In a strange meeting of worlds, Steve Bannon reportedly attended a dinner in New York City on Thursday night in honor of Congressman Lee Zeldin at Southern Hospitality, a soul-food restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen known for its one-time co-owner Justin Timberlake. Some were quick to tweet at Timberlake, calling him out for hosting an event involving the former White Houose strategist, but it was likely the first he ever heard of the fund-raiser
While there are valid ways to critique Timberlake, like watching his upcoming half-time show for the 2018 Super Bowl or listening to that song from Trolls, it appears he’s in the clear this time. According to People, Timberlake hasn’t been involved with Southern Hospitality since 2009.
Timberlake’s rep gave a statement to the magazine saying, “While Justin and [co-founder] Trace [Ayala] continue their friendship with [co-founder] Eytan [Sugarman], and continue to provide fresh ideas and promotion for Southern Hospitality, they are not investors, owners, or partners, nor do they have any knowledge of or involvement in the operations of the restaurant”.
Since Timberlake hasn’t been part of the restaurant since 2009, he most likely wasn’t involved in, or even aware of, Thursday night’s event. According to his LinkedIn page, Sugarman has been the owner of Southern Hospitality since 2007.