This weekend, social media went wild when photos of Justin Timberlake holding hands with Alisha Wainwright emerged online. The photos showed Timberlake and his Palmer co-star out in New Orleans with the rest of the cast, and many fans are now curious about the actress.
Timberlake has been married to actress Jessica Biel since 2012. However, many fans question his loyalty due to past relationships and long-standing rumors. While the paparazzi photos published on Saturday night seemed innocent to some, others speculated that something unsavory was going on.
So far, Timberlake and Wainwright both say that is not the case. According to a report by Entertainment Tonight, representatives for both stars said that they were just two friends having harmless fun.
The photos in question showed Timberlake with his arm around Wainwright at one point, and her with her hand on his knee at another. They also clasped hands for a while, although video from the scene shows that none of these gestures lasted long.
It could be that these were just gestures of platonic affection between friends and co-stars, which is not uncommon for actors, who have a strange and intimate job to do together. Regardless, the story has put a lot more attention on Wainwright personally, and fans are dying to know more.
Here are a few things to know about the actress causing such a stir for Timberlake fans.
Outside of this story itself, Wainwright is probably best-known for Shadowhunters, a series that ran on Freeform from 2016 until May of this year. It was about a secret society of demon-hunters fighting a war for humanity's survival.
Wainwright plays Maia Roberts, a werewolf and leader of a New York-based pack. She joined the show in Season 2.prevnext
Wainwright has some other big TV credits fans would probably recognize. She has made appearances on shows like Criminal Minds, Switched at Birth and General Hospital, with several stints of a few episodes at a time. She got a longer arc on Disney Star Darlings in 2015 before landing Shadowhunters.
In the last two months, many fans have seen Wainwright on Raising Dion, the new Netflix Original Series about a single mom with a super-powered son. Wainwright plays Nicole Warren, a widow who learns that her son, Dion (Ja'Siah Young) has super powers. She searches for ways to raise him safely and responsibly without losing him in the process.prevnext
In her personal life, Wainwright is a Florida native with a well-traveled past. In an interview with Condé Nast Traveler, she explained that her mother was born in Jamaica while her father was born in Haiti, so she spent much of her time around the Caribbean.
"Growing up I spent a lot of my very early years going back and forth between both countries," she said. "I remember Jamaica being full of fresh fruit and family and greenery and positivity. Jamaican cultures always err on the side of having that 'take it easy' vibe. My first meaningful memories of traveling to Haiti are from when I was a little older — like five or six. That was the first time I saw what impoverishment looked like, and how different someone's life could be from my own — someone who's right outside my front door."prevnext
View this post on Instagram
Considering her international childhood, it should come as no surprise that travel is one of Wainwright's greatest passions as an adult. She told Condé Nast Traveler that she loves the adventure and independence of going somewhere unfamiliar and exploring.
"I travel by myself a lot because it's so hard to find someone else who has a schedule that coincides with mine," "But I would say my favorite kind of travel is a mix of the two: If I'm traveling by myself, I still like to be part of a group experience, whether that's living aboard a boat so I can scuba dive or signing up for a group hiking trip to Machu Picchu. That way you get to meet new people who are probably traveling from all over the world and explore a culture and a place together, but you're not so tied to those people that you're obligated to spend all of your time with them."prevnext
View this post on Instagram
Wainwright has a knack for social media, where she shared a mix of personal and professional material. Earlier this month, she posted a silly behind-the-scenes clip from Raising Dion on Instagram. In other recent posts she discussed her recent trips and upcoming travel plans.
Meanwhile on Twitter, Wainwright is active in the Raising Dion fandom, making her a fan-favorite. She often responds to questions or comments and shares jokes or memes associated with the show. She takes great pride in moments when the show impacts real children or families.prevnext
Wainwright's success as an actor is actually her fall-back plan from another career path: botany. In an interview with W Magazine, she revealed that she studied a very specific branch of botanical science at the University of Florida, but she decided to focus on something more broad after a while.
"Science is one of the toughest industries because everyone is vying for the same pot of money to fund their research," she explained. "I had a very weird anthropological-botanical focus, and I couldn't find anyone to give me the money to study it. I had to shift my focus to something a little broader, and I wasn't as interested in it."prevnext
hmmm justin timberlake….let me go listen to what goes around real quick pic.twitter.com/jjfDxXRnmL— ｡･ﾟﾟ･ We deserve a soft epilogue, my love ･ﾟﾟ･｡ (@dracoslmalfoy) November 23, 2019
With all this in mind, let's re-examine Wainwright's role in this weekend's Justin Timberlake drama. The actress' rep told ET that "there is no validity to the speculation" that they have something going on behind the scenes. Another insider said that she and Timberlake "are like brother and sister," and the contact seen in those photos was "harmless."
It is also worth noting that Wainwright and Timberlake were out with the entire cast and crew of Palmer on Saturday, and never appeared to be alone. They each had a lot to drink, Wainwright was not the only one putting her hands on Timberlake, as other people seemed to tease him for sitting in one place for so long.
It looks like those pics were just taken out of context... It looks like Justin Timberlake isn’t cheating, he’s just filming a video pic.twitter.com/XIckcm7YBO— Harmonica Lewinskyღ (@_Harmonyxo) November 24, 2019
Palmer is a sports drama about a recently released convict, Eddie Palmer (Timberlake) living with his grandmother. He forms a bond with the young boy living next door, whose mother is often out looking for drugs. It is unclear what Wainwright's role in the movie is, though it looks like she is not the mother.
Palmer began filming this month. There is no release date in place yet.prev