Janet Jackson is clearing the air.
During the second part of her Lifetime documentary on Saturday, the 55-year-old icon got into some very personal moments of her life, including the infamous 2004 Super Bowl performance, in which her nipple was exposed. As we all know, Jackson brought out a surprise guest Justin Timberlake when she was headlining that year. And in the final moments of the show, a part of her top was suddenly torn off by the Palmer actor, leaving her breast exposed on national television.
Following the halftime performance, Janet unfairly shouldered most of the blame, and her career took a major hit while Timberlake rose into popularity. In the documentary, she opened up about just how harsh the backlash became for her after “Nipplegate” went down, revealing that some people would even tell her brother that needed to be “put away.” WTF?! She was also uninvited from The Grammys that year while Justin was nominated and still able to attend. She said of that time:
“It can take a toll on you emotionally. I just stayed focused on my work. Stay closed 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 you is not favorable that can pull you to a different place.”
However, it turns out that Janet told the 40-year-old singer not to say anything about the situation amid the backlash. While speaking to her brother Randy Jackson, she revealed:
“We talked once. And he said, ‘you know, I don’t know if I should come out and make a statement,’ and this and that. 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.’”
But of course, he did end up discussing the incident anyway, joking with reporters following the show:
“I love giving y’all something to talk about.”
A few days later, Justin then issued an apology to MTV News at the time:
“I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl. It was not intentional and is regrettable.”
Many have slammed the moment as a publicity stunt over the years, wondering whether or not it was really a mistake. But Janet also made it crystal clear in the documentary that it was an “accident” and urged fans to just “move on” once and for all. Even more so, she set the record straight that there is no bad blood between the pair at this time:
“Honestly, this whole thing was blown way out of proportion. Of course, it was an accident that should not have happened. But everyone is looking for someone to blame, and that’s gotta 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’s time for everyone else to do the same.”
Despite previous reports, Justin did not appear in the documentary beyond archival footage and images of their performance. However, as many may recall, the halftime show became a topic of conversation again when he came under fire for his misogynistic treatment of Britney Spears and Janet following the release of Framing Britney Spears last year. After the episodes, Timberlake issued a public apology to both women — nearly two decades later. It certainly took him long enough! He said 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. 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.”
We’re glad Janet got to share her side of the story more. Reactions to the documentary, Perezcious readers? Do you think Justin will have anything to say about this moment? Let us know in the comments (below)!
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