“The real work he is doing is in private,” says the source following Timberlake’s public apology

By Benjamin VanHoose
December 05, 2019 01:31 PM
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Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake are working through their issues after his hand-holding with another woman.

“He’s charming and outgoing. And obviously he drank too much this time,” says an insider of Timberlake being spotted last month mingling closely with Alisha Wainwright, his costar on an upcoming film project.

The “Can’t Stop the Feeling” singer, 38, was seen holding hands with Wainwright, 30, on Nov. 23, during an outing with friends in New Orleans — an indiscretion for which Timberlake later apologized, assuring fans that “nothing happened” between him and his scene partner.

After the night out made headlines, Biel, 37, took a casual stroll in Los Angeles, where she was spotted still wearing her wedding ring.

An additional source close to Biel told PEOPLE that the pair will “work through this. It was good that he apologized publicly but obviously the real work he is doing is in private and hopefully this was just a bad drunken night of this type of behavior.”

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, 2018
| Credit: Kevork Djansezian/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Offering an explanation, Timberlake addressed his followers on Instagram Wednesday night, clearing up what he called a “strong lapse of judgment.”

“I stay away from gossip as much as I can, but for my family, I feel it is important to address recent rumors that are hurting the people I love,” he wrote.

He continued: “A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgment — but let me be clear — nothing happened between me and my costar. I drank way too much that night and I regret my behavior. I should have known better.”

In the statement, he personally apologized to Biel, whom he married in 2012 and with whom he shares 4-year-old son Silas.

“This is not the example I want to set for my son,” Timberlake added. “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.”

“This was not that,” he added.

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, September 2018

The singer attracted media attention last month when he was seen holding hands and sitting closely with his Palmer costar Wainwright. Timberlake was also with a group of friends at a bar in New Orleans in footage and photos posted by The Sun.

According to a rep for Wainwright, “There is no validity to this speculation. They are currently working on a project together. Members of the cast and crew were all together.”

A source previously told PEOPLE that the evening shared by Timberlake and Wainwright was “completely innocent” and that everybody was “just hanging out.”

“The video may look a way, but literally it was nothing. It was some friends, members of the team, crew and people like that. They all know each other and were hanging,” the source said. “Like come on, they’re on an open balcony in New Orleans and he’s famous. It was nothing.”