Justin Timberlake has apologised to his wife Jessica Biel for a "strong lapse of judgement" after he was recently pictured holding hands with his co-star.

The singer and actor was papped hand-in-hand with actress Alisha Wainwright on a night out in New Orleans where they are currently filming the movie Palmer, in which they play lovers.

Commenting publicly for the first time on the incident, Timberlake has said he "regrets" his behaviour and added that this is "not the example I want to set for my son".

He wrote in an Instagram post: "I stay away from gossip as much as I can, but for my family I feel it is important to address recent rumours that are hurting the people I love.

"A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgement - but let me be clear - nothing happened between me and my costar."

He continued: "I drank way too much that night and I regret my behaviour. I should have known better. This is not the example I want to set for my son.

"I apologise to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be.

"This was not that."

Neither Biel nor Wainright have commented publicly on the photos yet.

Timberlake and Biel tied the knot in October 2012 and share four-year-old son Silas.