Jackson and Timberlake both said the incident was truly a malfunction ― that Timberlake was only meant to rip away the leather on Jackson's bustier to reveal red lace, but instead ripped away everything, leaving her breast exposed to over 100 million Super Bowl fans.
CBS and Moonves have yet to comment on the report.
Moonves proceeded to ban Justin and Janet from the 2004 Grammys, which aired on CBS a week after the Super Bowl. One person who was particularly incensed according to a shocking new report was CBS/Viacom boss Les Moonves, 68.
At the time, Moonves was Viacom's co-president and co-chief operating officer and chairman of CBS.
The incident drew a torrent of criticism from America's pearl-clutchers, who were just scandalized at the revelation that women have nipples, and earned CBS a $550,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission. Sources told Ali that Timberlake "tearfully apologized for the incident", an act of contrition that put the singer back on Moonves' good side. Moonves "was furious that Jackson didn't make a similarly contrite apology to him". Moonves reportedly said, according to a source from the story. However, Moonves wasn't satisfied with this explanation, and he reportedly spent the next decade undercutting Jackson - a spiteful reaction that significantly damaged the female pop singer's career.
What followed was a series of intentional moves to block the promotion of Jackson's work on Viacom-owned properties including MTV, VH1 and the company's radio stations - moves that ultimately had an effect on the sales of Jackson's Damita Jo, which she released a month after the Super Bowl controversy took place. Some sources believe Moonves was centrally important in making sure blame for the Super Bowl incident fell on Jackson rather than Timberlake.
Moonves is now reportedly negotiating his exit from CBS in the wake of the #MeToo accusations against him. Even in 2011, Moonves was still in his feelings and reportedly threw a fit after hearing that Janet signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster, who are owned by the CBS Corporation.