Janet Apologizes for Flash

Singer fesses up to Super Bowl incident

February 3, 2004 12:00 AM ET

Janet Jackson admitted that the decision for Justin Timberlake to tear away a piece of her clothing during the Super Bowl's halftime show was made after final rehearsals but before the pair took the stage.

"MTV was completely unaware of it," she said. "It was not my intention that it go as far as it did. I apologize to anyone offended, including the audience, MTV, CBS and the NFL."

A Jackson spokesperson said that a piece of red lace was supposed to remain in place. Timberlake initially apologized and called the incident a "wardrobe malfunction, but later made a television appearance downplaying it.

The flash, which left one of Jackson's breasts bare (save a piece of nipple jewelry) before millions of viewers, drew an angry reaction and outrage from CBS, which insisted it was not privy to the plan. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell called the incident "classless, crass and deplorable" and initiated a FCC investigation. If the flash of boob violated decency laws, CBS could be fined up to $27,500 for each affiliate that broadcast the game.

Though much of the coverage of the halftime flash has focused on angry reactions, TiVo, creator of digital video recorders for television, claimed that the partial strip was met with some viewer enthusiasm. According to the company, the stunt prompted the largest spike in replays that the service has ever measured.

The halftime show also provided Jackson with a rush of publicity for her next album, Damita Jo, which will be released March 30th.

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