Rolling Out

Justin Timberlake allegedly set up Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction

Justin Timberlake allegedly set up Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction
Janet Jackson performs at Treasure Island Resort & Casino on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Nagashia Jackson for rolling out)

One of Janet Jackson’s former stylists claims in an explosive tell-all that it was Justin Timberlake’s idea to create the infamous Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” that subjected Jackson to merciless condemnation in 2004.

According to stylist Scot Lukas’ recollection recounted for Page Six, Timberlake wanted to outdo the sensationalized shock factor that ex-girlfriend Britney Spears provided months earlier at the 2003 MTV Awards. There, Spears was famously kissed by Madonna who also lip-locked with fellow singer Christina Aguilera.

At the time, Spears and Timberlake were at the peak of their pop-culture powers and the former lovers had become bitter adversaries. Their scandalous breakup was played out over the airwaves and in songs and both appeared to figuratively arm-wrestle for the most attention. The stylist conveys that Timberlake wanted to “one-up” Spears’ MTV kiss that was seen around the world.

Lukas told the newspaper that the original idea was “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 said. However, “the outfit changed a couple of days before, and you saw the magic.”

Jackson seemed to be down with the idea of doing something risque. She had taken great pains in the 1990s to shed the good girl image as the youngest Jackson singing sibling. This set the stage for the disaster of 2004.

Lukas said that Timberlake was disingenuous when he termed the tearing off of Jackson’s top, revealing her bare breast, 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.

Flip the page to find out why Lukas decided to share this story after 17 years.

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