Not everyone believes Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl was actually a malfunction at all–and this includes someone who was reportedly involved in the production.
According to reports from Page Six, the stylist who prepped Jackson’s look for her 2004 Super Bowl appearance tells the publication that Timberlake pushed for the “wardrobe malfunction” in an attempt to outdo his ex-girlfriend, Britney Spears. This came just a few months after Spears, Madonna, and Christina Aguilera shocked the world by kissing at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Stylist Wayne Scot Lukas told Page Six that Timberlake “insisted on doing something bigger than their performance. He wanted a reveal.” He went on to say that the original concept was for Jackson to be in a pearl G-string inspired by one that Kim Cattrall had worn in an episode of Sex and the City.
“Janet was going to be in a Rocha dress, and [Justin] was going to step on the back of her dress to reveal her butt in this pearl G-string,” he revealed. But “the outfit changed a couple of days before, and you saw the magic.”
In the end, the “Cry Me A River” singer tore off part of Janet’s top at the end of their performance, briefly revealing her breast. Timberlake is the one who famously labeled the incident a “wardrobe malfunction.”
“I wouldn’t call it a wardrobe ‘malfunction’ in a million years. It was the most functioning wardrobe in history. As a stylist, it did what it was intended to do,” Lukas said.
According to the stylist, Timberlake’s recent public apology to Jackson is what sparked him to open up about the incident 17 years later.
The Grammy award-winning R&B crooner shared in a statement on Instagram that he was “sorry” for contributing to “racism” and “misogyny” towards women in the industry. Timberlake said he’s taking “accountability for his own missteps” and hopes to “uplift” and show “support” to those in need.