Archives for : JANET JACKSON

Rhythm Nation: 25th Anniversary!

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Janet Jackson released Rhythm Nation 1814 on 9/19/1989. The album garnered major critical praise and ultimately went on to move 20 million units worldwide. During its chart run, RN1814 placed seven singles in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. An eighth airplay only track (State of the World) reached the top 5 on airplay alone, but was unable to chart on the Hot 100 since it wasn’t commercially released.

Janet embarked on the Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour in support of the album and it was wildly successful. In fact, the Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour quickly became the most successful debut tour of any artist in music history. And it remains so today.

We continue to celebrate the impact of RN1814 — 25 years later. #RhythmNation25 #InductJanet

 

Janet Jackson: Control 28th Anniversary

 

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On July 5th,1986, Janet Jackson started a two-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Control’Control. It would be the third studio album by American recording artist Janet Jackson, released on February 4, 1986 by A&M Records. Her collaborations with songwriters and record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis resulted in an unconventional sound: a fusion of rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap vocals, and synthesized percussion that established Jackson, Jam and Lewis as the leading innovators of contemporary R&B. It enabled Jackson to transition into the popular music market, becoming one of the defining albums of the 1980s and contemporary music.

Containing autobiographical themes, a majority of the album’s lyrics came as the result of a series of changes in her life: a recent annulment of her marriage to R&B singer James DeBarge, severing her business affairs from her father and manager Joseph and the rest of the Jackson family, hiring A&M executive John McClain as her new management, and her subsequent introduction to Jam and Lewis. The album has been praised by critics as both an artistic feat and as a personal testament of self-actualization.

Control is widely regarded as the breakthrough album of Jackson’s career. It became her first album to top the Billboard 200 and five of its commercial singles—”What Have You Done for Me Lately”, “Nasty”, “Control”, “When I Think of You”, and “Let’s Wait Awhile”—peaked within the top five of the Billboard Hot 100.

Music videos created to promote the singles showcased her dancing ability and became a catalyst for MTV’s evolving demographics. The album went on to receive several accolades, including a nomination for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and winning Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for Jam and Lewis in 1987. It is listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 200 Definitive Albums of All Time. It has been certified fivefold platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold over fourteen million copies worldwide.

Janet JACKSON: On This Day In Music

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On This Day In Music: In 1993, Janet Jackson started a eight week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’, her sixth US No.1, a No.2 hit in the UK.

Jackson Family Secrets Part III:By Stacey brown

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After a chance meeting as a young fan, Stacy Brown became friends with the bizarre family of Michael Jackson. For 25 years, he hung out at their Hayvenhurst estate in Encino, Calif., and even ghostwrote their memoirs. He previously wrote about Katherine Jackson’s letters to her son and Jermaine’s jealousy of Michael. In the final entry from his three-part series about life with the Jacksons, he talks about how Michael loomed over — and sabotaged — so much of his family’s plans.

Just before Michael Jackson’s 2001 concerts at Madison Square Garden to celebrate 30 years in show business, Jacko and Jermaine engaged in one of their bitter battles.

Jermaine criticized Michael for high ticket prices and for excluding certain acts. Jacko told Jermaine to beat it — he was off the show.

Jermaine and Michael’s parents, Katherine and Joseph, drove the two-and-a-half hours from Encino to Neverland to resolve the dispute. They were stopped at the gate.

“Mother is tired, she needs water and she has to use the bathroom and Michael has ordered security not to let us in,” Jermaine said over the phone. He had called hoping someone could appeal to Michael’s people.

The standoff went on for two hours.

Finally, Jacko sent word — his mother could use the bathroom in the first guest house, but that was it. They had to be on their way.

“He won’t see us. His own mother,” Joseph protested. “He probably is on those drugs. Or something.”

Life at Neverland

What drugs, what something, no one knew — Michael Jackson was a mystery even to his family.

They had attempted no less than a half-dozen interventions, with no luck. Three months after the 2001 concerts, at a hotel in New York, Janet, Randy, and others attempted to rid him of dependence.

