Justin Timberlake regrets throwing Janet Jackson under the bus

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Panthers v Patriots

Last week, Entertainment Weekly’s “Entertainers of the Decade” issue was released. Johnny Depp made the cover, and he was at the top of the list of fifteen, which included entertainers like Tina Fey, Peter Jackson and Oprah. Notably, Justin Timberlake made the list, and EW gave him a nice little blurb online:

He began the decade as ”just” a member of the hugely successful boy band *NSYNC and ends it as one of the most versatile and beloved entertainers in the world . ”I take my work very seriously,” says the singer-actor, 28. ”I just don’t take myself seriously at all.”

Few A-listers would have had the comedy cojones to put their ”D— in a Box,” as Timberlake famously did while hosting Saturday Night Live — and surely none would have been as hilarious doing it. But his pop-star day job is no joke to him, as evidenced by his two solo albums, 2002’s Justified and 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, the latter of which featured the groovesomely lubricious ”SexyBack.’

[From Entertainment Weekly]

In the print interview, however, JT is interviewed more extensively about his decade in the spotlight. He was asked if he had any regrets, and JT said his biggest regret of the decade is not showing more support for Janet Jackson during Nipplegate, the epic SuperBowl half-time crap. Here’s JT’s take:

Justin Timberlake has reportedly admitted that he could have been more supportive of Janet Jackson in the aftermath of her famed wardrobe malfunction. Timberlake was performing on stage with Jackson at the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show when he ripped open her jacket to reveal her naked breast.

The incident resulted in the exposure of Jackson’s nipple to an estimated 140m TV viewers of the CBS show.

Timberlake said at the time that he had no idea that Jackson was topless and distanced himself from the furor.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the 28-year-old said that he regrets the way that he handled the situation. “I wish I had supported Janet more. I am not sorry I apologised, but I wish I had been there more for Janet,” he said.

[From Showbiz Spy]

From what I remember of the incident and the aftermath (and I’ve tried to forget the whole damn incident, including the bellowing, mind-blowing hypocrisy of many, many people), JT pretty much threw Janet under the bus. And I think Janet remembers it that way too. Granted, people were always going to get more geared up over Janet – it was her nipple, and there were likely other, sketchier factors about gender, race, subjugation, and media hypocrisy at play. But it would have been nice for JT to defend Janet more at the time, rather than more than five years later.

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Halftime Show

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Halftime Show

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35 Responses to “Justin Timberlake regrets throwing Janet Jackson under the bus”

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  1. bella says:

    Well, how chivalrous, and only almost 6 years too late. A$$…hole!

  2. Schnauzers!!!! says:

    He had a couple decent songs on his own, but he’s a jerk.

  3. 88Modesty88 says:

    My favourite sketch of his is the “Barry Gibb Talk Show”… funny!

    And yes, six years too late, Justin(e)!

  4. Cece says:

    They’re both terrible actors and I’m sure they knew what was going to happen. No one would have remembered their performance otherwise.

  5. diva says:

    Janet is almost 15 years older than Justin and has been in the music business longer so she should have known better. I don’t blame Justin from distancing himself from that disaster, he was just starting to peak as a solo artist and didn’t need the controversy. It was a very stupid thing for Janet to do, and I can’t imagine why she thought anyone would find it sexy.

  6. teehee says:

    Its that long ago already? Damned…

  7. Laura says:

    JT can go….I was going to say something crude, but I don’t think my comment would be accepted 😉 I guess people can use their imagination.

    Apologising 5 years later does not do sh*t. Like Lainey said, he now has nothing to lose, he’s the proverbial Prince of Pop and no one is going to critise him now for standing up to her, as opposed to before when his career was getting so big and he decided to stand back and let the hounds take Janet.

