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Janet Jackson says she warned Justin Timberlake against addressing Super Bowl scandal

Singer says they’re ‘very good friends’ and have ‘moved on’ from the 2004 ‘Nipplegate’ scandal

Maanya Sachdeva
Sunday 30 January 2022 12:32 GMT
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Janet Jackson documentary ‘Janet’ trailer

Janet Jackson has revealed she’s ‘very good friends’ with Justin Timberlake and that she advised him against speaking out about their Super Bowl performance

On Saturday (29 January), People reported that the 54-year-old singer addressed her infamous Super Bowl Halftime show with Timberlake in 2004 in her forthcoming Lifetime documentary eponymously titled special Janet.

Timberlake had ripped off a piece of Jackson’s clothing and exposed her breast to millions of viewers while the two performed “Rock Your Body” during the Super Bowl Halftime show.

Jackson’s position in the industry had been adversely impacted in the aftermath of the incident, which was known as “Nipplegate”, while Timberlake’s own solo career had soared.

“Honestly, this whole thing was blown way out of proportion. And, of course, it was an accident that should not have happened, but everyone is looking for someone to blame and that’s got to stop,” Jackson said in a clip from the documentary.

The “Better Days” singer also revealed they had “moved on” from the incident, adding that “it’s time for everyone else to do the same.”

“Justin and I are very good friends, and we will always be very good friends,” Jackson told fans in a clip recorded in Miami, earlier this year.

During a conversation with her brother Randy in Janet, Jackson also recalled advising Timberlake against issuing a statement amid the backlash to their performance.

“We talked once and [Justin] said, ‘I don’t know if I should come out and make a statement,’” the singer told Randy, continuing, “And I said, ‘Listen, I don’t want any drama for you. They’re aiming all of this at me.’”

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“So I said, ‘If I were you, I wouldn’t say anything,’” the youngest Jackson sibling recounted.

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performing at the 2004 Super Bowl (AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier this week, a source close to the production revealed that Timberlake will make a ‘surprise’ appearance in Jackson’s highly anticipated documentary special.

According to a Page Six report, the source said: “Justin is in [the documentary]. It’s like this big secret. He’s the surprise, just like the Super Bowl.”

Jackson, who was headlining the Super Bowl show, brought Timberlake on as a surprise guest for her half-time performance in 2004.

The “Cry Me A River” singer had issued an apology to Jackson and Britney Spears last year, as scrutiny over his past “missteps” intensified following the release of the Framing Britney Spears documentary.

“I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right,” Timberlake wrote on Instagram in February 2021. “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”

Timberlake added a specific apology to Spears and Jackson, writing: “I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”

In addition to Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, Janelle Monáe, Paula Abdul and Tyler Perry are also expected to appear in the documentary, which will be available to watch on Sky Documentaries and NOW from Monday 31 January.

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