Justin Timberlake drunk driving arrest is latest drama facing pop star and wife Jessica Biel

‘Cry Me a River’ singer arrested, charged with driving while intoxicated early Tuesday

Justin Timberlake’s arrest for allegedly driving while intoxicated is the latest hurdle in a series of issues facing the pop star and his wife, Jessica Biel, over the past few years.

Timberlake was arrested in Sag Harbor on Long Island in the early morning on June 18 when he "performed poorly on all standardized field sobriety tests," the arresting officer claimed in documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

The "Cry Me a River" singer refused a breathalyzer and told the arresting officer he had one martini and was following some friends home.

He had "bloodshot and glossy" eyes, a "strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from his breath" and was "unable to divide attention," according to the complaint. He also exhibited "slowed speech" and was "unsteady afoot." 

Justin Timberlake's mugshot is released

Justin Timberlake was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated on Tuesday. (Sag Harbor Police Department)


"There are very few details to go by at this point, but judging by similar cases (like Morgan Wallen), it will have a negligible impact, provided there were no injuries, fatalities, etc.," Doug Eldridge of Achilles PR told Fox News Digital of the effect the arrest could have on Timberlake’s career.

However, he added that high-profile cases can "demonstrate how quickly a story can get taken out of context — and with it, get totally out of control — when a PR vacuum is allowed to form and specifics are replaced by speculation. The court of public opinion always outpaces the court of law, even more so in the age of social media."

Timberlake’s marriage to Biel may face a greater impact than his career.

"The fate of a tree isn't determined by how hard the storm twisted the branches; it's determined by how deep and wide the roots extended before the first raindrop even fell. To that end, marriage is the same test of strength — the impact of the obstacle or the adversity is ​relative only to the foundational strength of the marriage. Divorce is a terrible reality in this country, especially for families with young children. That should never be the first option, only the last resort," Eldridge said.

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake posing together

Doug Eldridge of Achilles PR said the impact of Timberlake's arrest on his career will likely be "negligible" but may strain his marriage more. (Gilbert Flores/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)


placeholderThe arrest isn’t the first major hurdle faced by the couple, who married in 2012 and share two sons, Silas, 8, and Phineas, 3.

In late 2019, Timberlake was photographed holding hands and touching the knee of actress Alisha Wainwright, his co-star from the film "Palmer," during a night out in New Orleans.

They were also spotted leaving the same trailer on set, though it was noted at the time it was more likely the set’s makeup trailer and not a private one for either star.

Timberlake later publicly apologized to Biel in a now-deleted Instagram post.

side by side photos of Justin timberlake and Alisha Wainwright

Timberlake was photographed with actress Alisha Wainwright in 2019, sparking cheating rumors. (Getty Images)


"A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgment – but let me be clear – nothing happened between me and my costar," Timberlake's statement read. "I drank way too much that night and I regret my behavior. I should have known better."

"... 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," he continued. "This was not that. I am incredibly proud to be working on 'Palmer.' Looking forward to continuing to make this movie and excited for people to see it."

He also showed his support for Biel a few months later, in February 2020, attending the premiere of her TV show, "The Sinner."

A source told Entertainment Tonight at the time, "After Justin was spotted holding hands with his co-star, the couple took time to reconnect, spending much-needed quality time together. Justin and Jessica love one another very much and weren’t going to let this come between them, more so since Justin told Jessica he didn’t cheat, and she believes him."

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake posing together

Timberlake apologized to Biel publicly in a since-deleted Instagram post, saying, "I drank way too much that night and I regret my behavior. I should have known better." (Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Justin Timberlake)


In his cheating scandal apology, Timberlake noted that he "drank way too much."

Regarding Timberlake’s recent arrest, Eldridge said, "First, as a wife and mother, Biel needs to do what is best for her family. Again, without being privy to the details, just on a basic human level, you want to make sure your family is safe, sound, and intact.

"That used to be the norm in America, but sadly, what was once a no-brainer has increasingly become a question of 'How will this affect my brand?' There's a reason divorce rates are north of 50% in America and roughly 72% are being initiated by women. I hope Biel bucks that trend, keeps the family together and makes sure her husband gets the professional care and attention he might require moving forward."

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake posing together close up

The arrest isn’t the first major hurdle faced by the couple, who married in 2012 and share two sons, Silas, 8, and Phineas, 3. (Robert Smith/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

When it comes to Biel’s brand, it continues to evolve. \

The 42-year-old was photographed in New York’s Central Park on Monday wearing a medieval costume while filming her new Amazon Prime series, "The Better Sister," with Elizabeth Banks and Corey Stoll.

