It's been almost a week since Justin Timberlake took the stage Sunday night to perform at the halftime show of Super Bowl LII. But even before Sunday rolled around, rumors of Timberlake using a highly-controversial hologram of Prince performing in the deceased pop icon's home town of Minneapolis were running high.
Prince's remaining family stated on Twitter they were against the idea when it first popped up, but a more vocal opponent of the idea was none other than Prince's ex-fiancee and former collaborator Shelia E, also known as Sheila Cecelia Escovedo.
"Prince told me don't ever let anyone do a hologram of me. Not cool if this happens!" Escovedo said in a retweet of the original rumor story. She then got in contact with Timberlake the day before the show.
"Family, I spoke [with] Justin [tonight] and he shared heartfelt words of respect for Prince & the Purple fans," she wrote. "I look [forward][to] seeing what I'm sure is going [to] be a spectacular halftime show. There is no hologram."
Timberlake wound up not using a hologram, but rather a projection of Prince's image against a long white drape during the show while singing a duet of "I Would Die 4 U."
One source told Page Six that Timberlake intended on using a full-on hologram like ones used in previous concerts for deceased singers like Tupac Shakur or Michael Jackson, but that it was scrapped due to bad publicity.
"He was 100% ready to use the hologram but nixed it due to backlash from social media and Prince fans," the source said. "That's why he had that sheet up like in your mama's backyard."
Ricky Kirshner, one of the halftime show's producers, said no such plans were ever considered.
"There was never an idea to have a hologram," Kirshner said days after the performance.
Prince's family wound up giving their sign of approval to Timberlake for using the projection instead of the hologram. TMZ finally caught up with Sheila E. on Saturday to get her thoughts. She argued there was indeed going to be a hologram at one point, but it wasn't Timberlake who pushed for the idea.
"Justin is a good man," Escovedo said. "Everyone's kind of dogging him. I'm a fan of his, he's a great artist. He did his tribute, I just don't think that there should be a hologram because Prince didn't want that.
"I know it's crazy, but I really believe that there was going to be a hologram, but it might not have been Justin. I think they should ask one of the bigger companies. And I heard something."
Escovedo did not elaborate on what she supposedly knew.