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Justin Timberlake accused of using the N-word 'frequently' by former NSYNC tour manager in $10M lawsuit

Ibrahim Duarte claimed he was abruptly fired in 2000 and claimed Timberlake showed racial insensitivity
PUBLISHED OCT 28, 2023
Britney Spears has made startling statements about her ex-boyfriend (Photo by D. Kambouris/WireImage)
Britney Spears has made startling statements about her ex-boyfriend (Photo by D. Kambouris/WireImage)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFONIA: Britney Spears, in her shocking autobiography 'The Woman in Me', has stated that former partner Justin Timberlake "tried too hard" to blend in with Black musicians such as Ginuwine.

In light of this revelation of cultural appropriation against Justin Timberlake, reports highlighted how a former tour manager sued the 42-year-old singer and his 'NSYNC bandmates, alleging the singer "frequently" used the N-word, as reported by Radar Online.

Ibrahim Duarte sued Justin Timberlake

Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake during The 29th Annual American Music Awards - Arrivals at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake during The 29th Annual American Music Awards - Arrivals at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

NSYNC's entertainment holding companies, Zeeks Inc, Skeez LLC, and 'NSYNC Inc were sued by Black man Ibrahim Duarte for $10 million, claiming that Timberlake, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick were all racists.

He asserted that his termination was due to his race and went on to provide specific instances.

After allegedly being subjected to a never-ending stream of racist remarks, incidents, and humiliation, Duarte claimed he was abruptly fired in 2000. He said that Timberlake showed racial insensitivity in the lawsuit.

The singer "said, 'You N-word ain't s**t,'" according to the court filings. "Justin Timberlake used the 'N' word to Mr Duarte frequently," the ex-tour manager's lawyer Douglas Wigdor told The National Enquirer.

The complaint further stated that "Mr Duarte was treated like a second-class citizen and was subjected to racially offensive comments and treatment by the members of the band."

Duarte claimed 'NSYNC 'stripped' him of 'some of his responsibilities'

After four years with the band until his firing in October 2000, Duarte claimed 'NSYNC "stripped" him of "some of his responsibilities" and forced him to hire an inexperienced White assistant. The tour manager's subordinate, a White production manager, was given the new duties.

Duarte said that 'NSYNC's members made him "feel like an outsider in the workplace" by making fun of their Black choreographer and an African-American member of their security team.

The band's manager Johnny Wright denied the allegations then.

He stated at the time, "I'm saddened to hear that Ibrahim has chosen to take this path. It's outrageous that race is being used. I am the manager of 'NSYNC and I am African-American. 'NSYNC's director of worldwide security is African-American, the musical director of 'NSYNC is African-American, in fact our entire security team is African-American.

"'NSYNC's assistant production manager is Asian-American, and it goes on and on. Never in my 10 years of being with the group have I ever heard or received a complaint from anyone, including Ibrahim, associated with the group about racial or demeaning speech."

Britney Spears mentions 'embarrassing' moment with Justin Timberlake

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake during Britney Spears Album Release Party for
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake during Britney Spears Album Release Party for "Britney" at Centro-Fly - November 6, 2001 at Centro-Fly in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by D. Kambouris/WireImage)

In her book, Spears revealed an awkward moment between Justin and Black R&B singer Ginuwine.

Spears wrote in her memoir, "One day, [Justin] and I were in New York, going to parts of town that I'd never been to before."

She added, "Walking our way was a guy wearing a huge blinged-out medallion. He was flanked by two giant security guards." Timberlake yelled out, "Oh yeah. Fo' siz. Fo' siz. Ginuwine, what's up homie?"

"After Ginuwine walked away Felicia [Britny's longtime friend] did an impression … [Justin] wasn't even embarrassed. He just took it and looked at her like, OK, f--- you,'" the 'Womanizer' singer wrote.

The "fo'siz" impression from the book's narrator, actress Michelle Williams, went viral, setting the internet on fire over Timberlake's purported interaction with Ginuwine.

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