Justin Timberlake set up Janet’s wardrobe malfunction to top Britney’s VMAs kiss


We always knew Justin Timberlake was behind Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl, but at long last, we’re getting confirmation. Stylist Wayne Scot Lukas has written a tell-all, tentatively called Wardrobe Malfunctions: Receipts from the Front Lines and Front Row, in which he serves up the goods on a lot of famous folks. Wayne, who styled Janet that infamous day, is happy to set the record straight on Justin and the Super Bowl because not only does Wayne thinks Janet deserves to be further exonerated, he wants to clear up the misconception that anything malfunctioned. According to Wayne, Justin and Janet had a whole routine designed in which he would step on her train and it would tear, exposing her backside. But Justin became so focused on out-doing his ex, Britney Spears, and her 2003 MTV VMA kiss with Madonna and Christina Aguilera, that he ordered the wardrobe switch that went from a back tear to a front bodice rip.

The stylist who prepped Janet Jackson’s look for her infamous 2004 Super Bowl appearance with Justin Timberlake tells Page Six that Timberlake pushed for the “wardrobe malfunction” in an attempt to outdo Britney Spears, Madonna and Christina Aguilera, who had wowed the world months earlier by scandalously kissing at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Superstylist Wayne Scot Lukas told us that Timberlake “insisted on doing something bigger than their performance. He wanted a reveal.”

Scot Lukas told us 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 told us. But “the outfit changed a couple of days before, and you saw the magic.”

Of course, in the end Timberlake tore off part of her top at the end of their performance, briefly revealing Jackson’s breast. Timberlake 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,” he said.

[From Page Six]

I’m trying to figure out how exposing Janet’s derriere was less of an issue than exposing her breast but I guess we’ve seen more tushes? Or maybe because they were mimicking a scene from a TV show it made it less of an issue. Wayne said that Janet really has forgiven Justin in private and that, “they made their peace a long time ago.” I wonder if she knew Justin’s reason for cranking up the shock value when she forgave him, though. I might be willing to accept that we’d taken a gamble that didn’t pay off. But to be shamed into sequestering for a year plus because Justin still couldn’t get over Britney? I’d make him eat his apology.

Wayne said Justin’s (non) apology from this year inspired him to set the record straight and write the book after all this time. A source told Page Six that Wayne’s version of the bodice ripping isn’t true and he’s just trying to sell books. I believe it because it sounds like the kind of weaselly thing Justin would do. And if Wayne wanted to sell books, he wouldn’t offer up the dishiest story for free. Even if it isn’t 100% accurate, just putting this out there reminds everyone that Justin is a slimeball who sole motivation is his own ambition. Justin has no problem letting women take the fall for his actions.

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62 Responses to “Justin Timberlake set up Janet’s wardrobe malfunction to top Britney’s VMAs kiss”

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  1. Lanagen says:

    And this man waited SEVENTEEN YEARS to say this because……..?

    I doubt anyone has ever heard of this man but now they know he has a book to sell. Good marketing!

    • Betsy says:

      …he is a coward, a misogynist who thinks nothing of stepping on women when it suits his purposes.

      • detritus says:

        Notice he changed HER costume based on what Timberlake wanted.

        “It functioned exactly as intended”

        He’s making sure his legacy as a costumer isn’t tarnished. He isn’t standing up for Janet, it’s just how he’s framed it to take advantage of the zeitgeist.

    • BABSORIG says:

      Exactly. Its been so long, why victimize Janet over and over and over? Janet now has to relive this because…..why? Let it go…sheesh!!!

      • Shiny says:

        As detritus astutely pointed out, he’s clarifying he didn’t do a bad job and setting the record straight on his professional abilities as a costume designer.

  2. Honeybear says:

    He is such a choade!

  3. Lou says:

    I feel like I’m missing something. Doesn’t this mean Janet Jackson was in on it too?

    • ClaireBb says:

      She was in on it regardless, it was part if the performance, since she had the nipple covered under the dress, didn’t she?
      JT and his management (i don’t think he ever came up with any idea all by himself) cowardly deemed it a wardrobe malfunction after all the backfire.

      But the original idea was A PEARL THONG. What the what the what the what. She would have been crucified.

    • ennie says:

      I am not saying that she’s innocent, but he probably came up and sold the idea to her and her team, and then he bailed on her, keeping quiet about his real role on it and letting her be crucified instead.
      Totally JT.

    • Goldie says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying that Janet wasn’t in on it. The point is that JT threw her under the bus. He spoke about how he and his family were so offended by the incident when in fact he was the architect of it.

      • Jais says:

        I just don’t like Justin. At all. And I’m gonna wear my Janet t-shirt today. Maybe for the whole week if I don’t get any stains on it.

