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Singer Justin Timberlake charged with driving while intoxicated in the Hamptons

Jun 18, 2024, 6:16 AM | Updated: 5:42 pm

SAG HARBOR, N.Y. (AP) — Pop star Justin Timberlake was charged early Tuesday with drunken driving in a village in New York’s Hamptons, after police said he ran a stop sign and veered out of his lane in the posh seaside summer retreat.

The boy band singer-turned-solo star and actor was driving a 2025 BMW in Sag Harbor around 12:30 a.m. when an officer stopped him and determined he was intoxicated, according to a court document.

“His eyes were bloodshot and glassy, a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from his breath, he was unable to divide attention, he had slowed speech, he was unsteady afoot and he performed poorly on all standardized field sobriety tests,” the court papers said.

Timberlake, 43, told the officer he had one martini and was following some friends home, according to the documents. After being arrested and taken to a police station in nearby East Hampton, he refused a breath test, said the court papers, which listed his occupation as “professional” and said he’s “self-employed.”

The 10-time Grammy winner was released without bond later Tuesday morning after being arraigned in Sag Harbor. He was charged with a driving-while-intoxicated misdemeanor, and his next court date was scheduled for July 26, the Suffolk County district attorney’s office said.

Timberlake’s lawyer and representatives didn’t return multiple email and phone requests for comment.

But the arrest brought a steady stream of curiosity seekers to the village’s quaint Main Street, with many taking photos in front of the brick municipal building where the star was arraigned hours earlier.

Even music legend Billy Joel, a Sag Harbor regular, took in the scene outside the American Hotel, a popular hotel and restaurant located next to the courthouse where Timberlake had been spotted before his arrest.

“Judge not lest ye be judged,” the “Piano Man” singer told WPIX, declining to comment on Timberlake or his arrest.

A young Timberlake began performing as a Disney Mouseketeer, where his castmates included future girlfriend Britney Spears (he’s now married to actress Jessica Biel). He rose to fame in the behemoth boy band NSYNC, embarked on a solo recording career in 2002 and was one of pop’s most influential figures in the early 2000s.

Fluent in the inflections of pop and R&B, he’s known for such Grammy-winning hits as “Cry Me A River,” “SexyBack,” “What Goes Around…Comes Around” and “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” He has performed at Super Bowl halftime shows multiple times, including the infamous 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” moment when he ripped off a piece of Janet Jackson’s clothing and revealed her bare nipple.

The episode led to Jackson’s exclusion from the Grammy telecast a week later. She said in a 2022 documentary that what happened was an accident and that she and Timberlake remained good friends.

Timberlake also built an acting career, garnering acclaim in movies including “The Social Network” and “Friends With Benefits” and winning four Primetime Emmy Awards.

Last year, Timberlake was in the headlines when Spears released her memoir, “The Woman in Me.” Several chapters were devoted to their relationship, including deeply personal details about a pregnancy, abortion and painful breakup. In March, he released his first new album in six years, the nostalgic “Everything I Thought It Was,” a return to his familiar future funk sound.

Timberlake has two upcoming shows in Chicago on Friday and Saturday, then is scheduled for New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 25 and 26.

Sag Harbor, a onetime whaling village mentioned in Herman Melville’s classic novel “Moby-Dick,” is nestled amid the Hamptons, around 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of New York City. The Hamptons have long been a hot spot for the rich and famous, and various stars and otherwise prominent people have had brushes with the law there.

Located on a bay, Sag Harbor for years cultivated a more down-to-earth, “un-Hampton” reputation than its oceanfront neighbors — a place where people gathered not at a country club but at a corner bar called the Corner Bar. There is still a five-and-dime store, and a mainstay of the social scene is the quaint, cozy mid-19th-century American Hotel.

The village has long had its share of prominent homeowners and residents, including singer-songwriter Joel, former CNN host Don Lemon, Nobel Prize-winning novelist John Steinbeck, feminist writer Betty Friedan, and Pulitzer Prize winners Colson Whitehead and Lanford Wilson. Whitehead’s novel “Sag Harbor” is set there, particularly in a beachfront enclave where generations of Black families have spent summers.

In recent decades, Sag Harbor has increasingly become a destination for celebrities, wannabes and even cruise ships. Manhattan-like restaurants and pricey boutiques have multiplied. Homes fetch seven or eight figures, and the village’s evolving nature has prompted grumbles from some longtime residents about traffic, crowds and a changing character.

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Associated Press journalists Michael Balsamo, Karen Matthews and Julie Walker in New York and Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed.

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