Janet Jackson hasn’t spoken to Justin Timberlake since the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl – but she plans to reconcile with him in her own time, she revealed on The Oprah Winfrey Show Monday.
“We haven’t spoken. But I consider him a friend, and I’m very loyal, and friendship is very important to me,” Jackson, 40, told Winfrey. “He has reached out to speak with me. Like I said, friendship is very important to me – and certain things you just don’t do to friends. And in my own time, I’ll give him a call.”
Asked if she felt Timberlake failed to stick up for her after the incident, in which he ripped her bustier, exposing her breast to millions of viewers, Jackson replied, “To a certain degree, yeah.”
Jackson, who releases her album 20 Y.O. on Tuesday, feels that she unfairly bore the brunt of the criticism after the Super Bowl performance – a sentiment Timberlake seems to agree with. “If there was something I could have done in her defense that was more than I realized then, I would have,” he told MTV recently. “I probably got 10 percent of the blame.”
Still Jackson says she was shocked at the intensity of the scrutiny over the incident, which she deemed an accident. “So much more important things were going on in the world. And the focus was on my breast? That didn’t make any sense to me.”
There’s also another prominent man in Jackson’s life who she hasn’t been in contact with: her brother, Michael. The siblings haven’t spoken since Michael was acquitted of child-molestation charges in June 2005 – a trial that Jackson says “took its toll on (the) entire family.”
But Michael isn’t completely out of touch. “He keeps in touch with Mother,” Jackson says, “so we know what’s going on with him.”
In her own life, Jackson says she couldn’t be happier after losing 60 lbs. and finding love with her producer boyfriend of five years, Jermaine Dupri.
Before she lost the weight, which Jackson says she gained for a film role, “The only time I felt okay is when I was sleeping, because I was lying down,” she says. “So when I would get up, my ankles would swell all the time and my knees would hurt.” Eventually, she says, she slimmed down with daily workouts and a strict diet.
As for Dupri, Jackson says their relationship is “unconditional love.”
“It’s so funny,” she said, “because people I don’t even know will come up to me and say, ‘We would always see you smile but could tell that you weren’t happy deep down inside. And now when we see you, your eyes just beam with love and happiness.’ ”
Jackson and Dupri, 34, who also appeared on the broadcast, said they would like to have kids, and soon. “I’d love to, God willing, someday,” Jackson said. “I guess that’s gotta be soon. I’m 40.” (The couple made headlines over the summer by hinting at plans to get married.)
Pressed by Winfrey who asked if they planned to have just one child or, perhaps, many, Dupri joked, “We’re going to do the Jacksons over!”