Jessica Biel is on location for 'The Better Sister'

Jessica Biel is shown on location for "The Better Sister" on June 17, 2024, in New York City. (Gotham/GC Images)


Biel is executive producing the series along with Banks, adding to her growing slate of projects like "The Sinner," for which she earned a best actress in a motion picture or limited series Emmy nomination in 2018.

Jessica Biel is on location for 'The Better Sister'

Biel, right, and Elizabeth Banks are shown on location for "The Better Sister" on June 17, 2024, in New York City. Both stars are co-executive producers on the series. (Gotham/GC Images)

She also recently released a book, "A Kids Book About Periods," and launched a wellness brand, Kinderfarms, in 2021. 

"If Biel is able to stay with Timberlake, hold the family together and provide the loving glue to fix the broken pieces — for her husband, her children, and herself — all while launching books and shouldering a new show, she would enter a Jennifer Aniston level of 'do no wrong' among female fans and followers," Eldridge said.

He continued, "Ironically, Biel and Timberlake enjoy somewhat inverse fan demographics. Timberlake skews female-heavy while Biel has a male-dominant fandom — but ‘standing by her man’ would likely double Biel's following and favorability for a variety of reasons. 

"It would also increase the empathy quotient for Timberlake, who will inevitably embark on a mea culpa PR tour following this arrest. Their respective brands will do remarkably better by staying together, working through it as a team and serving as positive role models, not only for their own children but for the tens of millions of fans (of all ages) around the world."

Close up of Jessica Biel in pink at the Met Gala

"If Biel is able to stay with Timberlake, hold the family together and provide the loving glue to fix the broken pieces … all while launching books and shouldering a new show, she would enter a Jennifer Aniston level of 'do no wrong' among female fans and followers," Eldridge said. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)


One demonstration of their commitment to their children was their decision to move away from Hollywood and avoid the paparazzi.

On SiriusXM’s "Let’s Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa," Biel said, "I don't really think they necessarily respect that, you know, if we're out and about with our kids. It can be somewhat country-dependent, where if we're in this country, in the States, it's kind of like state by state, you know, you get hammered on the East Coast, you kind of get hammered on the West Coast. That's why we don't really live there anymore."

The actress continued, "It's just trying to create some normalcy for these kids, and we want to share our family with our loved ones and friends, and also we understand that our job has this major public-facing element, so we understand that part of it, but also these kids didn't choose this. I don't want to expose them in any way until they have an ability to make that decision for themselves, you know?" 

Biel and Timberlake split their time between Nashville, Tennessee, and Big Sky, Montana.

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel smiling together

Biel revealed she and Timberlake moved out of Hollywood to avoid getting "hammered" by paparazzi. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)


Timberlake’s arrest also dredges up issues from his past, like his romantic relationship with Britney Spears.

In her 2023 memoir, "The Woman in Me," Spears claims Timberlake urged her to get an abortion when she became pregnant by him, and she agreed to it.

"I’m sure people will hate me for this, but I agreed not to have the baby. I don’t know if that was the right decision. If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father," Spears wrote.

Despite her insistence on social media, the memoir "was not to offend anyone by any means !!!" and she had moved on, but fans were unhappy with Timberlake.

A photo of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake

Timberlake's relationship with Britney Spears came under scrutiny last year with the release of her memoir, "The Woman in Me." (Kevin Winter)


She also wrote about his music video for his 2002 hit "Cry Me a River," describing the plot as "a woman who looks like me cheats on him, and he wanders around sad in the rain" and admitting to cheating on Timberlake.

Several months after the book’s release, in February 2024, Timberlake appeared to address the issue on stage during a concert in New York City.

According to People, before singing "Cry Me a River," he told the crowd, "I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to absolutely f---ing nobody."

Timberlake is currently on the road with his Forget Tomorrow World Tour, and in Eldridge’s opinion, isn’t going to look to the past to solve any PR issues.

Justin Timberlake performing

Timberlake is currently on his Forget Tomorrow World Tour. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Children's Hospital Los Angeles)

"Much like Mark Wahlberg aggressively worked to distance himself from the Marky Mark moniker, Timberlake has been steadfast in moving beyond *NSYNC, Britney Spears and his early days with the Mickey Mouse Club," he said.

While fans may be clamoring for an *NSYNC reunion tour, which they got a taste of during a one-night-only concert in Los Angeles in March, Eldridge says, "It's also worth noting that sometimes these grand reunions produce grim reminders, as adulation is superseded by accusations."

He noted, "When the Backstreet Boys launched their reunion tour, Nick Carter faced a barrage of lawsuits, claiming sexual assault, stemming from purported encounters that took place 20 years earlier. The allegations, which are in various stages of litigation, cast a dark cloud over what was intended to be a bright, lighthearted, nostalgia tour for the once-popular '90s mega group. That said, caveat emptor when it comes to reunion tours."

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