Janet Jackson says she and Timberlake ‘have moved on’ from Super Bowl scandal
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake “have moved on” from their 2004 Super Bowl scandal, according to the “Rhythm Nation” hitmaker. And she wants the public to move on too.
In the fourth part of her eponymous documentary series, released Saturday on Lifetime, Jackson opened up about the fallout from the 2004 halftime show, during which Timberlake accidentally exposed her breast by tearing away a piece of her costume.
After discussing the toll the incident took on her mental health and career at length, the pop musician set the record straight about her relationship with Timberlake in a video message filmed this year in Miami.
“Honestly, this whole thing was blown way out of proportion,” Jackson says in the recent footage.
“It was an accident that should not have happened, but everyone is looking for someone to blame, and that’s got to stop. Justin and I are very good friends, and we will always be very good friends. We spoke just a few days ago, and he and I have moved on, and it is time for everyone else to do the same.”
“They build you up, and then once you get there, they’re so quick to tear you down,” the vocalist says in a trailer from her forthcoming Lifetime documentary.
Last year, Timberlake publicly apologized to Jackson after the FX documentary “Framing Britney Spears” landed him in hot water. In the wake of the doc’s release, many accused the “Cry Me a River” artist of mistreating his ex-girlfriend, Spears, as well as Jackson during their shared time in the limelight.
After the infamous Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, Jackson shouldered much of the blame and negative consequences, while Timberlake’s career continued to flourish. That year, for example, the Recording Academy banned Jackson from attending the Grammy Awards but invited Timberlake to perform at the ceremony.
“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed,” Timberlake said last February in a statement.
“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”
“I care for and respect these women and I know I failed,” Justin Timberlake wrote after drawing criticism in the wake of FX’s Britney Spears documentary.
The Lifetime docuseries also reveals that Timberlake asked Jackson to guest star in his 2018 Super Bowl performance, but the “Together Again” singer declined. The pair of recording artists first met when Timberlake’s former boyband NSYNC opened for Jackson on tour in 1998.
“When I think about it, would it be nice to be able to perform? Yes,” Jackson says in the doc of Timberlake’s offer.
“You know our family — we love entertaining. But on the flip side of it, it’s dredging up the past, reliving something that happened over 10 years ago.”
Janet Jackson unveils the first trailer for her upcoming Lifetime/A&E documentary. ‘This is my story, told by me. Not through someone else’s eyes,’ she says.
After the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show ended, Timberlake asked Jackson for advice on how to respond to the media frenzy, the “Velvet Rope” artist adds in the doc. She advised him not to respond at all.
“We talked once, and he said, ‘I don’t know if I should come out and make a statement,’” she recalls. “I said, ‘Listen, I don’t want any drama for you. They’re aiming all of this at me. ... If I were you, I wouldn’t say anything.’”
Jackson also reflected on the damaging effect the event had on her reputation and her famous family, as well as how she managed to cope with the negativity.
“A lot of it I did not see, but obviously you couldn’t get away from it because it was everywhere,” she says.
“It can take a toll on you emotionally, so I just stayed focused in my work, stayed close to friends, stayed in touch with family. And that was enough for me to pull through when you have everyone whispering about you, and the majority of it is not favorable. That can pull you to a different place.”
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