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Sunday, February 1st, 2004

Months of planning, many miles' worth of cash, and a boatload of superstars were brought to bear for Super Bowl XXXVIII's entertainment, but in the end, an unexpected bared breast stole the show in Houston.

Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson were performing a flirtatious duet to end the halftime show at Reliant Stadium, and at the song's finish, Timberlake reached across Jackson's leather gladiator outfit and pulled off the covering to her right breast.

Jackson - who appeared to be stunned - quickly covered herself as the network cut away from the shot, making no mention of the incident on the air.

Timberlake said later that he did not intend to expose Jackson's breast.

"I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl," Timberlake said in a statement. "It was not intentional and is regrettable."

"CBS deeply regrets the incident," said CBS spokeswoman Leslie Anne Wade, commenting after the network received several calls about the show.

Wade said CBS officials attended rehearsals of the halftime show all week, "and there was no indication any such thing would happen. The moment did not conform to CBS' broadcast standards and we would like to apologize to anyone who was offended."

The Super Bowl halftime show, which also featured P. Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock, was produced by MTV, CBS' corporate cousin in Viacom.

"We were extremely disappointed by elements of the MTV-produced halftime show," Joe Browne, NFL executive vice president, said. "They were totally inconsistent with assurances our office was given about the content of the show."

"It's unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime," said Browne.

MTV issued a statement, saying the incident was "unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional."

Janet Jackson wasn't the only one on hand wearing less than the usual amount of clothing.

Shortly after Timberlake and Jackson finished their performance, a streaker charged into the middle of the football field, delaying the start of the second half of the game. He was leveled by New England linebacker Matt Chatham, then hogtied and arrested by Houston police.

The halftime entertainment began with singer Jessica Simpson screaming, "Houston, choose to party!" Rappers P-Diddy and Nelly performed, as did Kid Rock.