Janet Jackson said she and Justin Timberlake have 'moved on' after Super Bowl controversy and urged fans 'to do the same'

Janet Jackson said she and Justin Timberlake have 'moved on' after Super Bowl controversy and urged fans 'to do the same'
Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson performing at the 2004 Super Bowl.KMazur/Getty Images
  • Janet Jackson spoke about her relationship with Justin Timberlake in her documentary.
  • Jackson, 55, said the incident was "blown way out of proportion."

Janet Jackson opened up about her relationship with Justin Timberlake after their 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show became a national controversy.

In her new self-titled docuseries, which premiered on A&E and Lifetime on Friday and Saturday, Jackson, 55, knocked down rumors that there was still tension between her and Timberlake, 40, since Super Bowl XXXVIII. Timberlake joined Jackson onstage for a surprise performance, but he accidentally tore her costume, barring her breast on live TV.

Insider's Kim Renfro reported that the incident — which became known as "nipplegate" — caused Jackson's career to stall while Timberlake's flourished.

"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 video recorded for fans.

Jackson continued that she and Timberlake are "good friends."


"Justin and I are very good friends, and we will always be very good friends," Jackson said. "We spoke just a few days ago. He and I have moved on, and it's time for everyone else to do the same."

Representatives for Jackson and Timberlake did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

After the 2004 incident, MTV and Timberlake released statements regarding the "wardrobe malfunction." Jackson later released a statement that claimed that a "costume reveal" had been planned after final rehearsals.

However, the Federal Communications Commission launched an investigation into the halftime show, and much of the blame was placed on Jackson.

Jackson was essentially blacklisted from the entertainment industry, with her music being removed from radio stations and her scheduled Grammy performance canceled.


In 2006, Timberlake sat down for an interview with MTV in which he admitted that he could have done more in the scandal's aftermath to defend Jackson. That same year, Jackson told then-daytime talk show host Oprah Winfrey that she felt that Timberlake had left her hanging "to a certain degree."

Timberlake issued his first direct public apology to Jackson more than a decade later in an Instagram post in February 2021.

A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake)

"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," he wrote.

In the same wide-ranging documentary, Jackson also spoke about how her relationship with her late brother Michael Jackson shifted after the success of his "Thriller" album, adding that the two were even purposely separated on the "Scream" music video set in 1995.

She also claimed that she was left alone in a hotel room for three hours after she and her ex-husband James DeBarge tied the knot, denied a decades-old rumor that the two had a secret child, and defended Michael against child sex abuse accusations.


The documentary is available to watch on Lifetime and A&E.