Move over Kardashians. The Jackson family holds the title for the most interesting family in pop culture history. Even though Michael Jackson has been gone for almost a decade, we still are in awe of the absolute weirdness that is the Jackson family. From their outwardly abusive father to Michael’s questionable behavior, we can’t help but wonder what on earth went on behind closed doors. With their humble beginnings starting in the town of Gary, Indiana, the Jackson family grew and grew into one of the most famously odd families ever.
The Jackson family consists of parents, Joe and Katherine and their nine children—Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Michael, Randy, and Janet. Each of the Jackson family members has been involved in the music industry and the limelight on and off over the years, complete with plenty of scandal and shocking behavior. And don’t forget about the Jackson family grand kids and handful of alleged illegitimate children in the mix.
While it’s easy to scoff at the Jackson family and wonder how they became so strange and sometimes laughable, we have to remember that the Jackson children have really been through a lot over the years. Due to the constant physical abuse and intense fame the Jackson family endured throughout their entire lives, it’s not all that surprising that their adult lives have become riddled with bizarre behavior and poor life choices. While not all the Jackson family members hold dirty laundry, here is a list of some of the darkest secrets the Jackson family has been trying to hide after all these years.
15. Jermaine’s Affair With Whitney Houston
Being that the Jackson family has ties to just about anyone who’s anyone in the music business, it’s no surprise to hear about a secret affair or two. While no one has come out and said it for sure, we’re pretty convinced that Jermaine Jackson was seeing the late singing legend, Whitney Houston, on the side. Jermaine was married to his wife Hazel Gordy at the time the alleged affair took place. While the affair only lasted for a year, the two remained in each other’s lives for years.
The affair didn’t get much attention until Whitney Houston passed away in 2012, so she’s never publicly spoken about her relationship with the Jackson 5 member. However, her song “Saving All My Love” pretty much says it all. The hit is supposedly about her affair with Jermaine. While we still don’t know the details of the affair, La Toya Jackson has spoken openly on it. To this day, Jermaine won’t admit that they were more than friends.
14. Molestation Within The Family
Unfortunately, physical and s*xual abuse seem to be a recurring theme in multiple generations of the Jackson family. In Tito Jackson‘s son’s case, the molestation came from within the family. Taj Jackson came out publicly about the abuse that he suffered from the hands of a family member from his mother’s side. Taj sought solace with an unlikely family member—Michael Jackson, a man notorious for taking heat about his alleged s*xual abuse toward young boys. Apparently, Michael helped Taj deal with his pain that resulted from the abuse and was an important part of his healing. Taj spoke openly about his uncle’s help while defending him against Michael’s molestation allegations.
13. Incessant Physical Abuse
The Jackson 5 were known for their incredible stage presence and extreme professionalism. Unfortunately, their precision and focus was a product of relentless abuse from their father and manager, Joseph “Joe” Jackson. While most of us have heard about the abuse before, the details of what the boys went through aren’t talked about as much. Michael was known to become physically ill around his father due to his incredible fear of getting hurt by him and would oftentimes faint or vomit in the middle of practice. All of the band members referred to their dad by his first name, Joseph, as a sign of respect. Totally normal, right? Wrong.
Joe would oftentimes beat Michael and his brothers with belts, tree branches, or just about anything he could get his hands on. Michael was once late for rehearsal which led Joe to push him into a drum set and beat him up. Joe completely stole any kind of childhood Michael could have had and scared him enough to prohibit him from ever trying. Michael would oftentimes cry on the way to shows and rehearsals thinking about the childhood activities he never got to take part in.
12. The Other Jackson Brother That Died At Birth
What would the world have been like with ten Jackson children? Well, probably not too different. We’re pretty used to all nine personalities. Apparently, there were almost ten Jackson children, but sadly, one of them passed away at just one day old. Marlon Jackson, the sixth Jackson child, was actually a twin. The two were both born prematurely and only Marlon made it home from the hospital. We honestly don’t ever hear much about Brandon, who would have been the seventh Jackson child. But at Michael Jackson’s funeral, his brother, Marlon, sweetly asked Michael to say ‘hi’ to their brother Brandon in heaven.
11. Michael’s Molestation Accusations Left The Family Divided
Michael Jackson was known for his incredible voice, innovative dance moves, and his undeniable talent as a music artist. Unfortunately, Michael also made headlines for allegedly abusing young boys. Over the years, Micheal caught the public’s attention when he would openly talk about his relationships with various pubescent boys and how he would spend time with them. It all kind of made sense given Micheal’s twisted, abusive upbringing. Some families eventually came forward and alleged that Michael was actually molesting their sons when they visited his home, The Neverland Ranch.
While the news of Micheal possibly being an abuser turned the world upside down, his family wasn’t all on the same page when it came to his innocence. Most of his family defended Michael, claiming he would never do such an awful thing. However, siblings like La Toya Jackson spoke openly about him being an abuser. After Michael’s death, however, La Toya admitted that her overbearing husband at the time forced her to say Michael wasn’t innocent. But in earlier years, La Toya claimed she knew about a 1-million-dollar check used as hush money to one of Michael’s alleged victims. Sounds pretty fishy if you ask us.
10. Perverted Behavior
Michael was forced to be an adult as early as nine years old, thanks to his fame from The Jackson 5. Michael was significantly younger than the rest of his brothers in the band and was exposed to the “s*x, drugs, and rock n’ roll” lifestyle extremely early on. Apparently, the Jackson brothers would go out partying late while Michael was asleep in his hotel room. His brothers would oftentimes bring girls back to the hotel and have s*x with them right next to Michael who would be pretending to be asleep. We can’t help but think being exposed to that at such a young age would really screw him up in the long run.
