holding hands with someone who wasn’t her partner, we’d notice, but it wouldn’t be a Scandal. 

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s wedding photos were published on the cover of PEOPLE.  You remember, don’t you? He was jumping up and down, even for his wedding portrait he couldn’t not be the first thing, the only thing, you looked at. 


PEOPLE’s readership is MiniVan Majority. PEOPLE’s readership isn’t the open marriage readership. From that point, they were setting a tone for how their marriage would be perceived – which is entirely incongruous with what we’re seeing in these pictures.   

So, as I wrote yesterday, while there’s not going to be any fallout from this – of course they’ll stay together – what will be interesting to watch is how they strategise their recovery from it and how they present themselves as a couple going forward.