“Leave me alone, mind your business, I’ll be dead in one year anyway,” Jacko told them.

Michael had cut them off, one by one. He preferred to stay locked inside his rooms, watching the world through cameras.

My family and I were invited to stay at Neverland once, in 1997, and over four days we never saw Michael. But I’m sure he saw us.

Michael made all guests at Neverland, including his family, sign waivers every time they visited. The waivers allowed Michael to eavesdrop on telephone calls, videotape comings and goings and simply spy on those on the grounds.

Jackson siblings warned me to cover my bedroom and bathroom walls with sheets because you likely were being filmed, even if you were naked.

For some, Neverland was the ultimate paradise. It’s a ranch with several buildings, including a main house, Indian Tee-Pees, an amusement park, a state-of-the-art movie theater that houses a collection of films to make any public or private theater owner jealous, and a library with a collection of more than 10,000 books.

To others, though, Neverland is an enormously expensive lure for unsuspecting child victims, the ultimate candy from a stranger.

There was a specialized alarm system that sounded anytime anyone went near Jacko’s bedroom. We’d sometimes test it and, sure enough, a security guard would come inside to make sure that no one was near the quarters.

The zoo on the property rivaled those in the Bronx, Baltimore and other places. “Pet the lion, its OK, Stacy,” Jacko said to me on another visit. I refused.

From time to time, snakes would slither across the grass, frightening horse drawn carriages. A ride on a golf cart and passed the zoo had to be met with caution, particularly when passing cages that contained Patrick the orangutan, who replaced the famous Bubbles the chimp, and whose displeasure for strangers was evident in his spitting about 40 yards at those who would come into his view.

Sabotaging the Family

Despite his isolation, Michael maintained his control over the family.

At one point he demanded that sister Janet, who had become almost as famous as him, stop using their surname. He wanted to be the only superstar named Jackson.

Other family members protested that Michael derailed their careers.

“That’s the problem I have with him,” Jermaine said. “OK, so he doesn’t want to do anything with us, but he doesn’t’ want us to make our own money, either. He wants us to depend upon him to provide and we’re adults.”

Rebbie, whom Michael had gifted her only hit, the 1985 single “Centipede,” also was stifled by her little brother. When she recorded her most recent album, 1997’s “Yours Faithfully,” she admitted to making a big mistake. “I did it for Michael’s label,” she told me.

Rebbie had done a lot press in support of the CD, which included the duet, “Fly Away,” with Jacko. She appeared on Regis and Kathy Lee, BET and other shows. After the first single was released, the CD disappeared from stores.

She alleged that Michael campaigned to kill the careers of his family members, even paying off A&R and radio executives to not play his brother’s and sister’s music.

“Michael did it again, he dangles the carrot and we’re supposed to jump,” Rebbie said.

It wasn’t that Michael couldn’t be generous. When Rebbie and her husband Nathaniel wanted to buy a house in Las Vegas, Jackson ponied up $100,000 towards the $300,000-plus price tag.

But even that seemed to have an ulterior motive.

Michael had become aware that Grace Rwarmba, the children’s nanny had been visiting Rebbie in Vegas and she had expressed concerns over Jacko’s drug dependency. Jacko’s divorce from Lisa Marie Presley was also, in part, because Presley had sought advice from Rebbie about Jacko, something Jacko detested.

“Don’t go to my family for anything, stay away from them,” he ordered Presley.

Remoras on Jacko

Jackson’s paranoia grew over the years. He thought his siblings were plotting together. He was convinced his ideas were being stolen, even by Steven Spielberg.

“Look at the logo for Neverland,” he told me once. “It’s the little boy in the moon with a fishing pole. Now, look at what those Jews have for DreamWorks. A boy inside the moon, fishing!”

As for his belief that people were out to get him, well authorities were — because of the increasingly compelling accusations of molestation.

I had ghost-written a book with Bob Jones, Michael’s long-time publicist, called “The Man Behind the Mask,” which detailed Jones disgust at much of what he witnessed.

Jones, who is gay, told me angrily: “When I’m horny, I call another man. When King Michael gets horny, he’s on the phone with some little boy.”

