Throughout the years, the media mainly focused its attention on the life of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and essentially ignored the rest of the Jackson family. This was a huge mistake because the other Jacksons’ lives ran rife with drama and controversy, ripe for the picking. Here’s just a sampling of the issues going on with one of the most dysfunctional families to ever coexist in the music business. We’re going “ABC” through the Jackson family’s deepest and darkest secrets.
TITO JACKSON MAY HAVE AN ILLEGITIMATE DAUGHTER
Ever heard of Tanay Jackson? Well, she’s doing her best to make sure you have by claiming she’s the daughter of Michael’s older brother, Tito Jackson. Tanay, who bills herself as a singer/songwriter/model/fashion designer, claims to be Tito’s illegitimate daughter and Michael’s niece. Meanwhile, the Jackson family says she’s just trying to use their name to make herself famous, which is very likely. Then again, using the family name to boost her career? That sounds like a real Jackson, actually.
According to Radar Online, Tanay insists she has documentation to prove her lineage—a birth certificate with Tito’s name on it—but she refuses to show it, feeling she shouldn’t have to “justify her DNA.” But all the proof we need is that she says she’s Tito’s daughter. Seriously, why would anyone make that up? Besides, you know, the fame and fortune.
JERMAINE JACKSON WAS OBSESSED WITH MICHAEL
It’s probably not too surprising to learn that Jermaine was jealous of his infinitely more famous and younger brother, Michael Jackson (and honestly, who wouldn’t?). But Jermaine’s jealousy probably goes beyond normal. Jackson family friend Stacey Brown told the New York Post that Jermaine ranted about Michael on an almost daily basis, feeling he should have been the one to become rich and famous. But once the complaining about his brother tired him out, Jermaine pulled the two-faced move of defending Michael in public and on talk shows, probably because he didn’t want Michael to cut off his allowance. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” indeed.
JERMAINE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH WHITNEY HOUSTON
Despite the controversies surrounding her final years, Whitney Houston’s death in 2012 was a tragedy. What makes it even more tragic is the fact that Jermaine Jackson used it as an attempt to gain some attention for himself. While it’s true that Jermaine and Houston knew each other and even performed together, the only proof of any kind of an affair the two had comes from Jermaine’s 2011 book, You are Not Alone: Michael Through a Brother’s Eyes (another apparent cash grab on the family name). A source told the Daily Mail, Jermaine left details out of his book to make it look like the two were just friends. However, the source, possibly even prompted by Jermaine’s camp (because dead people can’t issue denials), claims Jermaine’s year-long relationship with Houston was “Burnin’ Hot.”
JERMAINE STOLE HIS YOUNGER BROTHER’S GIRL
Jermaine Jackson wasn’t only jealous of his brother Michael—he also coveted his other younger brother Randy’s girlfriend, Alejandra Oaziaza. According to the New York Post, Randy and Oaziaza dated for several years and had two children together, but that didn’t stop Jermaine from going after her. In addition to wooing her away, Jermaine married Oaziaza in secret and even had children of his own with her. When Randy did eventually confront his older brother about the situation, Jermaine merely “shrugged.” Jermaine later said Randy “needs to get over it.” Just imagine how awkward those family reunions are.
JANET HAS A SECRET LOVE CHILD
Not even Janet, the most innocent of the Jacksons, is without scandal, and we’re not talking about the 2004 wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl. It seems Miss Jackson mothered a child with her first husband, James DeBarge, of the sibling music group DeBarge. Even worse, they sent the little girl, Renee, to live with Janet’s sister Rebbie, according to an interview James’ younger brother, Young DeBarge, had with Hot 97.
According to People magazine, Renee is not Janet’s child, citing the child was born in 1986 or 1987, long after her marriage with DeBarge was annulled. At the same time, Janet has never really denied the rumor. She’s only “had no comment” pertaining to the topic of Renee. Let’s hope Miss Jackson hasn’t made her own daughter cry.
Some of the Jacksons are so hungry for the spotlight, they’re willing to cut out family members for bigger slices of profit and fame. Such is the case for Joh’Vonnie Jackson, shunned half-sister of the Jackson family. The daughter of one of Papa Joe’s affairs, Joh’Vonnie was basically ignored by the rest of the Jacksons for about three decades. Despite the fact that there are numerous Jacksons, she felt shunned most of all by Michael. When she and her daughter Yasmine met him for the first time at Neverland Ranch in 2003, his manner with her was cold and aloof. He was, however, very warm and caring with her daughter. At least he took the time to meet her and didn’t tell her to “Beat It.”
TAJ JACKSON WAS MOLESTED
According to the Daily Mail, Tito Jackson’s son, Taj, was sexually abused by another family member as a child. No, it wasn’t Michael, who was dogged in life by persistent allegations of inappropriate relationships with kids. In fact, according to Taj, the guilty party was an unnamed relative from his mother’s (the late Delores “Dee Dee” Martes) side of the family. It was actually Michael who helped Taj cope with and survive the ordeal, acting as a support system for Taj and his mother. Taj revealed this dark secret in order to defend his deceased uncle against choreographer Wade Robson’s 2013 lawsuit, which claimed the King of Pop molested him repeatedly from the ages of 7 to 14.
MICHAEL HAD A SECRET LOVE CHILD
While numerous people have claimed to be Michael Jackson’s love child in the past, only one of them has any kind of legitimate proof: Brandon Howard. To start, there’s a strong resemblance between Michael and Howard, in both looks and actions. Yet those aren’t the only similarities between the two. According to documents obtained by TMZ, Howard’s DNA came up as a 99.9 percent match with Michael’s. Howard’s mother, Miki Howard, knew Michael back in the early 1980s. Back then, she went by the name Billy, as in—you guessed it—”Billie Jean.” To his credit, Howard did his best to distance himself from all the drama of the Jackson family. But still, an age-old mystery may have finally been solved as to the story behind one of the King of Pop’s greatest songs.