What We Know About Hallmark Star Nikki DeLoach's Friendship With Justin Timberlake

Since joining the Hallmark channel in 2015, Nikki DeLoach has starred in made-for-TV movies like "Love Takes Flight," "Five More Minutes," and "Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate." Before that, the actor was making a name for herself in recurring roles in shows like "North Shore" and "Awkward." Along the way, DeLoach has made some star-studded connections, becoming good friends with fellow Hallmark star Andrew Walker and having a close connection with actor Ashley Williams.

Notably, the Georgia native has also had a long-standing friendship with pop icon Justin Timberlake, with their connection reaching back to the beginning of their careers. While Timberlake was originally known as the lead vocalist of the legendary boy band *NSYNC, he has gone on to become an iconic solo artist and an established actor, winning over fans with songs like "Can't Stop the Feeling" and "Cry Me a River" and starring in films like "Trolls" and "In Time."

DeLoach and Timberlake's connection originates from their time as child actors, as both appeared in "The All-New Mickey Mouse Club" as kids. Despite running in different circles these days, the two seem to have maintained their friendship throughout the years. With this in mind, here's everything we know about Nikki DeLoach's longtime friendship with Justin Timberlake.

Timberlake and DeLoach were on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club together

Many people know that Justin Timberlake got his start on "The All-New Mickey Mouse Club" back in the early '90s, performing alongside future icons like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling. However, fewer people know that Nikki DeLoach also shares this Disney pedigree with the iconic cohort of up-and-coming celebs. That's right, the Hallmark star has had a longstanding friendship with Timberlake ever since they worked together as child actors.

"We instantly became best buddies, like brother and sister, and we have been brother and sister ever since," DeLoach shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "His mother has been like a second mother to me; I've lived with her for chunks of time in my life. We're just chosen family, and I'm so honored because he's always been there any time I've needed him, and I've always been there when he needed me."

DeLoach was noticeably a few years older than Timberlake during their Disney stints, but they still performed together at times. For example, while Timberlake was duetting "I Feel For You" with Spears, DeLoach can be seen dancing in the background alongside Matt Morris. Since then, the duo's careers have taken them in different directions, but they have intersected a couple of times since their Disney beginnings in ways that prove their friendship has held strong. 

DeLoach worked with Timberlake's mom for her '90s girl group

As Nikki DeLoach explained, she became close to Justin Timberlake's family when the two worked together on "Mickey Mouse Club." His mom, Lynn Harless, became like a second mother to DeLoach. This chosen family connection led to a significant moment in DeLoach's career, as she worked with Harless to start the '90s girl group Innosense and had the opportunity to tour with her old friend's boy band.

"[Harless] called me up a couple years after I'd moved to LA and after *NSYNC was just starting to break out in the U.S., and was like, 'What do you think about putting together a girl group?'" DeLoach told MTV. The group was formed in 1997 and was co-managed by *NSYNC manager Lou Pearlman. The band originally consisted of Danay Ferrer, Britney Spears, Mandy Ashford, Nikki DeLoach, and Amanda Latona. Spears was eventually replaced by Veronica Finn while Latona was replaced by Jenny Morris.

"We first called Britney Spears, and she was on board for a little while, but then went off and did her own thing," the Hallmark star explained. "We ultimately did a talent search, and Innosense was together for six years. We didn't have the success I'd always hoped for, but I got to tour the world and play Madison Square Garden twice. I remember when I came out on stage that first time, I missed the first couple of lines because I was so overwhelmed with emotion." 

The Hallmark star asked Timberlake to headline a fundraising event

Back in October 2022, Justin Timberlake was the headlining performer for the Children's Hospital Los Angeles gala, raising over 5.5 million dollars for the hospital. The show-stopping performance was arranged by his longtime friend Nikki DeLoach, who is a member of the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees. As she told The Hollywood Reporter, "I just called him and asked and he said yes."

The cause is close to the Hallmark star's heart, as her son Bennett has continually been treated at the hospital after being born with a heart defect. Following the record-setting gala, DeLoach took to Instagram to celebrate the night and express her appreciation for Timberlake. "And I don't have the words to properly express my gratitude to my friend and chosen family, Justin Timberlake," she wrote. "In my lifetime, I'll never witness anyone who can do what Justin does on that stage. And he does it with his whole soul. It's not surprising that he helped us break a record for most money raised at a gala in the 121-year history of the hospital. This money will save the lives of children."