During the 2005 trial, I was called as a witness for the prosecution, to back up some of the things Jones said.

Michael approached me before I testified and handed me a Bible. “Stacy, is this yours?” he said, pretending I had somehow dropped it on the ground. I just wished him well.

Most of the family didn’t care if Michael was guilty or innocent. They just worried about two things: the collapsing Jackson legacy and the money Michael would lose if he went to prison.

They defended him to the end, even those who suspected, because the Jacksons were dependent on him — a situation he encouraged. He owned the Encino estate; he funded, or more often refused to fund, their tours.

Over the years, I have written about the Jacksons, but many continued to talk to me — because they so often did not talk to each other.

In December 2005, several family members called me, worried about rumors that Michael had died of a drug overdose in Bahrain. Four years later, they called me again. “Is it really true this time?” Rebbie asked. Yes, I said. She put her husband on the phone.

“He probably had a needle in his arm,” Nathaniel said. “That selfish jerk.”

 

 

The Jacksons: Family Secrets part II by: Stacey Brown

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After a chance meeting as a young fan, Stacy Brown became friends with the bizarre family of Michael Jackson. For 25 years, he hung out at their Hayvenhurst estate in Encino, Calif., and even ghostwrote their memoirs. He previously wrote about Katherine Jackson’s letters to her son, in which she called Michael a homophobic slur. Here, in Part Two of his memories of life among the Jacksons, he talks about the family member he knows best — Jermaine, the jealous older brother of Michael.

“That was supposed to be me,” Jermaine Jackson said, for the 100th time, talking about the superstardom his younger brother enjoyed.

“That’s why I stayed at Motown. We had plans. But once Michael beat me to it, he made sure it would only be him.”

Of all the Jacksons, none was more tortured by the cult of Michael than Jermaine. He’d spend an entire day ranting against him. The next, he’d go on a talk show and defend him.

All the while was the subtext — it should have been me.

“I still say his timing was what made him the King of Pop,” Jermaine once said. Then he asked to borrow $500 to change the tires on his Mercedes.

Thy Brother’s ‘Wife’

If there’s one best example of how dysfunctional the Jackson family is, know this — Jermaine stole away, then married, the mother of his younger brother Randy’s children.

Randy met Alejandra Oaziaza in 1986, when she was about 17 and he was 24. Randy, seven years younger than Jermaine and three years younger than Michael, missed out on the heyday of the Jacksons’ Motown fame. Too young to appear in the Jackson 5, he nonetheless was enlisted in the family business and would tour with his brothers as he got older (as Michael went solo).

Randy and Alejandra dated for a long time, but never married, having two children — Genevieve and Randy Jr. But Randy proved a bit too immature for Alejandra, and while he was away from home, Jermaine moved in.

“Randy didn’t treat me like I was the one,” Alejandra told me. “I just thought that Jermaine was different, that he was more family oriented.”

In 1995, Jermaine and Alejandra secretly married, later having children of their own — Jaafar, Donte and Jermajesty.

Randy, of course, was devastated.

“Joe Blow down the street, but my brother? In the same house?” Randy seethed about the betrayal. “She’s a pig and my brother is a fool.”

Katherine, their mother, was not amused either and treated Alejandra like the help. Randy, meanwhile, withheld child-support payments, which Jermaine said he just couldn’t understand.

“He’s an a-hole,” Jermaine said of Randy. “He shouldn’t let his feelings for me or Alejandra come between taking care of his kids.”

Jermaine didn’t understand Randy’s anger in general.

“He needs to get over it and leave all the petty stuff behind and act like a man,” Jermaine said to me. This conversation lasted more than four hours and I had to reason with him that, “You not only took his woman, but you had children with her and you married her. There’s nothing petty about that.”

Jermaine just shrugged.

Things broke down so badly between the brothers that they refused to speak to one another. In 1997, I was in the kitchen with Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, who was feeling tortured over the thought of having to fly with and go on stage alongside Randy to accept their introduction as The Jackson 5 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“I just don’t want to do anything with Randy,” Jermaine said.

