Janet Jackson was on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ on Monday to talk, mostly against her will, about the Super Bowl breast flash. Jackson wouldn’t talk about her brother Michael Jackson’s child molestation case, other than to admit “it’s a very difficult thing.” Read on for a rough transcript.
Dave: Take care of yourself, don’t water. Our first guest is a five-time gram may ward win here has sold over 55 million albums, her latest CD, right here, this will be in stores tomorrow, it’s entitled Damita Jo. Here’s the lovely Janet Jackson. ( Cheers and applause ) welcome to the show.
Janet: Thank you.
Dave: That’s almost malfunctioning, isn’t it? ( Laughter ) wow! Man, very nice. ( Applause ) okay. By the way, you smell wonderful. You smell great, I really appreciate that in a guest.
Janet: Thank you.
Dave: Let’s run through this now. Tell us exactly what happened from the time you got up on Super Bowl Sunday… ( laughter ) to the time the episode took place during the half time show.
Janet: No, I don’t want to relive any of that.
Dave: You don’t mine if I ask you some questions about it, though? ( Laughter ) first of all, you knew it was going to happen, right, you did know it was going to happen?
Janet: No, I didn’t.
Dave: So it came as a complete surprise to you?
Janet: Yes. It wasn’t a stunt.
Dave: It was not a stunt, it was not premeditated, it was nothing you had rehearsed?
Dave: So how did it happen, and a exactly transpired?
Janet: Dave, you’re going to make my relive this. I want to put all that behind me.
Dave: Well, not me. ( Laughter ) ( applause ) just indulge me here and I’ll make this as painless as possible, okay? So it truly was a wardrobe malfunction, it was just a mistake?
Janet: It was truly an accident, it wasn’t supposed to happen.
Dave: What was supposed to happen?
Janet: Oh, god. Can we talk about something else, please? I’ve had a day of interviews and I’m sure you guys are sick and tired of hearing about it. I know I am. Ask me about something else.
Dave: I’m not so sure they are sick of hearing about it. (Applause) here’s the way I look at life. ( Laughter ) sometimes things are good. Sometimes things are bad. And when things are bad, it’s always important to have someone to blame. (Laughter ) so that’s why I believe that it’s this Timberlake guy… ( laughter ) I think it’s his fault. Now, he kind of went weasely on and you said no no I had nothing to do with this, it was not my deal, I didn’t know what was going on.
Janet: That’s what I heard.
Dave: Did he know what was going on?
Janet: No, it wasn’t supposed to happen the way that it did, Dave.
Dave: But it looked like it was supposed to happen that way.
Janet: Oh. ( Laughter )
Dave: Something did… something, now, what wh I watch the whole thing, you know, I got my face in a bowl of dip, and just… ( laughter ) and then when I saw what happened, I thought oh, I didn’t realize it was going to to be that big a deal, and it turned into a huge deal. But I’ll tell what you I think was the problem with it, and it’s just my opinion is that I didn’t like the way this guy, he goes up and does something, he grabs at a woman, you, and he pulls her thing off. And I thought, well, that, that sends a very bad message to young boys in this country that you go up to a woman, even under the guise of a show business production, and pull her thing off. You’re not supposed to behave that way.
Janet: Pull her thing off?
Dave: Yeah. That’s what happened he pulled your thing off, didn’t he?
Janet: My thing off?
Dave: Well what did he pull off?
Janet: It seemed like a priest clothing to me, not my thing.
Dave: That’s what I meant. But that sends a bad message, don’t you think?
Janet: Why are we talking about this right now, David?
Dave: What would you like to talk about? ( Laughter ) this is all I’ve wanted to talk about for months! ( Applause )
Janet: It’s so embarrassing.
Dave: Let me just expand on that. Since the last time I saw you, I had a son, he’s like five months old.
Janet: Congratulations. By the way. ( Applause )
Dave: Thank you. I would not want him to see somebody… ( laughter )
Janet: A breast?
Dave: A young woman and rip a piece of her clothing off.
Janet: A breast.
Dave: I got no problems under the right circumstances, and by the way he sees plenty. Z ( applause ) he get as lot more than daddy. But that’s not what… no. So, it was just a mistake is what you’re saying? Justin Timberlake wasn’t supposed to rip your blouse off, he wasn’t supposed to do that, he was, he wasn’t?
Janet: It was supposed to kind of happen like that, but what actually happened, I wasn’t supposed to come out of it the way that I did, yes.
Dave: And what was supposed to happen? Like, I mean, what was like a
clown jumping out of a car? ( Applause ) but, so it really was just an accident.
Janet: No, it truly was an accident.
Dave: Are you surprised at all the furor that it’s caused?
Janet: Really am. It was very embarrassing for me to have so many people see this little breast.
Dave: Well… ( laughter ) ( applause ) uh… ultimately has this been, has any good come of this for you?
Janet: Well, you know.
Dave: Has it’s been damaging for you?
Janet: I’ve been okay. It’s something I’ve always wanted was my mother’s strength and I’ve always asked god for that and I came to realize that during this period I definitely have that, have her strength. ( Applause )
Dave: So you have learned something. That’s wonderful. But I thought I heard that reports that between the dress rehearsal and the actual performance that the plan was changed and that you and a choreographer and Justin Timberlake knew that this was going to happen?
Janet: We never had a dress rehearsal.
