Justin Timberlake apologizes for ‘distasteful’ wedding video that mocked homeless people

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Justin Timberlake (Getty Images)

Right now Justin Timberlake should be in the middle of honeymoon bliss. He and his new bride, Jessica Biel, just pulled off an elaborate, and by all accounts, amazing week-long wedding extravaganza in southern Italy, during which they spared no expense and treated their guests like royalty. Instead, the groom is issuing a public apology after finding himself in the middle of a post-wedding scandal.

[Related: Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s first song: all the details]

Days after their lavish nuptials, a video hit the Internet, which was made by the Timberlake’s longtime friend, Los Angeles real estate agent Justin Huchel, as an apparent wedding gift for the couple and was reportedly played at some point during the week-long celebration. The eight-minute “gag” recording featured Huchel on the streets of L.A. interviewing homeless people who “just couldn’t make it” to the reported $6.5 million wedding and instead sent their well wishes. One clip was of a toothless man, saying, “Justin and Jessica, I haven't seen you for a long time. I hope the wedding goes fine for you. My gift is in the mail.” The video, which was leaked to Gawker, was widely viewed as tasteless and insensitive for openly mocking the homeless. And Huchel wasn’t happy his “gift” was made public either. His attorney has threatened legal action against the website, demanding they remove the video and noting in the legal papers, “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."

Apparently, not even Timberlake found the “private joke” funny. Early Friday he took to his blog to issue a 700-word apology for what he described as a “lapse in judgment.” Starting off by writing, “I don't live my life making fun of people ... especially, those who are less fortunate or those in need,” the 31-year-old noted, “I was always taught that we as people, no matter what your race, sex, or stature may be, are equal.” Referring to the video as “distasteful” and “unsavory,” he claimed he "had no knowledge of its existence" and " absolutely ZERO contribution to it.” And contrary to what his pal Huchel’s lawyer said, the video "was NOT shown at my wedding."

[Related: Jessica Biel’s sentimental wedding day accessories]

Timberlake went on to apologize for his friends, whom he referred to as “good people,” saying, “This was clearly a lapse in judgment which I'm sure no one who is reading this is exempt from. …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.”

The lengthy apology ended with a P.S., “You can bet you’re a-- that I'm having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service... Boom.”

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