After about 15 minutes discussing how Jermaine should handle Randy at the awards presentation, I just had to speak up. “Dudes, this isn’t as much of a problem that you all are making it out to be,” I said. “Randy isn’t a member of The Jackson 5; he joined the group when you were called The Jacksons. The J-5 is being inducted.”

They stared incredulously and then whooped with joy.

Still, Randy didn’t let it go. He would always say to me, “Stacy, watch your women around my brother, you’re around him an awful lot, look what he did to me.”

Indeed, Jermaine’s mind had one track. On one visit to New York, where he was crashing with a friend, Jermaine was interviewed by the Fox News anchor Rita Cosby — then spent the rest of the weekend talking about how it was his mission to “do” her in a hotel bedroom.

Broke Casanova

Naturally, Cosby would have to pay for the room if it were to happen. Jermaine had absolutely no cash, as usual.

Later on, he told me he was hungry for some Burger King. Fine, I thought, we could do that. He said he’d pay this time. Of course, I doubted that but was certainly prepared to take him up on his offer. I ordered a Whopper meal while Jermaine simply ordered an apple pie.

“You got a coupon for that?” he asked me with a laugh. I told him to order what he wanted, that I’d pay. So he returned to the counter and asked for large fries and an iced tea to go with the pie.

The next time we spoke of Cosby, Jermaine shocked me by adding that he wanted to “bang Nancy Grace,” who is viewed as a family nemesis.

“Just one time with that heifer,” he said. “I bet she won’t say anything bad about Michael anymore. She’ll just be thinking about her one night with the man! Jermaine.”

That didn’t happen (as far as I know). But Jermaine did have many a conquest. In New York in 2001, for Michael’s 30th Anniversary Special concerts, Jermaine’s cellphone rang. Someone on the line told him Whitney Houston, a former lover of his, needed help.

He hung up and turned to me. “She’s like Michael. She’s messed up on those drugs,” he said. “You know I used to wear her a– out. I know she’d take me back and get rid of that (expletive) Bobby Brown. Plus, I should just get with her before she loses all that money she’s made.”

Whitney appeared sickly and rail thin at the concert and Jermaine said he was concerned. He said that after the second show, which was on Sept. 10, 2001, he’d get with her and seriously discuss moving to New Jersey or Atlanta to be with her.

“I feel it’s my duty with Whitney, man,” Jermaine said. “She told me she never stopped loving me. I can get with her and I should. I just don’t know how she’d act to have me in that bed instead of Bobby. I might be too much for her. But I’d get her off the drugs. She’d be high, but only on Jermaine.”

After the first show, which took place on Friday, Sept. 7, the family and invited guests gathered at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, where Michael, looking dazed, sat in an area that was roped off from his family. Macaulay Culkin sat with Michael.

“He just told me he wasn’t doing the second show,” Jermaine told me. “He’s high as a kite, but I’m going to slap him around and get him straight.”

Secret Muslim Wedding

One extracurricular relationship was somewhat more serious than the others. Jermaine was introduced to Lawanda, a friend of one his nieces, in the mid-1990s.

By then, Jermaine had converted to Islam. In 1999, while still married to Alejandra, he and Lawanda had a “wedding” at a local mosque. Jermaine would tell me later that he did it just to make her happy. While it wasn’t legal in the eyes of the government, Lawanda felt sure — she was now Jermaine’s wife.

At Michael’s anniversary concerts, Lawanda had had enough of being Jermaine’s No. 2. She came to me, crying. “Do you know who else’s anniversary it is?” she said. “Mine and Jermaine’s and he hasn’t said a word to me.” Then, in front of Jermaine, Randy and Alejandra’s young children, Lawanda tried to attack his lawful wife.

“That’s Jermaine for you,” brother Jackie would later say.

Even with two “wives,” Jermaine couldn’t help himself. One summer night in 2003, he and I were cruising Ventura Boulevard in Katherine’s late-model Mercedes. We stopped at Starbucks in Sherman Oaks where he introduced me to a neighbor named Sandy, who was waiting for him.

