Late Monday, Janet Jackson finally spoke out about Hootergate, acknowledging that she and Justin Timberlake planned the ”costume reveal” that scandalized viewers of their Super Bowl halftime performance on Sunday and prompted an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission. But she also echoed Timberlake’s blame of a ”wardrobe malfunction” for displaying more than she and Timberlake intended. Her publicist, Stephen Huvane, issued a statement saying the bodice-ripping stunt was supposed to reveal only Jackson’s red lace bra, ”but the garment collapsed.”
A statement in Jackson’s own words confirmed the denials by MTV (which produced the concert), CBS (which aired it), and the National Football League that the networks or football officials had any advance knowledge of the stunt. ”The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals,” Jackson said. ”MTV was completely unaware of it. 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 N.F.L.” Timberlake sounded less apologetic, telling ”Access Hollywood”’s Pat O’Brien after the game: ”Hey man, we love giving you all something to talk about.”
Other repercussions: Radio stations rushed to add Jackson’s new single, ”Just a Little While” (from her upcoming album, ”Damita Jo,” which comes out March 30) to playlists on Monday, though her label cited the leak of the single to the Internet for its decision to ship the song to radio, Billboard reports. TiVo issued a press release calling Jackson’s flash the most viewed (and re-viewed) moment in the digital video recording company’s history. Network execs wrung their hands over the unwanted federal attention at a time when Congress is considering multiplying the FCC fines for indecency tenfold, the New York Times reports. And USA Today reports that jewelry stores and piercing studios are seeing increased customer interest in silver sunburst-shaped nipple shields.