Justin Timberlake gives heartfelt speech in first concert after DWI arrest: ‘It’s been a tough week’

Justin Timberlake shared a heartfelt message while performing onstage for the first time since his arrest for allegedly driving while intoxicated in the Hamptons.

The 10-time Grammy winner, 43, is currently on his The Forget Tomorrow World Tour, and returned to the stage on Friday night (21 June), telling his audience in Chicago that it had been a “tough week”.

“We’ve been together through ups and downs, lefts and rights. It’s been a tough week, but you’re here and I’m here, and nothing can change this moment right now,” the “Sexy Back” singer told the crowd, as seen in videos shared on X/Twitter.

He continued: “I know sometimes I’m hard to love but you keep on loving me and I love you right back. Thank you so much.”

The singer was met with rapturous applause from fans, before he asked them to join him in a sing-a-long with hits: “Can’t Stop The Feeling”, “Señorita”, and “Cry Me River”.

The “Mirrors” musician is currently on the US leg of his tour, which is in promotion of his sixth studio album, Everything I Thought I Was.

Earlier this week, Timberlake was arrested in the wealthy Hamptons enclave of Sag Harbor, Long Island, on Tuesday (18 June) at 12.17am. The location is a popular destination for celebrities in the summer months.

The pop star claimed to have consumed just “one martini”, according to a complaint obtained by the New York Post.

Photos showed Timberlake in handcuffs at a local police station before his mugshot was later released by Sag Harbor Police, in which the musician looked red-eyed and expressionless.

 (Sag Harbor Police Department via Getty)
(Sag Harbor Police Department via Getty)

Timberlake, who rose to fame as one of the biggest pop stars of the 1990s and 2000s with his role in the boy band NSYNC before embarking on a successful solo career, appeared in a Long Island court on Tuesday and was released without bail, according to TMZ. He is reportedly due back in court on 26 July.

Police told the outlet that Timberlake was at the American Hotel partying, after which he drove through a stop sign when he left the venue. The police started to follow him, and pulled him over after he started swerving. The singer told police that he was following his friends home.

Timberlake “performed poorly on all standardized field sobriety tests” and repeatedly refused to take a breathalyzer, the complaint says.

Timberlake performing in Los Angeles in April (Getty Images for iHeartRadio)
Timberlake performing in Los Angeles in April (Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

Officers observed Timberlake with glassy eyes and smelled alcohol on his breath. “He was unable to divide attention, he had slowed speech, he was unsteady afoot,” the complaint continued.

Timberlake’s friends were near the arrest and pleaded with cops to let him loose, but officers refused, according to TMZ.

The pop star, however, has claimed that when he was pulled over, he had consumed just “one martini”.

On Wednesday (19 June), the singer’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr, released a statement, noting that he will soon speak out about Timberlake’s DWI charge.

Timberlake recently released his new album Everything I Thought I Was, which is his first record in six years. It was critically panned, with a two-star review in The Independent calling it “about as sexy as a soiled mattress”.

The Independent has contacted Timberlake’s representatives for comment.