He apologized to his wife and his family.

Just last night, Justin Timberlake issued a very public apology in the wake of his hand-holding scandal. While he probably hoped that the story would go away on its own, sources close to him and his wife, Jessica Biel, tell E! News that Timberlake issued the statement in hopes of shutting down the story once and for all. By confronting everything in such a public-facing way, there would be no other way for anyone to spin the story. Another reason? Timberlake felt like Biel needed something big after being dragged through the headlines.

"He feels terrible that this happened and for putting Jessica through the public scrutiny," the source said. "He knows she doesn't deserve any of this and that he messed up."

Justin Timberlake Paris Fashion Week Prank
Credit: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

The source adds that Timberlake "hopes by addressing what happened and apologizing to her publicly that they can put this behind them and start to move on. Justin feels like the story isn't dying and hopes this will be the end of it. He always tries to keep his private life private, but he knows he made a big mistake in public and now has to own up to it."

Timberlake and Biel have not commented further, though E!'s source adds that things seem to be smoothing over since Timberlake's Instagram post. Everything is fine and any rumors of divorce or additional marital problems — the two have been married for seven years — are unfounded.

"Nobody is going anywhere, but it's definitely had an effect on their marriage and her trust in him," the source added. "Even if nothing more happened than what was in the photos, what he did was highly inappropriate."