Janet Jackson is ready to share her truth going by a new trailer that gives fans insight into the singer’s meteoric rise in the world of music, only to find her career stalling following a Super Bowl scandal in 2004 involving Justin Timberlake.
In the trailer of ‘Janet’, a two-part documentary that will see the first part air on Lifetime later this month, Janet is also seen addressing the sexual assault allegations that marred the musical legacy of her late brother, Michael Jackson.
Janet, who has guarded her private life over the years, is asked in the trailer why she chose to speak out now, with the 55-year-old replying: “It’s just something that needs to be done.”
The documentary, which also sees the singer serve as an executive producer, features interviews by several of Janet’s celebrity friends, including Samuel L Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Mariah Carey, Tyler Perry, Paula Abdul, Missy Elliott, Regina King and Janelle Monáe. The adjectives used by the famous ensemble describe Janet as a “warrior”, “a legend” and an “empowered woman”.
Blending in archival footage, the ‘Together Again’ singer is shown growing up in a family that gave the world the famed Jackson 5, which included her brother Michael.
“There’s a great deal of scrutiny that comes with having that last name,” Janet is heard as saying at one point, while admitting that of her siblings she is perhaps closest to Randy Jackson and shared a special bond with Michael.
Michael, whose final few years turned him into a recluse after being accused of child sexual abuse that he denied until the end, not just affected him but also his siblings. “Guilty by association,” Janet says at one point when asked how the allegations against her brother affected her career. “’Cause that’s what they call it, right?”
The 3.20-minute preview also takes fans into the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show wardrobe malfunction, during which pop star Timberlake accidentally exposed the singer by pulling away part of her costume. While the ‘Sexy Back’ singer moved on with an apology, unscathed by the controversy, the backlash that followed almost derailed Janet’s career, seeing the industry veteran cut from the Grammy Awards that year, losing brand endorsements in the aftermath and left out in the cold.
“They build you up, and then once you get there, they’re so quick to tear you down,” she says in the trailer.
‘Janet’ is set to premiere on January 28 on Lifetime, to mark the 40th anniversary of her self-titled first album that came out in 1982. It is unclear at this time whether a UAE screening of the documentary will be available.