Pictures of Justin Timberlake, 38, sans-wedding ring and holding hands with his co-star Alisha Wainwright at a bar in New Orleans have sparked swirling rumours the singer and his wife of seven years Jessica Biel, with whom he shares a four-year-old son, could be on the rocks.
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In the suggestive photos, Timberlake is seen canoodling with Wainwright, his co-star in upcoming film Palmer, playfully stroking her hand as she rests it on his thigh.
And in footage captured of the night out, Wainwright can be seen gently stroking his leg.
While the publicity team for the actor has been quick to shut down rumours his marriage is in jeopardy, claiming it was just a friendly drink between co-stars, the candid snaps of the close moment have led many to believe otherwise.
Speaking to Us Weekly , a spokesperson said, “There is no validity to this speculation. They are working on a project together.”
While another source told People, “The video may look a way, but literally it was nothing. It was some friends, members of the team, crew and people like that. They all know each other and were hanging. Like come on, they’re on an open balcony in New Orleans and he’s famous. It was nothing.”
Another source told E! NewsBiel and Timberlake are doing their best to “laugh it off”.
“They are downplaying everything and trying to laugh it off as nothing. But it was definitely inappropriate and something that would make any wife uncomfortable,” the source told the publication. “He had too much to drink and got carried away.
“Their marriage will survive. He feels guilty and will make it up to her,” they added.
“She is very good to him and he knows how lucky he is. He says it was not a big deal, they were all hanging out together and that’s the end of the story.”
So who is Alisha Wainwright, the woman in the scandalous photos?
Wainwright, 30, is an American actress best known for her work in Netflix sci-fi series Raising Dion.
She plays Nicole Warren, the mother of a young boy with superpowers, alongside Black Panther’s Michael B Jordan.
She also stars in Netflix supernatural drama Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments as Maia Roberts.
According to her IMDB page, she’s appeared in a sprinkling of other TV shows, including Criminal Minds and Rosewood.
She also played a supporting role in a TV movie called The Wedding Do Over.
Wainwright studied botany at the University of Florida before embarking on her acting career.
She has a Jamaican mother, who is an accountant, and a Haitian father.
Outside of acting, she’s a keen baker and often shares tutorials on her Instagram stories to her 657,000 followers.
Wainwright’s spokesperson has similarly denied a romance with Timberlake.
They are set to play each other’s love interest in the upcoming movie Palmer which they are currently filming.
In the film, Timberlake plays a washed up high school football star who returns home after being released from prison.
Timberlake’s character, Eddie Palmer, ends up mentoring a young boy and crosses paths with Wainwright’s character Maggie Hayes, a schoolteacher.