We got back into the car and Sandy followed in her jeep close behind. Jermaine called Alejandra and told her that Minister Louis Farrakhan was in town and that we were going by his hotel to speak with him.

We headed up into the pitch-black darkness of the Sepulveda Pass where we parked and Sandy parked right behind us. “Here, take the car and drive, come back in like an hour or so,” Jermaine said.

He hopped out and into Sandy’s car — and before I could make a U-turn, they were like two teens, ripping their clothes off and getting it on right there.

When I picked Jermaine up, he insisted we try and see Farrakhan so that his alibi would work. An aide to Farrakhan said he wasn’t available, so we returned to Hayvenhurst. Alejandra never asked about the meeting.

Jermaine divorced Alejandra in 2004, leaving the divorce papers behind in the house as he went on tour. In 2005, he married Halima Rashid, who comes from a wealthy Mideast family. Lawanda still complains to Jackie and Tito that she has to play second fiddle.

Jermaine knew plenty about playing second fiddle, though. He would go through periods of anger about his brother, then periods of remorse when he realized he would probably be broke without him.

n 1991, Jermaine released the song “Word to the Bad” that accused Michael of “changing his shade.” Michael wouldn’t speak to him for years. Jermaine then became his brother’s most vocal defender, dismissing every rumor about him on any show that would have him. Jermaine also would warn Michael of the family’s planned interventions and trips to therapy.

Still, Michael didn’t really pay Jermaine back — and kept putting off any talk of reunion concerts.

Finally, at the end of 2001, Jermaine decided to write a be-all, end-all book to pay his bills. And once his girlfriend, Lawanda, got hold of it, she was determined that Jermaine earn a $1 million advance.

The pitch was about Michael’s drug use and his penchant for keeping company with underage boys.

Michael’s assistant was frantic. “We want a retraction! We want a retraction! Call every publisher in America and tell them you made it all up and it’s not true,” she said desperately.

The Jacksons went into one of their famous family meetings and, oddly enough, several of them came away believing that Michael himself had made up the manuscript as a way to get attention.

But Jermaine said Michael obtained a copy of the manuscript. And Michael, who paid for the house at Hayvenhurst, would use it as an excuse to throw Jermaine out.

Jermaine backed off the book. He spent the next few years trying to make amends.

And I remember him sitting in an airport giddy during Michael Jackson’s trial on molestation charges in 2005.

“Michael said after the trial is over, we’re going on tour,” Jermaine said.

I told him, you’re thinking about concerts — your brother could be going to jail for life.

Jermaine just shook his head. Wasn’t going to happen, he said.

Then he started talking about the tour, what he would wear, what it would look like.

“Woo hoo, I love it.”

Jackson Family Secres Part I By: Stacey Brown

After a chance meeting as a young fan, Stacy Brown became friends with Jermaine Jackson — and later the rest of the Jackson family, including Michael. He helped write some of their memoirs, traveled on their tours, and even gave them loans (never to be repaid). Here, for the first time, Stacy explain what it’s like to be friends with the strangest family in America.

Randy Jackson, the second-youngest of the storied musical dynasty, likes to call his family “the black Kennedys.”

Maybe. But they certainly weren’t as smart with their ­finances as the Kennedys.

Even before this month, when the family lost a $40 billion lawsuit against AEG over the death of Michael Jackson, they’ve struggled with debts. Especially when the family’s richest members, Michael and Janet, decided to cut off their seven other siblings and parents out of whim or spite.

particularly low point came in 2003. No money was coming in, few of them had actual jobs and ­Janet gave but one gift to her siblings: free meal cards to Baja Fresh, a fast-food chain with which she had an endorsement deal.

I visited Rebbie, the oldest of the Jackson kids, in Vegas, to work on a book. It was Baja Fresh for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From there I drove to Hayvenhurst, the family’s estate in Encino, Calif., to meet Katherine, the matriarch, and Jermaine.

And for 2¹/₂ weeks it was . . . Baja Fresh.

Finally, for the sake of my stomach, I offered to take Katherine to Trader Joe’s. She loaded the cart with groceries, and I ended up with the bill — $700.