    Well, he clearly learned not to f*ck with power. Supposedly, he was so pissed/hurt/angry that he wasn’t asked to contribute in any way to the MJ memorial that aired. He has always said on record that he influenced his life so much. The Jacksons didn’t ask him to come at all out of respect for Janet. (He even performed with MJ, with N*Sync, during his Madison Square Garden gig back in the early 2000s.) Instead Usher got the honour and when it comes down to it with singing and dancing Usher > JT…always. And he knows that. Usher, even when you count his horrible marriage and cheating was always loyal when it came to support. When everyone talked about his wife, he called “the haters out” ::Snort:: even though he knew it was a sham.

    You’re right Kaiser, there was so much hypocrisy surrounding the whole affair, so many double standards, I get annoyed just thinking about it

  8. Tiffany says:


    You can say that, but if they were friends(and Janet said they were) it would not have killed him to simply say “I support our decision with the performance”, it’s simple and would not have needed to be justified further. It would have been mature and there would have been a whole new level of respect for him from people, not industry, but people. This was the beginning of his d—headness. Also with your response, you have just proven what Kaiser was talking about above.

  9. SolitaryAngel says:

    Ok, for those of us who forgot about this back then–I am going to read the link and catch up, but Kaiser, can you explain a bit more? Thanks!

  10. Lway says:

    “Well, how chivalrous, and only almost 6 years too late. A$$…hole! ” – @ belta – LOL! Brilliant comment – straight to the point!

  11. Cinderella says:

    His lack of support basically confirmed what a big wimp he really is.

  12. Iggles says:

    I can’t stand him. It’s clear he uses black music to make a name for himself. He is the poor man’s Usher. He is talented, like Eminem is talented but he is not the best in his field. He is more popular than his contemporaries of color for the same reasons Eminem, Elvis, and Amy Winehouse were.

  13. viper says:

    He only says that now because it just occured to him that Janet is the sister of THE real talented man of all pop history, who will be remembered through generations while he himself is now irrlevent and will NEVER be an inspiration. She never brings it up and he cant stop bringing it up. He’s like Fred Durst now, how ironic that both men dated BS and another thing they have in common, both their careers were trends that drop.

  14. SisterAgnes says:

    I can’t see what the big deal is. People are up in arms like they’re Janet Jackson’s best friend or something. Like someone upthread said, it was a calculated move on her part. It backfired and she paid the price. Besides, how would JT, up and comer as he was then have helped the situation any by ‘supporting’ her? SHE was the superstar.

    And now that he’s grown up some more and seems to have taken the time to reflect, he’s regretful. Like WE ALL have been at some point in our lives. But instead he’s getting slammed. Bizarre.

  15. Beth says:

    He’s saying this now? What’s the point?

  16. Obvious says:

    guys you also seem to forget that as well as jsut starting his solo career he was 22. Still a kid. Yes he could have handled it better, but at least he has come out and say i regret it. it was a mistake. there are many who would neer do that. I give him credit for growing up and maturing to the point he can do that.

    Besides as someone else pointed out, Janet is much older, has been in it much longer and should have known better.

  17. wow says:

    I remember this well. It was the moment JT became a certified douchebag in my eyes. He was teetering on the brink of douchiness even during his time with N’SYNC – but the thing with Janet just gave him the full blown award.

  18. filthycute says:

    It was just a nipple, America.


  19. Bobby the K says:


    Support her?

    I think it was completely intentional on her part, thought that at the time, believe it now.

    Why did she have that throwing star/coaster on her nipple? Why would you put something like that there unless it’s to be seen.

  20. Charity is Chic says:

    He pulled a similar move with Kylie Minogue at the European MTV awards a month before the nipple incident. Except with Kylie he ripped off a piece of clothes to reveal her naked butt. In Europe you can get away with that.

    So, little douche Justin had a much bigger role in nipple gate than he ever admitted to. That was the moment I realized what a massive jerk he really was. She has never recovered from that while he goes on to have a huge career. Can’t stand the guy.
    Just a corporate stooge who threw Janet under a bus to save himself.

