Janet Jackson Says She Will Not Be Joining Justin Timberlake at Super Bowl Halftime Show

Janet Jackson will not be performing with Justin Timberlake during the Super Bowl LII halftime show.

The singer released a statement via the Associated Press Saturday "to put to rest any speculation or rumors" as to whether she will be performing during the big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots in Minnesota on Sunday: "I will not."

Ever since news that Timberlake would be returning to the Super Bowl halftime show stage, this year at the US bank stadium in Minneapolis, Twitter users have responded with the viral hashtag, #JusticeForJanet, as well as demanding that Timberlake give Jackson the chance to perform alongside him one more time.

The pair rose to infamy after "Nipple gate – the 2004 Super Bowl scandal that bruised Jackson's career, after a planned stunt turned into a costume malfunction, leaving her bare breast exposed to 140 million viewers.

"If he's such a gentleman, he'd make sure Janet [Jackson] is there," Joseph Jackson recently told The New York Post.

Timberlake did not comment about including Jackson in his halftime show, although he recently told Beats 1 host Zane Lowe that the two had "absolutely" made peace.

The 2004 Super Bowl controversy has led many conspiracy theorists to believe the incident was secretly planned by Jackson and Timberlake, but Jackson sources say that's not at all what happened.

Jackson's rep revealed that the plan wasn't to fully expose her breast — only to partially rip her clothing to coincide with the "have you naked by the end of this song" line from their song "Rock Your Body."

"Justin was supposed to pull away the rubber bustier to reveal a red lace bra. The garment collapsed and her breast was accidentally revealed," her rep wrote in a statement.

According to The New York Post, Jackson told relatives that she was embarrassed and feared she'd never perform again following the Super Bowl controversy.

"Radio stations wouldn't play her music. Her album, which was great, suffered," the family member recalled. Billboard reported that Damita Jo, which was released a few months after the 2004 Super Bowl, was her worst-selling album over a 20-year span, despite receiving largely favorable reviews.

It took two years before Timberlake would tell MTV News: "If you consider it 50-50, then I probably got 10 percent of the blame. I think America is harsher on women. I think America is unfairly harsh on ethnic people."

Not long after that, Jackson admitted to Oprah Winfrey that while Timberlake had reached out to her, she wasn't ready to reply.

"Friendship is very important to me, and certain things you just don't do to friends," she said. "In my own time, I'll give him a call."

When Winfrey asked if Timberlake had "left [her] out there hanging," Jackson replied, "To a certain degree." She added that all the blame had been put on "me, as opposed to us."

Jackson family insiders told The New York Post he had to ask a few times before Jackson finally agreed to quietly meet up with him a few years ago in Los Angeles. After talking for a while, the two patched up their differences.

However, the Jackson insider explained that, "Publicly, Janet will tell everyone she's forgiven Justin, but privately, she's reluctant to trust him. He's reached out to her about doing some things together but I don't think she's ready for that. Is she still angry? No. She doesn't wish him any ill will. Does she still think about it? Not all of the time, but certainly since he's doing the halftime show again, it's definitely been a dinner table topic."


"We believe [the Super Bowl is a chance for him to] show her . . . and the world that he was wrong. He should insist that she come out and do something even if it's just him apologizing publicly in front of the whole stadium. It's not too late."

Whether or not Timberlake reached out to Jackson about joining him onstage one more time remains a mystery, but at least now fans know that neither she, or Prince, will be making an appearance.