    • Sid says:

      One of the MTV producers of that Half Time show explained the whole thing and what went wrong. Justin was supposed to do the pull at the very end of the song and the cameras were meant to cut away at that moment. By doing so nothing would be seen. Justin did the pull too early, and Janet was exposed before the cameras could cut away. I will never believe that she meant to expose herself in that way on camera. Everyone who saw her immediately after the performance backstage said she was distraught and in tears. Star Jones even talked about it on the View because she saw Janet backstage.

      After reading what the stylist has said, I wonder if Justin purposely pulled off the costume piece too early because he wanted to be controversial. I also find myself wondering if Justin and the stylist might have been having their own little chats beforehand.

      If CB allows, you can see the producer’s interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr3HgqdzqUc&ab_channel=FoundationINTERVIEWS

  4. Nev says:

    His jealousy was seething in that Madonna/Britney moment.
    Good times.

  5. Snuffles says:

    Oh, Justin, FOR SHAME!!!

    I remember the look on Justin’s face after that kiss! He was SEETHING. How childish of him for constantly trying to one up his ex.

    I used to be a fan but over the years I’ve started seeing him for the weasel he truly is.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      He has always been jealous of Britney – she had the solo career that he fantasised about and still does. Brit regardless of her MH is and always will be a pop icon – Justin who!!!!!!!

  6. atorontogal says:

    Poor baby with his fragile ego 😒. I guess after the ass whoppin he received at Sarsfest he really needed people to like him!

  7. Watson says:

    I’ve Hated him for years. Not surprised on the least.

  8. Hmn says:

    Why did he need a stylist for that bland outfit? Timberfake has been given too many chances! Time to let him go, folks. We have real talent called BRUNO MARS now.

  9. Case says:

    So he was telling wardrobe what he wanted to do, and somehow the Super Bowl folks had no idea and were totally blindsided by this??? When the last line of the song is “I’ll have you naked by the end of this song”????? C’mon.

    Justin ABSOLUTELY should’ve stood up for her right away and said the wardrobe tear was his idea (of course he didn’t because he’s an a-hole). But to this day I still don’t understand what the hubbub was to begin with. Her nipple was covered. It wasn’t as scandalous as it was made out to be, IMO.

    • Betsy says:

      I will be open and say I don’t remember the event well; I didn’t watch it live, there weren’t “clips” on the internet then (at least not in my dial up world back then, lol) and so I’ve only seen images.

      I know that right wingers freaked out because “woman’s boob!!” and I know Janet was in on it, but it *looked* in still images like something against her will. It looked so gross.

      • Genevieve says:

        You know, I’m wondering if the tape that covered her nipple in an x shape was supposed to stay on and if Justin deliberately ripped it off…I wouldn’t put it past this POS.

    • ShazBot says:

      I do remember it live. Her nipple had a shiny silver thing over it, and it was over so quickly – they cut away incredibly fast.

      Even then, we knew immediately it was deliberate. He had literally just sung “better have you naked by the end of this song”…tear. He was always such a twat for denying it.

  10. Lily P says:

    this is what trash looks like.

  11. Liz version 700 says:

    He is even worse than the tiny little narcissistic jackass we thought he was.

  12. Kersplasha says:

    I remember when this happened and watched it live and right after it on access hollywood he kind of smiled knowingly to the camera in an interview basically saying they knew what they were doing. I never assumed it was an accident, it absolutely seemed intentional from both of them, but it was in how he reacted after and didn’t take ownership of his part in it that effed Janet over that was so crappy. If it is something planned and blew up then admit you knew what was going on and that it was a mistake. He is such a slimeball for backing away from this.

    • Margot says:

      It was obvious that it was planned, and he definitely shirked responsibility afterwards, but what I don’t understand is how they thought it was a good idea at the time. Imagine walking through the choreography: “Okay, at the end of the song Justin’s going to rip your top, and Janet’s going to look shocked and upset.” How is that entertaining?!

      Maybe my mistake is looking at early 2000s entertainment through a 2021 lens. We thought it was acceptable to be on virginity watch for a number of young celebrities back then, after all.

  13. Wilma says:

    I always assumed it was planned, but the reactions to it made Timberlake backtrack.

  14. Merricat says:

    Ugh. Justin Timberlake is the once and future King of Weasels.

  15. Kristic says:

    Aren’t guys into seeing girls kissing? It seems like the jealousy angle would be more likely had Britney kissed a male performer. But maybe he’s just super petty and it was an attention thing?

    • KL says:

      Not jealousy over who she kissed, jealousy over the attention it got her worldwide. I guess it’s hard to communicate how pervasive the news articles and discussion about the MTV kiss was in a pre-social media world, but it was an absolute phenomenon.

      • Nev says:

        Word up.

      • February-Pisces says:

        From what I’ve heard about him he seems like a controlling prick. I reckon he probably had rage issues over how big a star Britney was. But if it wasn’t for her he would have been another forgettable member of nsync. Their breakup literally launched his solo career. Nsync weren’t that popular in the uk, but when he went solo he was everywhere.

  16. mlouise says:

    in the 2000’ world, the only scandal was the amount of collective hypocrisie it takes to pretend there is a scandal..

