In a new documentary about the incident, former MTV vice president Salli Frattini discusses the moment during the half time show at Super Bowl 38 where Jackson’s partially covered breast becomes exposed.
Frattini said in the film, which premieres Friday (19 November): “I was a wreck, personally, and I pretty much just lost it. I was in tears. People were crying. It was really upsetting. It’s very emotional. I felt betrayed.”
She added: “My instincts told me that there was a private conversation between wardrobe, stylist and artist where someone thought this would be a good idea, and it backfired.”
Fattini also describes how she suspects Jackson’s stylist as making last minute changes to the costume without approval, including the silver nipple shields: “We had no knowledge at all of what might have been happening between Janet and her team.”
Fattini also revealed what happened after the performance was over: “[Janet] never said anything to us. Here we are trying to ask the person that this has happened to and she was gone. Then we sought out Justin. We pulled him aside one-to-one. ‘Justin, what just happened?’ He’s like, ‘That was never meant to happen. I was told you guys knew.’ We didn’t. He was very apologetic. He manned up.”
Jackson later apologised through a statement which said: “The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals. MTV was completely unaware of it.”
The film, entitled Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson goes into detail on the incident which saw Timberlake rip off part of Jackson’s costume and expose her breast.
It will also explore Jackson’s career decline as a result of the controversy while Timberlake reached new heights of popularity.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies