Justin Timberlake Allegedly Planned Janet Jackson's Wardrobe Malfunction — Because Of Britney Spears

Was it an accident... or not?

Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson A.PAES / Everett Collection / Shutterstock

For nearly two decades, many questions have lingered in the public mind about Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at 2004's Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Did Justin Timberlake close the show by tearing off part of Jackson's top, briefly exposing one of her breasts on purpose, or was it an accident? And if it was intentional, was Jackson aware it was going to happen?

The stylist behind Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl performance now claims it was Timberlake’s idea to stage a wardrobe "malfunction" that would shock audiences.


Why did Justin Timberlake allegedly plan Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl?

Celebrity stylist Wayne Scot Lukas says Timberlake wanted to outdo ex-girlfriend Britney Spears, who just months before shared an infamous kiss with Madonna and Christina Aguilera during their performance at the MTV VMAs.

Scot Lukas says Timberlake “insisted on doing something bigger than their performance. He wanted a reveal.”

The stylist disagrees that what happened at the end of the performance can even be considered a “wardrobe malfunction,” as it has been labeled by many.

“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.


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The original concept was a bit lower in concept.

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

The incident during their joint performance at the Super Bowl damaged Janet Jackson’s career — but elevated Justin Timberlake’s.

“The magic,” of course, involved Timberlake tearing off a strip of fabric from Jackson’s outfit that left her breast exposed onstage.


In the aftermath, Jackson was banned from appearing at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Meanwhile, Timberlake took home several awards at the show.

She also faced widespread criticism for the controversial performance, including more than 500,000 complaints issued to the broadcasters.

During an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2006, Jackson was asked if she felt Timberlake had “left her hanging.”


The singer and actress replied that there are “certain things you just don't do to friends.”

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If what Scot Lukas is saying is true, it implies that not only did Timberlake deliberately set Jackson up and pressured her to expose herself on stage for his own personal gain, but that he also allowed her to take the fall for a scandal he himself orchestrated.


If Timberlake had intended to upstage Spears’ VMAs performance, he was certainly successful.

The incident has been parodied in music videos, comedy skits and more in the decades after the event. In fact, it was one of the first-ever viral videos, and even became part of the inspiration for creating YouTube.

However, it appears Timberlake may have profited more than Jackson.

Jackson’s eighth album, "Damita Jo," which was released shortly after the Super Bowl was one of the lowest-selling records of her career.

Why is Wayne Scot Lukas sharing this information now?

Scot Lukas says he was prompted to come forward after seeing Johnny Wright, Timberlake's longtime manager, call Jackson out for not having forgiven the “Cry Me A River” singer.


After Jackson posted one of her weekly inspirational messages to Instagram followers urging them to “always choose to heal, not hurt” and “to forgive, not to despise” on Sunday, March 28, Wright — who also once managed both Jackson and Spears — allegedly quipped back, “You should take this advice and apply it to your relationship with Justin.”

The comment has since been deleted.

On February 12, Timberlake apologized to both Jackson and Spears in an Instagram post, after the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary generated backlash directed towards him for his treatment of women.

He told fans he was sorry “for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”


If true, the new explanation offered by Scot Lukas could explain why Jackson had not yet responded directly to the apology — although many do believe a video she shared the day after was her way of subtly acknowledging that it came due to the loyal and ongoing support of her fans.

As of now, neither Jackson nor Spears has responded to his apology directly, and it remains unclear whether Timberlake has taken or will take any responsibility for orchestrating the wardrobe mishap in the first place.


RELATED: Justin Timberlake's Apology To Britney Spears And Janet Jackson Is Great, But He's About 15 Years Too Late

Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her on Twitter for more.