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Janet's tame rehearsal wasn't flashy

Timberlake practiced removing jacket during final walk-through
/ Source: The Associated Press

Before the Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson rehearsed a tamer version of the now-infamous breast-bearing performance during their halftime show, a worker who saw the rehearsals said Wednesday.

Timberlake practiced removing Jackson's jacket — not exposing her breast — in rehearsals several days before Sunday's game, said David Spear, who attended the rehearsals as a consultant for Pyrotecnico, the company hired by MTV to produce pyrotechnics during halftime.

Spear said Jackson was wearing a sweater and jeans during the rehearsal.

Timberlake pantomimed removing a jacket, said Spear, who added that he assumed Jackson would be wearing both a jacket and a blouse underneath during Sunday's show.

Jackson has apologized repeatedly for what happened at the end of her performance Sunday: Timberlake snatched off part of her bustier on stage, revealing a breast clad in a "nipple shield" to about 89 million viewers.

"That's not how it was rehearsed," Spear said Wednesday. "It was clear that night that there was going to be one scene where he would remove her jacket. The clear assumption was that she would have something on underneath."

CBS faces a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether the Super Bowl show violated decency laws, with potential fines of up to $27,500. If applied to each CBS station, the fine could reach into the millions.

Spear, who lives in New Orleans, said MTV changed a number of elements of the halftime show during rehearsals. Performer Kid Rock had tossed his U.S. flag T-shirt into the crowd during rehearsals, but was told to hand the shirt to a band member instead, Spear said.

He also said they changed camera angles to screen out a scantily clad dancer.

Tom Freston, chairman of MTV Networks, has said he welcomes the FCC's investigation, which he said will prove that the show's producers and broadcasters had no prior knowledge of the stunt. MTV produced the halftime show.

Spear said he believed CBS and MTV were unaware that Jackson's breast would be exposed during the show.

"I think they got snookered," Spear said. "I think they got blindsided by her antics."