Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel had just returned from their honeymoon to Tanzania, but the glamour couple didn't exactly sit around complaining about jet lag -- they got straight to work helping out with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in Far Rockaway, Queens last weekend. They spent Saturday handing out backpacks full of supplies to victims of the storm, delighting the crowd to no end. ("Shout out to Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel for serving alongside of us in Rockaway and giving the kids something to talk about besides Sandy," one volunteer posted.)
It was a generous effort by the newlyweds, but I have to say ... a teeny, tiny, dark, cynical part of me is wondering whether they did this in part to offset the bad publicity they earned from that obnoxious video made for their wedding.
In case you missed that whole story (what, you don't follow celebrity news all day long? What's THAT like?), Timberlake's buddy made an extremely tasteless video of homeless people wishing the power couple well, and as the story went, it was shown during their actual multimillion-dollar wedding celebration. "Enjoy your stay at this $1,000-plus a night Italian resort! We hope your travels via private jet were comfortable! Now let's laugh at the idea of street people having anything to do with this insanely famous, incomprehensibly rich couple!"
To his credit, Timberlake issued a great apology for the video, saying he didn't know about the video ahead of time, it wasn't actually shown at the wedding, and he definitely didn't condone the "lapse in judgement" shown by his friend who made it:
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. P.S. You can bet your ass that I'm having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service ... Boom.
I'm sure Timberlake and Biel legitimately want to help the Sandy victims (they both tweeted their "thoughts, prayers, and love" to those affected while they were on their honeymoon), but I also think this was probably a pretty good chance for them to put on a good public face. I mean, it was a high-visibility way to help out -- so many people with cameras on hand! -- and it made for a good news story in the wake of some upset feelings over that video.
Regardless of any possible ulterior motives, it was certainly a nice thing for them to do, and I imagine that their presence added a lot of cheer in what must have otherwise been a tough day for everyone involved. Maybe they can put that buddy of theirs to work, too -- doesn't he have some hours to complete?
What's your call on Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel helping with Sandy relief -- do you think any of it was for PR purposes?
Image via People