Howard Stern Voices His Support for Britney Spears After Years of Mocking Her

Howard Stern is supporting the #FreeBritney movement after being a vocal critic of Britney Spears in years past. The radio show host shared his reaction to the new Framing Britney Spears documentary on his SiriusXM show this week, admitting he thinks the "...Baby One More Time" singer should be released from her conservatorship amid her ongoing legal battle with father Jamie Spears.

"I think I'm Free Britney now, I think I'm full on Free Britney," he told co-host Robin Quivers, as per Variety. While Stern didn't think Spears was fully capable of managing her career, he pointed out the double standard of numerous male celebrities whose odd behavior was not met with court intervention. "Ozzy [Osbourne] bit the head off of a bat in a business meeting," he said. "He's in charge of his own finances."

Stern was one of the many public figures to take aim at Spears during her mental health struggles, calling out her casting as a judge on The X Factor in 2012 as a "wonderful decision" because she "still thinks the earth is flat." He added at the time that he was planning on tuning in to see if Spears "can function through the thing." He continued of what he thought the pop star would bring to the panel, "I think Britney will sit there and eat a lollipop and wear a sexy outfit. I'll tune in to see what kind of train wreck she is, absolutely."

Stern is one of the several big names apologizing for their treatment of Spears following the New York Times documentary, which chronicled the singer's rise to stardom and mistreatment by the media, which contributed to her 2007 public meltdown. Justin Timberlake, who dated Spears from 1999 to 2002 released a statement last week after facing backlash for the way he spoke about his ex in the media following their split, talking about their sex life and alleging she was at fault for their high-profile split.

Timberlake, now married to Jessica Biel, wrote in a lengthy statement that he was "deeply sorry for the times in [his] life where [his] actions contributed to the problem." Acknowledging he "fell short" in a system that benefits from misogyny and racism, the former *NSYNC member apologized specifically to Spears as well as Janet Jackson, whose wardrobe malfunction during her 2004 Super Bowl halftime show with Timberlake deeply affected her career.

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"I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed," Timberlake wrote, adding, "Because of my ignorance, I didn't recognize it for all it was while happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again." Timberlake vowed to learn and "grow" from his past mistakes.