When Justin Timberlake accepted a Brit Award (HA! Brit!) and said (among other things), “Stop Drinking!” to the audience, People Magazine reported that it was a coded message to Britney Spears who, at the time was off the rails (maybe even blowing rails). Because the whole idea of a highly controlled product like Timberlake giving unscripted personal advice to a substance abusing colleague on the world stage is so totally viable! It’s actually a much more efficient means of communication than a phone. You just wait until you win a Brit Award, then you go up to get it and then you refer vaguely to what you want to say. It’s cheaper than Verizon – sort of.
If you go over the text of what he actually said, it’s so obvious that it was just part of a general statement culminating in a sarcastic jab at the UK paparazzi and a reference, no doubt, the fact that the English, celebs included, seem to NEED to drink a lot to live in the UK at all and that People spun it as a reference to the highly rating Britney. However, while Timberlake is playing the whole “I’m not one to talk about my personal life” routine, especially during times when he feels like everything is going well (because you know it would be a different story if he suddenly wasn’t getting any press at all) he makes the clear statement that he didn’t know anything about that and that he is so far away from that whole situation. Britney’s stock plummeted when she shaved her head, perhaps Timberlake is afraid his stock will plummet too if he doesn’t clearly distance himself. Packaged youth is so fickle [source]