There was no “thank you.” The money was never repaid. Whatever courtesies are shown to them are met with the air of “You did what you ought to. We are the Jacksons!”

‘Why No Black Boys?’

As a friend, ghostwriter and confidant of the Jackson family for nearly 25 years, people ask how I could put up with such behavior.

It wasn’t easy — but there’s something seductive about the ­craziness

I first met patriarch Joseph and his sons Jermaine, Jackie and Tito in 1984. The brothers had just played the Victory Tour at Giants Stadium. I was 16 and went to the show with my girlfriend, Ameena, who was in love with Michael.

After the show, we traveled to the Helmsley Palace Hotel, and amazingly we got to speak to the Jacksons in the lobby. Ameena gushed and handed them a letter for her idol.

A couple of years later, I was visiting a friend in a hospital in Canoga Park, Calif. Randomly, I ran into Jermaine. “I know you,” he said. To my shock, he remembered that night in New York in detail.

We spoke for a long time and ­exchanged numbers. Two weeks later, he called me and invited me to Hayvenhurst, the seven-bedroom mansion Michael paid for. It’s full of family memorabilia, and a guesthouse is filled with dolls and stuffed animals.

I later became a journalist and, because of the friendship, I was enlisted as writer on two books — “Rebbie Jackson: The First Jackson” and “Legacy: Surviving the Best and the Worse,” the latter with Jermaine.

But for every little kindness, like Jermaine remembering me as a fan in the crowd, there was plenty of selfishness and bizarre behavior.

The Jacksons have been described as dysfunctional, but that’s an understatement. They loathe each other, particularly Michael — for whom they felt varying degrees of jealousy and disgust. The King of Pop rarely wanted anything to do with them, which only ­increased the psychosis.

They’re not the Kennedys, Katherine’s longtime assistant, Janice Smith, said to me once. “They are more like the Corleone family. And Michael is Michael Corleone.”

To his parents, Joseph and Katherine, however, Michael could do no wrong.

One day, after the brothers were complaining about Michael not including them in his plans, Joseph exploded: “Y’all are lazy. He did all the work, and he figured out that if he were going to do all the work, why bother with your lazy asses?”

Katherine would defend Michael constantly — to a point.

Watching a news report that showed Michael boarding an airplane with a young boy, Katherine murmured: “Why is it that he’s always got to have those little white boys around? Why doesn’t he ever have little black boys with him?”

I said, “Well, there was a time that he had little Emmanuel Lewis, who played Webster.”

“That was just for show, for the cameras,” Katherine said. “Those boys he flies around with ain’t nothing but little Jews.”

The question I desperately wanted to ask but did not was, “Well, would you rather him ­molest little black boys?”

Secret Therapy

The dysfunction culminated in 2002. Michael had played a 30th-anniversary celebration the year before. He paid Marlon Brando $1  million to appear. He paid his brothers $1,100 each. Then he canceled a promised tour with the ­entire Jackson family.

Randy figured the family needed therapy. Janet paid for it, and once a week the whole clan would pile into SUVs for secret trips to Malibu.

Rebbie began by talking about the abuse she allegedly suffered as a child in Gary, Ind., at the hands of Joseph, and which her mother witnessed. “Mother would simply say, ‘Joe, leave her alone tonight,’ ” Rebbie said.

Jackie, the second oldest, yelled at her for “bringing up things in the past that just pull us apart.”

“We’re in therapy!” Rebbie cried.

They all complained about Michael until finally the therapist said it was best if they didn’t even think about him.

“Michael is not your family, in his mind,” the therapist told them during those clandestine sessions. “Elizabeth Taylor is his mom, and you guys should move on.”

That sent Katherine over the edge. She already hated Taylor — on visits to Neverland Ranch, Katherine would decide where she’d have her lunch or dinner depending upon whether or not Liz had ever used the spot.

“I’m not sitting where she sat,” Katherine would say. “She’s ­stolen my son away.”

Joseph felt the same way about Motown boss Berry Gordy, who signed the singing children to the label in the 1960s.

