Justin Timberlake said Wednesday that his own family was offended by his racy Super Bowl halftime duet with Janet Jackson, but he insisted he thought only her bustier would be revealed when he pulled on her costume, not her breast.
Uproar over what Timberlake memorably described as a “wardrobe malfunction” is showing no sign of letting up. A publicist for Jackson said she’s probably pulling out of a scheduled appearance at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, which will be broadcast on a delay system to avoid any similar incidents.
Timberlake, in an interview with KCBS-TV outside the Staples Center, where he was rehearsing for the Grammys, said he understood “how unfortunate this is.”
“I do understand that there were a lot of people that were completely offended by what happened, including my own family. And I think that’s probably the part that’s frustrating the most for me and it’s completely, completely, completely, regrettable,” he told KCBS.
He also said he was frustrated that his character was being questioned.
Timberlake said that before the show he got a call from Jackson and her choreographer saying they wanted to do a “costume reveal.”
“Now I was under the impression that what was going to be revealed ... was a red brassiere, bustier,” he said.
He said he did not have time to rehearse the move before taking the stage, and was shocked at the outcome. Jackson’s right breast, clad only in a sun-shaped “nipple shield,” was exposed for a second to some 89 million viewers.
“I mean, I was completely shocked and appalled, and all I could say was “Oh my God, Oh my God,” Timberlake said.
Jackson’s spokeswoman said a red lace garment was supposed to remain, and Jackson issued apologies Monday and Tuesday.
Jackson was supposed to present an award during the Grammys telecast, but she may back out, her publicist, Steven Huvane, told CNN.
“We don’t think she’s going to go,” he said.
A call to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which oversees the Grammys, was not immediately returned Wednesday.
CBS promises to institute a video delay system to avoid any similar incidents at the Grammys. The network faces a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether the Super Bowl show violated decency laws.
ABC also said it will implement an audio and video delay for its domestic broadcast of the Academy Awards on Feb. 29.
The NFL, meanwhile, responded to outrage over the Super Bowl show by replacing one of Timberlake’s ’N Sync bandmates, JC Chasez, in the Pro Bowl halftime show Sunday in Honolulu.