Woman sues over Janet Jackons breast



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Staff member
Oct 23, 2003
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Tennessee woman has filed a class action suit against Janet Jackson and others involved in her breast-baring Super Bowl halftime show, saying millions of people are owed monetary damages for exposure to lewd conduct.

The suit, filed earlier this week in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee, also names pop star Justin Timberlake, who performed with Jackson, CBS Broadcasting, show producer MTV Networks Enterprises, and the parent of those two companies, Viacom.

The action seeks a court order to prevent anything like last Sunday's stunt from being repeated on U.S. network television prior to 10 p.m. local time when children might be watching.

No dollar figure for damages is mentioned in the suit, but it estimates that over 80 million U.S. viewers might be due compensation. CBS has said the game drew an average viewership of just under 89.6 million people. Advertising during the game sold for more than $2 million (1.1 million pounds) a spot.

The suit states that the ultimate compensatory damage figure, should a jury decide to grant damages, should be no higher than what the parties being sued made out of participating in and airing the Super Bowl and its halftime show.

If additional punitive damages are granted, it adds, they should be no higher than the "gross annual revenues of each defendant for the last three years..."

Those figures would probably run into the billions of dollars, according to the Smoking Gun, a Web site that first published the court papers.

During the halftime show Timberlake tore off half of Jackson's black leather bustier, exposing her right breast, while the two were singing a duet.

Jackson took the blame but said "it was not my intention that it go as far as it did."

CBS has already said it would use an "enhanced delay" on its February 8 broadcast of music's Grammy Awards so it can censor both audio and video as needed, and ABC also said it will use a delay on its February 29 broadcast of the Academy Awards (news - web sites).

The suit says the defendants knew the broadcast would be watched by millions of families with children but they "included in the halftime show sexually explicit acts solely designed to garner publicity and ultimately to increase profits for themselves. The suit mentions the breast exposure but also says the show in general contained "other lewd and sexually explicit conduct."

The law firm handling the suit issued a statement on Friday saying that neither the woman who filed it, Terri Carlin, nor her attorney, Wayne Ritchie, would comment. "The issue here is accountability and not more publicity," it said.

No thanks. Any money should go toward cleaning up prime time television. LOL
This thing keeps going on and on. I was watching FOX News this morning and they are still talking about it and showing the pictures. Do they think there is someone out there who hasn't heard about it yet?? I am ready to move on!!

It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this suit though.

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