Dave: So there was no discussion of let’s do this, nobody had an idea, the MTV people didn’t say —
Janet: No, David.
Dave: It was completely an accident?
Janet: It was an accident.
Dave: But then if it’s an accident, and tell me if I’m, is none of my business… ( laughter ) when the piece of clothing malfunctioned, there was, you were wearing like a piece of jewelry.
Dave: Right. Now was that an accident?
Janet: Oh, you mean my star, I lost my star.
Dave: Do you wear that all the time?
Janet: Yeah, I wear different Julie, I actually was going to wear a piece tonight.
Dave: Really so how do you affix that actually? How does that stay on?
Janet: I have one on now.
Dave: Oh, you have one on now! ( Cheers and applause ) just go to black and I’m going to take a look at it.
Janet: Paul: Oh.
Dave: That’s lovely, that’s very nice.
Janet: Paul: No, it’s not happening. It’s not really happening. It’s not really happening.
Dave: Who’s signing your checks?
Janet: Paul: I’m worry about you, I don’t want to you get in any trouble.
Dave: So the idea that there was a plan to do this is completely erroneous?
Janet: It’s crazy.
Dave: Wrong, that’s not true?
Janet: You know, there are more important things to focus on in this world. ( Applause )
Dave: I know you don’t mean that. ( Laughter ) but yes, but I just want to find out if we were misled and when we were misled and by who.
Janet: It was completely an accident.
Dave: It was completely an accident so, all the reports saying that it had been changed and so on and so forth, those weren’t true. But you know when Justin Timberlake went up there and ripped the thing off, it didn’t look like an accident. That par was supposed to happen.
Janet: Yes, but my thing was not posed to.
Dave: That’s right. Something else was supposed to be there.
Janet: Can we talk about something else because I don’t want to focus on my breast.
Dave: We’ll be right back with Janet Jackson, everybody. Janet is here, ladies and gentlemen, and John Mayer. I think we’ve cleared this up, don’t you?
Janet: Yes, we should move on.
Dave: Let’s move onto other things. Mrs. Plenty of other stuff to talk about. For example, are you dating anyone? You seeing anyone? You in a relationship?
Dave: How’s that going?
Janet: It’s going very well. Very well. ( Applause )
Dave: How long have you known the fellow?
Janet: We’ve known each other for a little while, quite a while.
Dave: Like a year maybe?
Janet: Longer than that.
Dave: What kind of things, it’s impossible to have like a normal social life when you’re a huge star, isn’t it? You can’t go out and just enjoy quiet evening somewhere.
Janet: Do you?
Dave: First of all, I’m not a huge star, and I know I don’t go out, people don’t want to see me out.
Janet: You go out and you enjoy yourself, yes.
Dave: I do enjoy myself yes, but mostly at home. ( Applause ) and this is a obviously a difficult perfect for the entire family, with Michael’s problems, isn’t it?
Janet: Yes, but we’re not going to get into that.
Dave: No no, but you mentioned getting strength from your mother earlier, and I with think that now more than ever this is quite a time for the family to rally and show support and strength generally for one another. Is that how it works?
Janet: Yes, we’ve always done that.
Dave: Are you in contact with your brother?
Dave: What kind of things do you discuss?
Janet: Things that brothers and sisters talk about.
Dave: And how are you feeling about that now?
Janet: About what?
Dave: About Michael’s legal circumstances.
Janet: I can’t talk about that, I’m not allowed to.
Dave: It must be a difficult thing.
Janet: It’s a very difficult thing.
Dave: And the new cd in stores tomorrow?
Janet: Yes. ( Applause )
Dave: This is your middle name.
Janet: That’s my middle name, uh-huh.
Dave: Does that symbolically represent anything regarding the music?
Janet: Well, it’s a little led into different characters than me.
Dave: Oh, different characters.
Dave: How many different characters?
Janet: You know they say we have up to or even some of us more than 200 characters that we portray with different people.
Dave: Different personalities in a different person?
Janet: You’re schizophrenic.
Dave: I know what you’re saying.
Janet: This is just a few of the characters you’ll hear on the album.
Dave: You must be very excited.
Janet: I’m very excited.
Dave: And later this week you’re hosting Saturday Night Live, is that right? April 10th is that two weeks?
Janet: Paul: Yeah, is it this?
Dave: I don’t know, April 10th. I’d rather got get into. This ( applause ) have you ever hosted the show before?
Janet: No, I’ve only been a performer.
Dave: Are you nervous about that?
Janet: I actually am, yeah, I really am, but I hear it’s going to be a lot of fun. What happened?
Dave: What do you mean?
Janet: That’s a big nick.
Dave: What do you mean? It’s just thing, I was fidgeting with my cuticle.
Janet: No, don’t do that.
Dave: Could incidentally, in college my nickname was big nick. ( Applause ) now, listen when you get over to Saturday Night Live don’t let them play tricks on you because they’ll try to talk you into doing stuff that might be embarrassing and you won’t want to do, so don’t let them do that.
Janet: I won’t do anything.
Dave: If they try to pull anything funny, give me a call. ( Laughter )
Janet: Okay. You’ll scare them with your big nick.
Dave: That’s right. ( Applause ) oh. Well, thank you for listening to me talk. ( Laughter ) and it’s always a pleasure to see you. And hope to see you again sometime soon. You look lovely. Janet Jackson, everybody. ( Applause ) we’ll be back with John Mayer.