Why Justin Timberlake publicly apologized to Jessica Biel after Alisha Wainwright drama

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Justin Timberlake is taking the steps to put those eyebrow-raising photos behind him.

Late last month, the Grammy winner made headlines when photos emerged of him and Palmer co-star Alisha Wainwright holding hands and getting questionably touchy during an outing with the cast and crew in New Orleans.

While sources told E! News “there is absolutely nothing going on between them,” Timberlake broke his silence on the situation on Wednesday with a public apology to his longtime wife, Jessica Biel, and his family.

“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 said in a Instagram post. “A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgement – 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. This is not the example I want to set for my son. 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.

I am incredibly proud to be working on Palmer. Looking forward to continuing to make this movie and excited for people to see it.”

Meanwhile, “He feels terrible that this happened and for putting Jessica through the public scrutiny,” a source said of the star. “He knows she doesn’t deserve any of this and that he messed up.”

According to the source, Timberlake “hopes by addressing what happened and apologizing to her publicly that they can put this behind them and start to move on.

Justin feels like the story isn’t dying and hopes this will be the end of it. He always tries to keep his private life private, but he knows he made a big mistake in public and now has to own up to it.”

In regard to their 7-year marriage, “Nobody is going anywhere, but it’s definitely had an effect on their marriage and her trust in him,” the source noted. “Even if nothing more happened than what was in the photos.