(NEW YORK) — Justin Timberlake has apologized for a gag video featuring homeless people congratulating him and his new wife, Jessica Biel, on their wedding.
In a letter posted on his website, Timberlake said the “silly, unsavory” and “distasteful” video was “made as a joke and not in any way in mockery.”
“I had no knowledge of its existence. I had absolutely ZERO contribution to it,” he wrote. “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.”
Timberlake also denied that the video was played at his Puglia, Italy wedding last week. He concluded, “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.”
An excerpt of the video, produced by Timberlake’s longtime friend, real estate agent Justin Huchel, was leaked on Gawker earlier this week. Gawker also posted a letter from Huchel’s lawyer threatening legal action against the website for posting the video.
In the 20-second excerpt, which begins with the caption “Greetings from your Hollywood friends who just couldn’t make it,” a toothless man says, “Justin and Jessica, I haven’t seen you for a long time. My gift is in the mail.”
That’s followed by a transsexual man who offers, “Good luck and watch your man.”
A bearded man with no shirt says to the camera, “Justin, Jessica, it’s me — Robert,” as if he knows them.
The gag video ends with a written message, “Love Huch and Rachel.”
Huchel’s attorney, Michael J. Saltz, made it clear that the video, which he said was stolen, was meant as a private joke.
“Mr. Huchel made a video to be used and exhibited privately at Justin Timberlake’s wedding as a private joke without Mr. Timberlake’s knowledge,” Saltz wrote in the letter that was also posted on Gawker.
Timberlake and Biel revealed the details of their wedding in this week’s issue of People magazine. They reportedly sold their wedding photos to the mag for $300,000.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Media Relations
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com