Little did real estate agent Justin Huchel know that the private wedding video he made for friends Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, featuring homeless people wishing them well from the streets of Los Angeles, would be seen by nearly 80,000 people on YouTube.The eight-minute video, cut down online to 20 seconds, begins with text saying “Greetings from your Hollywood friends who just couldn’t make it,” and goes on to feature L.A. street musicians, transexuals and homeless people wishing the Hollywood couple well.
One of the men featured in the video told TMZ that he was outraged as he was paid $40 to appear in the piece and felt that he had been tricked.
To watch the video, click here.
After Gawker somehow obtained the clip and posted it Thursday, Huchel’s lawyers threatened a lawsuit, stating, “Mr. Huchel made [the] video to be used and exhibited privately at Justin Timberlake’s wedding as a private joke without Mr. Timberlake’s knowledge … Further, Mr. Huchel informs us that his copyrighted video was recently stolen.”
Read the full letter from Huchel’s attorney on Gawker here.
While Gawker initially refused to comply with the take-down request, they later complied after a second letter claimed it was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
But the lawyers were a little late, as nearly 80,000 people have now watched the video clip online and bashed Timberlake as a result.
As one commenter on the video wrote, “What is offensive is that these people who make 8 digits per year made a video to show to their friends (who also make 8 digits a year) a ‘funny’ video about how these people just couldn’t make it to the JJ wedding. It’s sarcastic and tasteless, and sad.”
On Friday, Timberlake finally took to his blog to apologise for the unfunny joke, saying “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.”
Read the full letter below:
AN OPEN LETTER
To my family, friends, and fans:
The last time I wrote a letter like this, it was when I had the good fortune of attending a once in a lifetime experience by sharing an evening with some of America’s finest at the Marine Corps Ball about a year ago. I was so moved by that night, I wanted to share it with everyone. Unfortunately, this letter holds a different kind of weight for me.
Normally, as some of you know, I am (by nature) a pretty private person. So, I don’t really take it upon myself to comment on things that so often go misunderstood or something that has even shed any kind of dark light on what was and will always be one of the most special weeks of my life. But, in light of the recent events, I can’t fight the urge to clarify my thoughts and feelings on what has been a very upsetting portrayal of the people closest to me and myself. It’s not who I am as a professional or as a man.
I can’t help but think of one of the many great life lessons my Grandfather has taught me… He told me when I was younger that “Sometimes, you are confronted with challenges in life that perhaps are not your own. And, when those moments arise, the right thing for a man to do is accept that responsibility, whatever it may be, and face it with honesty and humility.”
So, I’m taking his advice. If for no other reason, than to clear the air so no one has to ever wonder how I feel about it.
I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t live my life making fun of people (unless, of course, I’m making fun of myself on SNL)… Especially, those who are less fortunate or those in need. I grew up with a family and community that instilled ideals in me like hard work, honesty and empathy. As a matter of fact, growing up in Tennessee, I was always taught that we as people, no matter what your race, sex, or stature may be, are equal. We have a saying there that “Everyone puts their pants on the same way(maybe this saying doesn’t apply to guys who wear kilts. Although, I’m sure they put theirs on the same way too…)”
As it pertains to this silly, unsavory video that was made as a joke and not in any way in mockery:
1. I had no knowledge of its existence. I had absolutely ZERO contribution to it.
2. 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. More so, I think it was made as a joke on me not having that many friends attending my own wedding(which IS kind of funny if you think about it).
3. Like many silly rumours that I have been made aware of about the week: It was NOT shown at my wedding.
4. I think we can all agree that it was distasteful, even though that was not it’s intention.
Once again, in the world that we live in where everyone thinks that they know everything, I want to be very clear… I am NOT defending the video. I agree with the overall consensus. But, to use another “pants” analogy… It seems that these days, misconception gets around the world before the actual truth even wakes up and gets it’s pants on.
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.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts. It really is a blessing to be able to speak directly to my true fans so that you can know exactly where I stand.
P.S. You can bet your arse that I’m having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service… Boom.
Just don’t expect to hear from the 100 or so fellow guests at the Timberlake/Biel wedding on the topic, as they have likely been signed to secrecy.
According to E! Online, “it’s pretty common for guests to be asked to sign confidentiality agreements at the same time that they respond to the wedding invitations.”
“The agreements are usually signed prior to disclosing the date and location of the event, so as to prevent any leaks of when and where,” family law attorney Lubov Stark tells E!
And the guests at the Timberlake/Biel nuptials, were, in fact, kept in the dark of where they were going until arriving in Frankfurt during a layover on their way to Italy for the actual wedding.
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