Janet Jackson is shutting down fan speculation about a possible reunion with Justin Timberlake for the Super Bowl LII halftime show. On Saturday, Jackson, who made headlines for the “wardrobe malfunction” that occurred the last time she took the stage with Timberlake for the Super Bowl more than a decade ago, told People magazine that she will not be a special guest for Timberlake’s Super Bowl redo this year.
“To put to rest any speculation or rumors as to whether I will be performing at the Super Bowl tomorrow: I will not,” Janet Jackson said in a statement to People.
Janet also told fans, “Thank you for your support and I do look forward to seeing you all very soon.”
Janet Jackson’s family has been vocal about the fact that they think Justin Timberlake threw Janet under the bus after their controversial Super Bowl halftime show performance in 2004. Janet’s father, Joe Jackson, went so far as to say it was on Timberlake to make sure Janet was included in his 2018 Super Bowl show.
But despite pressure from Jackson’s family and fans, Justin Timberlake has already revealed that he will not have a special guest for this year’s show—Janet or anyone else. Justin did admit that a Janet Jackson cameo was high on the speculation list for Vegas oddsmakers.
“To be honest, I had a ton of grand ideas about special guests,” Justin told People. “There’s a whole list. I think Vegas has a lot of odds on it, from ‘NSYNC to [JAY-Z] to Chris Stapleton to Janet.”
While he won’t have any big names on stage with him, Justin Timberlake will instead give the spotlight to his band, the Tennessee Kids.
“I feel like they’re my special guests and I’m excited to rock the stage,” Justin said.
Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl controversy has haunted them both for nearly 15 years. Viewers were outraged when Timberlake grabbed Jackson’s corset during their halftime show performance of the song “Rock Your Body” and accidentally exposed her bare breast. The FCC slapped that year’s Super Bowl host, CBS, with a $550,000 indecency fine and Janet issued both a written and video apology, admitting that the ill-fated decision to have a costume reveal at the end of her halftime show performance with Justin was made after final rehearsals. Jackson also made it clear that the show’s producer, MTV, was completely unaware of the change in plans.
In a recent interview with radio show Beats 1, Justin revealed that he made amends with Janet over the Super Bowl incident years ago. But two years after the incident, Janet Jackson told Oprah Winfrey she felt fans were harder on her than they were on Justin and that she felt betrayed by how he handled things in the aftermath of the controversy.
“I think they did put all the emphasis on me, as opposed to us,” Jackson said in the Oprah Winfrey Show interview, which you can see below.