Janet Jackson may have experienced the wardrobe malfunction seen round the world, but nearly twenty years later, she’s not blaming Justin Timberlake.
During the fourth and final part of her eponymous new documentary, the superstar addressed the scandal-making 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, saying, “Honestly, this whole thing was blown way out of proportion.”
“And, of course, it was an accident that should not have happened,” she said of the moment the former boy bander ripped off the bustier of her costume, exposing her breast and nipple for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it second, “but everyone is looking for someone to blame and that’s got to stop.”
In fact, Jackson insists that, despite the way her career suffered while Timberlake got away largely unscathed, the two remain on good terms to this day. “Justin and I are very good friends and we will always be very good friends. We spoke just a few days ago. He and I have moved on and it’s time for everyone else to do the same,” she concluded.
At the time, however, the “Escapade” singer revealed she also advised the younger pop star not to say anything as the world clutched its collective pearls, telling him, “Listen…I don’t want any drama for you. They’re aiming this at me… If I was you, I wouldn’t say anything.”
And while Timberlake approached her with the idea to reunite for his own headlining Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2018, Jackson turned down the opportunity to reclaim the moment, not wanting to put herself through the trauma all over again.
For his part, Timberlake did finally issue a public apology to Jackson as well as ex-girlfriend Britney Spears last year, saying he now recognizes he “benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism” and “failed” to speak up or defend either of them when he should have.
Last year, the New York Times released its own documentary about Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction and subsequent fallout, revealing that former CBS CEO Les Moonves sabotaged Jackson’s career after she declined to personally apologize to him. Curiously, Jackson made no mention of Moonves in her new documentary, which she herself produced.