Celebrating your nuptials in a resort in Southern Italy is pretty cool. Making fun of the poor and downtrodden...not so much.
A lawyer for Justin Huchel, Justin Timberlake's real-estate pal who made an eight-minute "gag" video featuring homeless people that was shown at the former ''N Syncer's posh wedding to Jessica Biel, is threatening legal action after Gawker posted a 20-second clip online Wednesday, prompting outrage among the newlyweds' fans.
Huchel's attorney, Michael J. Saltz, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the website threatening it with a lawsuit unless Gawker took down what he said is "a protected copyright work" and destroyed all copies it has in its possession.
"Mr. Huchel made a video to be used and exhibited privately at Justin Timberlake's wedding as a private joke without Mr. Timberlake's knowledge," wrote Saltz. "Further, Mr. Huchel informs us that his copyrighted video was recently stolen."
There was no immediate comment from reps for Timberlake or Biel. As of this morning, Gawker had initially refused to comply with the take-down request but later removed after a second letter claimed it was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
"My client, as the copyright owner of the Stolen Video, has not authorized you to reproduce, distribute, post or otherwise display copies of those materials," read the follow up. "Any publication, reproduction or dissemination of the Stolen Video…constitutes an infringement of my client's exclusive copyrights."
The clip opens with a title card that reads, "Greetings from your Hollywood friends who just couldn't make it." It's followed by Huchel interviewing 10 random people on the streets, all apparently homeless, who send best wishes to Timberlake and Biel.
"Justin and Jessica, I haven't seen you for a long time. I hope the wedding goes fine for you. My gift is in the mail," says one toothless man.
"Good luck and watch your man," offers another, who's apparently either a transvestite or transgender.
Huchel then suggests to a man named Robert that he "go skins" and leave his shirt off while offering congratulations. After the man does so, the video concludes with another card saying, "Love Huch and Rachel."
According to Gawker, Huchel intended for the clip to poke fun at the outrageous expense the Hollywood couple went to for their extravagant ceremony. But once it hit the Internet, many Timberlake and Biel devotees took to Twitter to denounce the video as being in poor taste and exploiting the homeless.
"Not funny some of them were probably war vets. I hope they at least paid them," wrote one commenter on YouTube.
Added J.T. follower StephBreezy678: "It's official I am no longer a @timberlake fan!! Unfollowing you right now! Mocking the homeless is wrong! #Pissed."