Tue, Feb 03, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Jackson gets booby prize after `accidental' strip

REUTERS , HOUSTON

Singer Janet Jackson's right breast is exposed during the halftime show as Justin Timberlake, right, looks on.

PHOTO: AFP

Move over Madonna and Britney -- their onstage kiss may be upstaged by singer Janet Jackson's bodice-ripping at a Super Bowl performance.

Jackson turned heads on Sunday night during a half-time appearance with Justin Timberlake during the Carolina Panthers-New England Patriots game, bumping and grinding through a duet. Just as the song came to its close, Timberlake reached for Jackson and tore part of her black leather bustier, revealing one breast.

Stage lights at Houston's Reliant Stadium immediately went black, leaving millions of football fans watching the CBS network broadcast wondering whether the peek-a-boo act was intentional.

"I'm sorry if anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl," Timberlake said. "It was not intentional and is regrettable."

Music television channel MTV, which produced the half-time entertainment for the National Football League's championship game, apologized for the undressing.

"The tearing of Janet Jackson's costume was unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional and was inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance," MTV said.

But some viewers may not be convinced that the two singers were not raising the threshold on shocking behavior, mindful of how pop icon Madonna and Britney Spears grabbed headlines with a kiss during the MTV Music Video Awards in August.

"Shocking as it was, it was not a mistake. It's really sad. How are we going to up the ante next?" said Barbara Lippert, advertising critic at trade report AdWeek.

The NFL was also not impressed.

"We were extremely disappointed by elements of the MTV-produced halftime show," said NFL Executive Vice President Joe Browne.

In another public display, a streaker held up the game for several minutes prior to the second-half kickoff as he paraded around the field and then took off in an attempt to elude security.

He was ultimately knocked down by New England Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham and hauled off the field by a group of security personnel. The incident was kept off the air.

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