“Michael better realize, it’s my blood running through his veins,” the family patriarch said. “Mine and nobody else’s. I’m his father, Katie is his mother.”

The therapy sessions ended. No one really felt better.

During this period, Jermaine was trying desperately to get on Michael’s good side. The brothers tried to trick Michael into attending therapy by saying there was going to be a “family day.” Jermaine tipped him off that it was a ruse.

Every single time a scandal ­involving Jacko broke, there we were, Jermaine and I, hotfooting it to “The View” or some other talk show.

When Michael dangled his newly acquired 9-month-old son, Blanket, off a hotel-room balcony in November 2002, Jermaine and I went to “old reliable,” Larry King, to defend Michael’s actions.

“Nobody complains about [crocodile hunter] Steve Irwin, who has his small kids around those dangerous animals,” Jermaine said.

Following that appearance, Michael’s assistant called.

Michael wanted to speak with Jermaine. “Don’t do any more television, Jermaine. Tell the family no more. I have this huge, huge television special coming out in February that is going to shock the world and change ­everything,” Michael said.

Ironically, the “huge television special” turned out to be the horrifying Martin Bashir documentary “Living with Michael Jackson,” which ultimately led to the molestation charges.

I remember watching it with great anticipation with Jermaine, Joseph and Katherine, and the looks on their faces were priceless.

When Michael pointed out that he’d rather climb a tree than have sex, Joseph let out a very disapproving groan. When the young accuser leaned against Michael, the warm feelings in the room quickly turned to ice. They knew what was coming.

Katherine’s Letters

And they certainly weren’t surprised by it.

Way back in 1993, when the first public allegations of child molestation surfaced against Michael, sister La Toya accused the rest of her family of being “silent collaborators.”

She said Katherine had written letters to Michael in which she called him a “damn f – – – – t” and knew about payoffs, for as much as $1 million, made out to the parents of one of Michael’s victims.

Katherine and several of her children held a press conference outside Hayvenhurst to denounce La Toya. “She’s trying to sell her brother down the river,” Kath­erine said.

A decade later, Jermaine and I were hanging out at Hayvenhurst in the courtyard near the swimming pool. Katherine emerged from inside the house.

“Jermaine, they got all of our things,” she said. The family had lost a civil judgment over a failed concert tour, and creditors took a storage locker full of memorabilia, including gold records.

“They got the letters, too, and those canceled checks,” Kath­erine said.

Normally I didn’t ask questions, but I had to ask what she was talking about. “The letters,” she said, as if I were supposed to know.

Jermaine completed the sentence for her, “Those letters in which mother called Michael a ­f – – – – t.”

I was stunned. Ten years later, I realized that La Toya really did tell the truth.

“You tell a lie long enough, people will believe it’s true,” Michael once said.

It could be the Jackson motto.

Janet Jackson: Happy Birthday!

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Katherine Jackson: Happy Birthday!

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The Jackson Family: The First Family

A portrait of the Jackson Family circa 1975. Clockwise from left: Tito, Maureen, LaToya, Jermaine, Jackie, Michael, Marion, Stacy Brown (Mr. and Mrs. Jackson’s granddaughter), Janet, Mrs. Jackson, Randy, and Taj (Mr. and Mrs. Jackson’s grandson)norman-hunter-michael-jackson-the-jackson-family-1975_i-G-66-6633-HGVE100Z

JANET JACKSON: EBAY AUCTION!

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Meet Janet Jackson at Cannes Film Festival in France

Travel with a guest to Cannes in the south of France, on May 21, 2013, during the  world renowned Film Festival, and join Janet Jackson as her guest at a  private, exclusive, VIP event benefiting amfAR on May 23rd.

This Package  includes a photograph with Miss Jackson at the VIP event, two business  class Delta Airlines tickets, ground transfers to and from the airport, and four nights at the AC Hotel Ambassador Antibes- Juan les Pins.(Travel dates and times to be confirmed and coordinated by Miss Jackson’s personal travel agent).

SOLD! Auction ended with a winning bid of $20,700

  

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