Janet, Justin Sued by Viewer

Tennessee woman takes legal action over halftime stunt

February 6, 2004 12:00 AM ET

The fallout over Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's racy Super Bowl halftime performance continues, as a Tennessee woman has filed suit against the pair as well as halftime show producer MTV, broadcaster CBS and parent company Viacom.

Knoxville native Terri Carlin filed a proposed class action lawsuit in a U.S. District Court on Wednesday, charging the accused with causing her and "millions of others" to "suffer outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury." The suit reportedly seeks billions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.

The incident has caused ripples throughout the country. Congress is entertaining a bill that would increase the fine for airing "indecent" material during prime time from $27,500 to $270,000 (though if each CBS affiliate that aired the Super Bowl is hit with a fine, the $27,500 could turn to millions of dollars). Network television is also beginning to make preemptive changes with their upcoming programming. ABC will institute a five-second tape delay during its February 29th Academy Awards telecast, the first time the network has ever done so. And CBS will use a five-minute delay during this Sunday's Grammy Awards.

Jackson and Timberlake's stunt -- both claim that Jackson's breast wasn't supposed to be fully exposed -- was seen by more than 90 million viewers, prompting the widespread outrage. According to a report, the Federal Communications Commission fielded 240,000 complaints about "indecency" on television in 2003; in the days since the Super Bowl, more than 200,000 have been logged.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

More Song Stories entries »