    JT is a p of s and I think all women can see it

  17. lucy2 says:

    He’s such a slimy little weasel, isn’t he? OF COURSE this was all related to his fragile ego. And of course the only way for him to get attention was to expose a woman’s body, and then step back and let her take all the blame and punishment.

  18. Nicole says:

    I watched this performance with my mom. We are both Janet fans fo lyfe. Janet was wearing a nipple shield. It completely destroyed her career, while Justin went on to make Sexy Back. He didn’t ask for any public forgiveness, nor did he own that he was in on it. Janet took all the heat. Let’s remember that MTV is a CBS Viacom company. Les Moonves was President at that time. Janet Jackson was easily one of the biggest stars in the world. He blocked her from performing on MTV and stopped playing her videos. They stopped playing her on the radio. She was singularly blackballed from making a living. She continued to make records that no one played. She only was able to make money from touring. I’m glad that the youths are re-discovering Janet. She deserves it.

    • lucy2 says:

      And Moonves did all that while assaulting and harassing women throughout his career at CBS.

    • Emily_C says:

      Yep. While Justin Timberlake is responsible for being a douchewaffle, Les Moonves was the one who really wrecked Janet’s career, and he did it on purpose because he’s a huge misogynist. The creator of Designing Women had an article about how he refused to do anything with female showrunners, no matter how successful they were, and torpedoed the careers of numbers of women. There’s a myth that Hollywood follows the money. It doesn’t; it follows the rich old nasty white men in charge.

      • Golly Gee says:

        Exactly. Apparently Moonves was livid about the incident, but Timberlake grovelled while Janet didn’t and this was unforgivable in Moonves’ book. He forgave Timberlake and didn’t blacklist him the way he did Janet.

  19. Eleonor says:

    I can’t believe this isn’t over yet!

  20. girl_ninja says:

    Whew. Ugly on the inside, ugly on the outside.

  21. Gabby says:

    I would like to see an encore duet with these two in which Janet punches hits him in the jewels with a sledgehammer.

  22. KL says:

    Nipple. Nipple is why her breast was shocking enough to shut down her career, as opposed to a cheeky bottom.

    Wow, I do not miss the 20-aughts.

    • My3cents says:

      Or how about he wears a pearl g-string and she rips his pants off?
      Nah, only men get to be violent and expose womens bodies and then call it entertainment.

  23. Hannah Young says:

    I can’t stand Ashton Kutcher, but he should be congratulated for filming & airing Justin crying for his mama when he got Punk’d.

    • girl_ninja says:

      That’s my FAVORITE Punk’d episode.

      Watching that fool call his mommy and cry like a little…

  24. FeatherDuk says:

    I recall at the time that they both said it was planned and not a malfunction, then Justin changed the story?

    • smcollins says:

      I could be wrong but I remember something about how it was planned and there was supposed to be another layer (like a lacy bra) underneath but he “accidentally” ripped off both layers? Idk 🤷🏻‍♀️ Justin was definitely a dick, though, for the way he he threw Janet under the bus afterwards. Just one of the (many) reasons I really can’t stand him.

      • zinjazin says:

        When I look at the pictures it seems like she ha a red bra under the black bodice, maybe just the black part was supposed to come off? Janet looks devastated in the pics, I think something went wrong JMO.

  25. detritus says:

    Just gonna drop in and say

    A less talented white man making profit off of a black women’s bodies and sexuality is nothing new, it’s just incredibly sad how it still is happening and people are still excusing it.

    Timberlake is a less successful modern day William Dunlop.

  26. Vavavoom says:

    First of all …WHY was he even a part of that show? JANET JACKSON ffs. She is was and always will be a bigger star than him. And then on top of that, he’s the one calling the shots? Then she loses her career… and gets banned from the superbowl forever? It’s idotic. They should have her back to perform next year. SCREW Justin. He’s such a prick.

  27. Emily_C says:

    Also he can’t sing. And was never sexy.

  28. Shiny says:

    I was paying attention to pop when his debut solo album came out. He wouldn’t have gotten 10% of the coverage without the Britney-themed song and MV. Gross person.

    • Sid says:

      Correct. His first single was flopping and he was being mocked as a weak imitation of MJ. The Cry Me a River video saved the whole project. Off of the back of making Britney look shady. When she had only been polite about him up to that point. And when he himself had also “allegedly” cheated. Loser.

  29. cb-forever says:

    Okay. I had actually never seen this. So I finally looked it up and found the uncensored video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8QZINhlfCY

    She has some sort of metal thing on her nipple. It seems like she would have to had known that her breast would be exposed. Or she just happened to be wearing a huge metal thing on that nipple?

    I’m so confused. Help.

  30. cb-forever says:

    Okay. And there is this. A good photo and a story showing the “nipple clamp” that I was calling a metal thing LOL.


  31. Robert says:

    Everyone is forgetting that Michael was on trial at this time also. I think they both had reasons to do this. They both wanted the publicity.