Janet Jackson talks about her brother Michael’s supposedly affectionate insults: “He called me a cow, a pig, a whore” | People

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At 55 years old, Janet Jackson has been making a career in the music industry since the mid-1970s, when she was just a child. However, having become a world star and managing to place more than 100 million records on the market have not allowed him to let go of the weight of his surname, one of the most powerful in world music, headed by the controversial figure that was Michael Jackson. Hence, everything that tells about her and that is related to her family continues, after more than half a century since the saga rose to fame, drawing powerful attention.

That is why the imminent documentary that is going to be released on the figure of Janet Jackson generates controversy. It will arrive this Friday, January 28, on Lifetime, a private American television channel, and promises to reveal some family secrets. Janet, as the footage is called, tells of the relationship between the singer and her brother, not always idyllic. According to the artist, everything changed with the premiere of the video clip thriller, in 1982. “I remember that I loved the album, but for the first time in my life I saw that there was something different between us, that a crack was opening. At that point Mike and I started going our separate ways. It wasn’t as fun as it used to be,” he recalls. That stratospheric fame, he explains, generated a series of addictions for the king of pop from which the family tried to get him out. “They chartered a private plane to carry out an intervention. We tried to get closer to him and give him what he didn’t have,” he admits. In fact, she tried to encourage him to embark on a new family tour, to recover what they once had, but Michael Jackson did not sit well: “He got very angry.”

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Janet’s weight, changing over time – like that of so many other people, although much more scrutinized as she is a public figure – has caused her headaches. According to the singer and actress, her body image problems began when, at the age of 11, in the late seventies, she landed a role in a series called Good times. “I’m a person who eats emotionally, so when I’m stressed or worried about something, that calms me down,” explains the singer in the documentary. She says that being part of the system of the world of Hollywood in her adolescence was not easy: “I was developing very early, I began to have chest and they bandaged me to make me look flatter”. Already in adulthood he has gained and lost weight. In 2006 he weighed 80 kilos for a role and it took a lot of effort to return to his normal size, he says.

“There were times when Mike used to make fun of me and call me names: pig, mare, whore, or pig, cow,” says Jackson. “He laughed about it, and I used to laugh too, but there was something inside me that hurt,” admits the singer. “When you have someone who tells you that you weigh too much, that affects you”, collects the newspaper The New York Post, which has obtained a preview of the documentary.

Michael Jackson, with his sister Janet, in 1975. She also became a pop star, having acted in the television series 'My friend Arnold' and 'They will be famous' in the eighties.
Michael Jackson, with his sister Janet, in 1975. She also became a pop star, having acted in the television series ‘My friend Arnold’ and ‘They will be famous’ in the eighties.Michael Ochs Archives (Getty Images)

However, the weight itself is not a conflict, but for her everything is due to fame. Without her, “I probably wouldn’t have had a problem.” Her surname has weighed on her throughout her life, it has been “a great source of scrutiny”, although she considers herself lucky and gives “thanks for him”: “Because it has opened many doors for me”. “I wanted my own identity, I didn’t want people to choose me or my music just because of my last name,” he reflects.

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That surname became a slab especially when his brother Michael spent his moments of greatest public exposure and great controversies, such as the accusations of child abuse of which he was finally acquitted. “It was frustrating for me, we had separate lives and even though he was my brother, he had nothing to do with me. But I wanted to be there for him, support him as much as I could.” He explains that his brother gave money to his family because he wanted that accusation to be forgotten and because it affected everyone; in fact, always according to her version, in the film she explains that she lost a contract with Coca-Cola because of that. “Guilty by association, that’s what they call him, right?” he explains. In fact, she collaborated with her brother on a track called scream, about those trials, but she noticed that the record company didn’t want her, that they were trying to confront the two Jacksons, and that something had broken between him and his brother.

Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston at Elton John's party in 1999.
Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston at Elton John’s party in 1999.K Mazur (Getty Images)

In addition, Janet Jackson also deals with the love issue in the documentary. He has been married three times and as many others he has been divorced; With her third husband, Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, she had her only child, Eissa, in 2017, at the age of 50. “I have not lost faith in love,” he says. “I feel that it is more difficult to be in the public eye and look for it,” he explains, which is why he talks about “it would be good to have a healthy relationship in the future.”

In addition, it has been known that Justin Timberlake, the singer with whom Jackson performed at the 2004 Super Bowl and who discovered one of his live nipples, will also appear in the documentary. The news has been advanced by the tabloid Page Six, which states that the former N’Sync component is one of the great surprises of the footage, so much so that it has not been revealed what topics it will deal with. In fact, artists such as Mariah Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, Missy Elliott and Samuel L. Jackson appear in the documentary ads, but Timberlake’s appearance had not been revealed.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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