Entertainment & Arts

Janet Jackson: Supreme Court approves Super Bowl ruling

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
Image caption The exposure generated some 542,000 complaints

The US Supreme Court has said it will not resinstate a $550,000 (£350,000) fine for Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had penalised broadcaster CBS after the star's 2004 half-time show.

Jackson's breast became exposed during a dance routine in which Justin Timberlake ripped off her bustier.

An appeals court overturned the fine last year. The Supreme Court has now refused to hear a further appeal.

The case has been rumbling on for nearly eight years, and Jackson's career has never fully recovered.

She and Timberlake insisted the exposure was a mistake, saying the stunt was supposed to reveal an undergarment but that it had became detached along with the bustier.

The FCC concluded "the breast-baring finale was intended".

More than 500,000 people complained about the incident, which was seen by 90 million viewers, and CBS was quick to apologise.

Nonetheless, the FCC imposed a fine of $27,500 (£17,257) for each of the 20 stations that CBS owned. The $550,000 total was the biggest fine on a US broadcaster to date.

However, the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia dismissed the fine in November last year.

It ruled that the FCC had "improperly imposed a penalty on CBS for violating a previously unannounced policy".

The Supreme Court rejected the FCC's appeal on Friday.

It follows a separate ruling last week , which overturned a further $1.24m (£800,000) in fines for profanity and nudity.

The fines were imposed on broadcasters who showed celebrities swearing at awards shows, and a brief glimpse of a woman's buttock during an episode of NYPD Blue.

The court unanimously ruled the FCC standards were vague and the agency had failed to give fair notice that its policies had been toughened.

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