Justin Timberlake’s DWI joke angers mom of drunken-driving victim: ‘He lost a fan’

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The mother of a drunken-driving crash victim is speaking out to express her disappointment after Justin Timberlake appeared to make light of his June 18 DWI during a Saturday show in Boston.

“So, uh, is there anyone here tonight that is driving — no, I’m just kidding,” he said during the show, seemingly joking that members of his own audience might be driving under the influence. He went on to thank his fans for 30 years of support.

The former *NSYNC star was charged with one count of driving while intoxicated along with citations for failure to keep right and failure to stop at a stop sign for the alleged drunken-driving that occurred after midnight in the Hamptons in New York last month.

Sheila Lockwood, whose 23-year-old son, Austin, was killed by a drunken driver in 2018, told Fox News Digital that Timberlake has one fewer fan after his comments in Boston.

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The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) national ambassador said “there is nothing funny about” the charges filed against the international pop star.

“It’s very disappointing. He has a huge platform that he could be using to bring awareness to this,” Lockwood said. “It is a national crisis. Every 79 seconds, someone’s killed or injured from drunk driving, and he’s standing on stage making a joke of it. It’s not funny.”

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Lockwood noted that Timberlake’s legal case is still ongoing and added that he “should have not mentioned anything about it at all” or instead taken “the opportunity to make it a teaching moment and raise awareness and admit that his choices were not good that night.”

“It’s not funny, and as a mom that has lost a son, it’s very disheartening. He lost a fan here. I don’t think it was appropriate, and there’s nothing funny about it. What message does it send to young fans?” she said.

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Thirty-seven people die of drunken driving per day in the United States, Lockwood noted. Her son Austin became one of those 37 people on June 10, 2018. He left Illinois on June 8, headed for Wisconsin to clean out an acquaintance’s cabin because he “would do anything for anybody,” she said.

He was driving with a friend on June 10, a Saturday evening, when the friend “decided to go over 70 miles an hour on a very dangerous tree-lined narrow road and slammed into a tree and took Austin’s life immediately,” Lockwood said. The driver was sentenced to three years in prison and four years of extended supervision.

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MADD CEO Stacey Stewart similarly told Fox News Digital that the organization as a whole is “profoundly disappointed by Justin Timberlake’s recent remarks at a concert where he made light of drunk driving, which is a serious crime that has devastating consequences.”

“Drunk driving fatalities have increased by 33% since 2019. More than 13,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2022,” Stewart noted. “Impaired driving is never a laughing matter. It is alarming and disheartening when a public figure trivializes such a critical issue. Timberlake has a significant platform and the opportunity to influence millions. Rather than making a joke, he could use his voice to educate his audience about the dangers of impaired driving and encourage everyone to prioritize a safe ride home.”

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Stewart added that MADD is looking toward different solutions to “end this worsening public health crisis,” including “impaired driving prevention technology” in all new vehicles through the federal HALT Act.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Timberlake’s lawyer and his media representatives.