Janet Jackson’s two-night documentary will be released this week, and the legendary singer will be taking “Control” of her own narrative.
In the project, Jackson is not only talking about her career, but she will also be addressing rumors about her personal life. One of those rumors has to do with her first marriage to singer James Debarge, whom she tied the knot to at just 18. For years, a rumor has swirled about Jackson carrying Debarge’s child, but leaving her sister or brother to raise it.
Although the “Good Times” actress and Debarge were only married for about a year, Jackson says “I could never keep a child away from James.” She added, “How could I keep a child from their father? I could never do that, that’s not right.”
While Jackson doesn’t know who the exact person was to start the rumor, she indicated that she has a feeling about where the idea of her being pregnant back then may have started. Jackson became Cleo Hewitt on the first season of “Fame” and left before the season ended. Jackson believes some of her cast members on the show started the rumor because she had started taking birth control pills around the same time, which caused her to gain weight.
The 55-year-old said, “A lot of the kids thought I was pregnant, ’cause I had gained weight, and I had started taking birth control pills. And back then, you could pick up weight taking them, and that’s what happened to me. So that rumor started going around.”
Jackson opened up about her bad experience on the show in 2008, in an interview with The Guardian. She said, “I didn’t want to do that to begin with. I did it for my father. The kids that were on it… they were so outgoing, I felt like an outcast. They would do things like eat my breakfast. I’d open up my breakfast case and there’d be nothing in there. I was the new kid on the block. I was very shy and very quiet so I would never say anything, I’d just close it back up.”
Jackson’s documentary, “Janet” will premiere this Friday on Lifetime and A&E at 8 p.m. EST.
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