  21. Firestarter says:

    I don’t get why everyone cares, still, about this matter.
    It’s over, who cares what part he did or didn’t play. It was all stupid then and it is stupid now.

  22. Pete says:

    The hell he feels sorry about being a damn punk. He even made fun of her with Timbaland just a few years back.

    Punk-ass clown.

  23. Pete says:

    @SisterAgnes: I love how you think he didn’t plan on getting something out of it. They both agreed to do it for the same reason: attention. They should have both gotten blamed for it, but instead Timberlake put it all on her. That’s what people are upset about. He’s just as responsible and yet he claimed he was some sort of innocent bystander.

  24. mila says:

    It sounds as if they at least sacrificed a newborn baby on that stage!Like someone said, it was a nipple!And a covered nipple. What’s the big deal about it?

  25. djork says:

    My question at the time was, what is a white man doing tearing off a black woman’s clothing? And, naturally, the black woman was blamed and vilified.

  26. Zoe says:

    Do you people forget how the incident even went down (those of you blaming Janet)? Justin is the one who RIPPED off her clothes, after he sang the line “and I’ll have you naked by the end of this song” no less. Then he paraded around saying he didn’t know anything about it and apologizing profusely and saying it was all her. What a jerk. And to the people still grumbling about this stupidity six years later – it’s a breast, get over it. I should hope you’ve all seen breasts before, I think it’s hilarious people gripe about this but they don’t say a peep about all the murders and torture on the same channel everyday. Typical hypocrisy.

  27. oh hey says:

    @Zoe. I bet the ones who are complaining about the breast are the same people who demand the right to breastfeed in public. I guess if Janet had a baby attached to her breast instead of a piercing, the La Leche League would’ve called for JT’s head.

  28. Kylie says:

    You can tell my just looking at him that he is an a-hole.
    Too litttle, too late mate.

  29. daisy says:

    puhleeeeeze. she knew what was up.

  30. wane says:

    get over it Justin, give it a rest, I think he can’t get over it because something went on between the 2 of them and he just can’t shake it off. ONCE YOU GO BLACK!!!!!!!

  31. K-Love says:

    Let me see, Janet Jackson lost her brother whom I know she loved dearly, less than 5 months ago. JT just now admitting being sorry for something that happened 5 years ago.On the scale of who really cares I give it a zero. However,bailing out on a true “friend” speaks on your character. Apparently 5 years ago JT didn’t have any. Now 5 years later in view of what happend, MJ passing.He proably really does feel bad. I mean who wants to be on the Jackson family bad list, ever. Nobody especially anyone in the entertainment field, but JT managed it. How special is that? The best way to keep your head out of your own behind is. Never do anything to anyone, that you wouldn’t want them to do to you. If the situation was reversed and you had an embrassing moment. Wouldn’t you want your “friend” to be there for you? To support you just as a “friend” I think you would. Just food for thought.

  32. jordan says:

    hey ash hole soo late not valid any more

  33. Aspie says:

    @ Diva, Obvious, Daisy, & Bobby the K:

    The argument that it was Janet’s complete fault is pure crap. Remember, there were two performers there that night, not just Janet up there onstage exposing her own breast. And Justin has been in the music business since he was a kid (hello, he was on the Disney Channel), same as Janet, so to sit there and say he was mr. innocent and only had been in the business for a few years and was just a “young kid” and didn’t know what was completely going on is complete crap.

    He knew he was wrong for what he did to her and especially for not showing more support for something that they were both equally responsible for, which is why he’s apologizing so many years later when he should’ve done it much sooner. He’s simply taking advantage of the fact now of Michael’s death and bringing up on old incident that he should’ve taken more responsibility for YEARS AGO.

    The obvious hypocrisy and racism (yes, it’s true) in this situation is astounding!

  34. mia says:

    How does anyone stand this nancy boy?
    He still sings like a little girl and dresses like one too. Go home to your mommy Justin ‘mama’s Boy’ Timberlake!!

  35. Luci Liu says: