Friday, May 27, 2022

Janet Jackson Reacts to Rumors of Secret Child with James DeBarge

Singer Janet Jackson and James DeBarge  (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

*Janet Jackson will unpack the long-standing rumors that she and her ex-husband James DeBarge have a child that was secretly raised by her sister, Rebbie.

As reported by PEOPLE, Jackson, 55, addresses the rumors in her upcoming Lifetime and A&E documentary “Janet,” stating: “Back in the day they were saying that I had a child and I kept it secret. I could never keep a child away from James. How could I keep a child from their father? I could never do that, that’s not right.”

The music icon says the pregnancy rumors began when she gained weight from taking birth control pills while filming the show “Fame.”

“A lot of the kids thought I was pregnant, ’cause I had gained weight, and I had started taking birth control pills,” she said. “And back then, you could pick up weight taking them, and that’s what happened to me. So that rumor started going around.”

READ MORE: Janet Jackson Taps Justin Timberlake for Surprise Appearance in Tell-All Doc

Jackson and DeBarge wed in 1984 when she was just 18. Their marriage crumbled due to DeBarge’s drug use and was annulled a year later. 

“When we got married and came back to the hotel he said, ‘OK, I’ll be right back,'” she recalled of their wedding night. “And I’m sitting in the hotel room in Grand Rapids, Michigan by myself, just 18, and for three hours, he never came back. I don’t know, maybe it’s this person in me that wants to help people subconsciously. When it comes to relationships, somehow I’m attracted to people that use drugs.”

Jackson said she and DeBarge would spar anytime she tried to flush his pills down the toilet.

“We would be rolling on the floor fighting for them. And that’s not a life for anyone,” she said. “I sit and I say, ‘Were you stupid, were you dumb?’ But it wasn’t that. I cared so much for him, and I saw the good in him as well and I just wanted that to take precedence as opposed to this ugliness. ‘Cause I knew that he needed help. But I wasn’t the help that he needed.”

Jackson’s two-night documentary event will premiere Friday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime and A&E.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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