This time, the CBS censors were ready for Janet Jackson. After all, her first TV interview since CBS aired her Super Bowl ''wardrobe malfunction'' two months ago was scheduled for Monday's ''Late Show,'' which is taped in advance. So when Jackson, in response to David Letterman's repeated questioning about the incident, let slip an exasperated ''oh, Jesus,'' the network had enough time to edit the offending phrase out of the evening's broadcast, the Associated Press reports.
Jackson, who launched a two-week media blitz on Monday to promote this week's release of her album ''Damita Jo,'' appeared on ''Late Show'' wearing a cleavage-baring, two-piece red gown held together by a giant buckle that framed her navel like a TV screen. ''That's almost malfunctioning,'' quipped the host as his guest sat down and adjusted herself. She said little about the Super Bowl fiasco that she hadn't already said in the days immediately following the incident; she reiterated that her nipple slip was an accident, though she declined to badmouth Justin Timberlake for ripping away more of her top than they had rehearsed. She said it was ''very embarrassing to me to have so many people see this little breast.'' Letterman replied: ''Well...'' and gazed at the not-exactly-little assets that Jackson's gown amply displayed. She also said she was amazed that so much attention was being paid to her breast when ''there are more important things going on in the world'' like war and hunger and AIDS. ''I know you don't mean that,'' said Letterman.
Jackson also had little to say to Letterman about her longtime beau, producer Jermaine Dupri. In an interview taped earlier on Monday for Tuesday's ''Entertainment Tonight,'' she declined to say whether the sparkling ring on her left hand meant that she was about to make Dupri her third husband. ''Jermaine is the guy, but I don't want to comment on it further,'' she said. ''I'd like to keep some of it close to me. But the most important thing is the happiness.'' Later that night, at a ''Damita Jo'' record release party downtown, AP asked Dupri if he was hearing wedding bells, and he replied: ''Y'all hear them before I do!'' AP noted that the party guests received a gift bag whose freebies included something Jackson could have used a couple months ago: some double-sided sticky tape.