Janet Jackson Told Justin Timberlake Not to Speak Out After Her Super Bowl Wardrobe Malfunction
In her new Lifetime and A&E documentary titled Janet, the singer reflected on the scandal that still has people talking two decades later, revealing that she and Justin have moved past the fallout as friends. "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," she said per People, adding that her and Justin are and always will be "very good friends."
"We spoke just a few days ago," Janet said of Justin. "He and I have moved on, and it's time for everyone else to do the same."
During their joint halftime performance of "Rock Your Body" at the 2004 Super Bowl, Janet's breast was partially exposed to viewers at home. While Jackson was blacklisted by most of the music industry with her songs removed from radio stations and TV channels, Justin's record sales spiked and he walked away unscathed from the incident. He even performed at the Grammys the following week — despite Janet being disinvited from the award show.
Many have blamed the singer for not doing more to support Janet, but according to the songstress, she advised him to stay quiet. "We talked once and [Justin] said, 'I don't know if I should come out and make a statement,'" Jackson recalled. "And I said, 'Listen, I don't want any drama for you. They're aiming all of this at me.' So I said, 'If I were you, I wouldn't say anything.'"
Last February, Timberlake issued a public apology to both Janet and his former girlfriend Britney Spears following the resurfaced backlash he faced from the documentary Framing Britney Spears. "I've seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond," he wrote in a lengthy Instagram message at the time. "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. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism."
He continued, "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." Justin concluded that he "can" and "will do better" in the future.