In late October, Justin Timberlake whisked his wife, Jessica Biel, and their two young kids away to Mexico for a sun-kissed vacation in Cabo San Lucas. Shortly after their arrival via private jet, Justin and Jessica were spotted hanging out poolside at their hotel. In photos, a bikini-clad Jessica can be seen chatting with Justin as he looks down at his phone.
It was a make-or-break trip for the couple. Justin, 42, has been under fire since the release of Britney Spears’ memoir, The Woman in Me, on October 24. In it, the “Toxic” singer paints a less-than-flattering portrait of the ‘NSync singer, revealing he’d forced her to get an abortion during their three-year late-’90s/early-2000s romance and had been repeatedly unfaithful. The revelations have also caused major tension at home for Justin and 41-year-old Jessica (who share Silas, 8, and Phineas, 3) as divorce rumors run rampant. “It’s a nightmare that just won’t go away,” an insider exclusively tells In Touch. “It’s been very hard on their marriage.”
It’s not the first time Justin’s behavior has put his relationship with Jessica in jeopardy. Back in 2010, he was accused of cheating on her with actress Olivia Munn during a three day tryst. The following March, the “SexyBack” singer and Candy actress split; they reunited months later and tied the knot in southern Italy in 2012. In 2019, Justin again made headlines when he was videotaped holding hands with his Palmer costar, Alisha Wainwright, during a drunken night out during filming in New Orleans.
Jessica was devastated. “Jessica has buried her head in the sand for so long when it comes to Justin’s sketchy past,” says the insider. “She refused to believe he’d cheated on her with Olivia, but that thing with Alisha was a tough pill to swallow because there were the pictures. If she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes, maybe she wouldn’t have believed it, but it was staring her in the face.”
The usually ultra-private star released a public mea culpa addressed to Jessica. “I apologize to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be,” Justin wrote in an Instagram post. Notes the source: “It took Justin and Jessica a long time to get back on track and for her to trust him again, even with Justin’s groveling public apology.”
Feeling the Strain
They’re back on shaky ground. “Jessica’s standing by Justin, but it must bother her to know he treated Britney so abominably in the past,” says the insider. She feels like she doesn’t recognize the man she fell in love with and married. Amid the most recent controversy, Justin has had to turn off comments on his Instagram, while Jessica has had to limit hers after Britney fans viciously trolled her for being married to a cheater. She can’t escape feeling tortured by his cheating past. “Jessica always prided herself on her great marriage, but it’s taken a few hits in recent years,” says the insider. “It pains her that people think she’s married to a creep.”
According to the insider, Justin — who offered a half-hearted apology to Britney and Janet Jackson in 2021, saying he “benefited from a system that condones misogyny” — refuses to accept blame for his actions. (He infamously bared Janet’s breast at the 2004 Super Bowl, tanking her career.) “He’s not proud of the way he behaved with Britney, but he’s not ashamed either,” the insider reveals. “They were both very young and made mistakes. It wasn’t just him. He feels that he’s been unfairly targeted by Britney and her fans and that he doesn’t deserve this.”
Now his wife wants him to take some accountability. “How can Jessica forgive Justin if he won’t even say he’s sorry?” asks the source. “He’s been avoiding the whole situation entirely — and it hasn’t been good for their relationship. It’s caused a lot of stress, and it won’t go away unless Justin owns up to what he did.”
The pair’s Mexican getaway was a nice escape from reality — but it was a temporary one. “Jessica wanted a break from all the unflattering publicity, and told Justin in no uncertain terms that he needed to focus on her and the kids,” says the insider. “But the issues are still there, and friends are hoping they can have the talk they so desperately need. If they don’t, their marriage may be in more trouble than it already is.”
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