9. Keeping Their Mouths Shut About Michael’s Appearance
Over the years, we all couldn’t help but notice Michael’s drastic change in appearance. With each passing decade, Michael’s body would change; most notably, his skin tone. Michael defended this change by claiming to have Vitiligo, a condition that causes the skin to lose its pigment as one gets older. However, Michael enhanced this change by using bleaching cream and altering his appearance with surgeries. Michael and his family would deny that he had any cosmetic surgery but it was very clear that his body had been augmented. After Michael’s passing, his autopsy revealed that he did have plastic surgery and had multiple tattoos on his face.
8. The Family’s Secret Escape Plan For Michael
After years of hearing rumors about Michael’s alleged s*xual advances on underage boys, he was finally put on trial in 2005. Michael was put on trial against 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo and his family who claimed was molested by the King of Pop. To make matters worse, a documentary that showed Michael talking about his life on his Neverland Ranch was released, leading many to believe that he was far from innocent.
During all this commotion and uncertainty, Michael’s family decided to construct an escape plan for Michael, in case he was convicted of the molestation charges. Jermaine actually had a private jet on standby, ready to sweep Jackson away to Bahrain, a small Middle Eastern country that he would be protected by since the U.S. couldn’t legally extract him from there. Michael was later acquitted on all 14 counts against him and never had to escape into the night. If he had been convicted, would his family have been able to really pull the escape stunt off?
7. Jermaine’s “Jerk” Tendencies
Jermaine Jackson seems to always be chasing after something he doesn’t have. He’s always wished he was as successful as Michael Jackson and had envied his fame and fortune for years. But it didn’t stop with Michael. Jermaine had the audacity to steal a woman away from his own brother, Randy Jackson. While Randy was away on business, Jermaine was quick to swoop in on his long time girlfriend, Alejandra Oaziaza, despite the fact that she and his brother had a couple of young children together.
Eventually, Jermaine actually married Alejandra without telling any of the family members and they even had three kids together! Needless to say, the brothers suffered quite a rift and were never close again. Jermaine and Alejandra divorced just before their ten-year anniversary.
6. Family Members Had To Take A Number
Michael Jackson was extremely secretive. He was afraid of being recorded and saying anything off the record. We can understand that being so famous would make Michael want to stay away from strangers hungry for a story. But what about his family? According to close friends of the family, Michael would actually make his own family members schedule official appointments just to see him. That means if Janet, Tito, or Jermaine were to show up at Michael’s door unannounced, they would be turned away. The only family member that Michael allowed to come to his home any time was his mother.
While some of the family respected Michael’s wishes, other siblings didn’t take it well. Michael’s younger brother, Randy, actually drove his car into his security gates after being told he couldn’t enter. He was then asked to leave. Ouch!
5. Some Family Members Think Michael Was Murdered
In June of 2009, Michael Jackson died of an alleged accidental overdose of a handful of drugs administered by his personal doctor, Conrad Murray….or did he? To this day, many of Michael’s family members strongly believe that Michael was actually murdered with intent. Even Michael’s daughter, Paris Jackson, who normally stays out of the limelight, came out to Rolling Stone Magazine about her belief on the matter. When talking about her deceased father, Paris admitted, “He would drop hints about people being out to get him.” Paris went on to explain how Michael’s death was an obvious setup and couldn’t believe that Murray got away with the short sentence he did. Michael’s sister, La Toya, also came out publicly to speak about Michael’s death and how she believes he was murdered.
4. The Shunned Jackson Family Member
While most of the Jackson family members were somewhat close (on and off) and in each other’s lives for the most part, there was one half-sibling that was pretty much ignored by the entire family. That’s probably because she was the Jackson kids’ half-sibling. Joh’vonnie Jackson was allegedly a secret love child of daddy Joe Jackson and his mistress of 25 years…yes, 25 years! Joh’vonnie even wrote a tell-all book talking about her bad experiences trying to get to know the family over the years. Joe’s wife obviously wasn’t thrilled about Joh’vonnie and often called her the “bastard child.” Over the years, Joh’vonnie would attend various Jackson shows and concerts but would never get the chance to speak to any of her half-siblings.
In 2003, Joh’vonnie and her daughter, Yasmine, finally got to meet Michael at his Neverland Ranch. Michael was apparently cold to Joh’vonnie and didn’t seem very interested in getting to know her. Not surprisingly, Michael did warm up pretty quickly to her child, Yasmine.
3. Jermaine’s Creepy Obsession With His Brothers
There’s no doubt about it. Michael Jackson as a child (and as an adult for that matter) was a force to be reckoned with. His insane talent was undeniable and it was easy to imagine people becoming jealous of his raw magnitude. Michael’s older brother, Jermaine, grew more and more jealous of Michael over the years. But when Michael became a whole new level of famous in the 80’s and 90’s, Jermaine’s envy grew too. Jermaine would often rant to friends and family about how he should have been the one who was rich and famous instead of Michael. Jermaine has always envied Michael’s money and although he talks about him in adoration, there’s always a jealous undertone that’s easy to notice.
2. “She Says I Am The One; But the Kid Is Not My Son”
We all know the famous lyrics to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and can sing the song at the drop of a hat. But it never occurred to us that the song is actually a true story about Michael and his supposed illegitimate son. Apparently, Miki Howard or “Billie” as her friends called her, was very close to Michael in the 80’s. Decades later, Miki’s son, Brandon Howard, came forward claiming that Michael was actually his father. It’s easy to assume this kid probably wanted to earn a buck off his 15 minutes of fame, but we have to admit that after looking at his picture, he is the spitting image of Michael. After taking a DNA sample of a 30-year-old dental impression that belonged to Michael, it was determined that there was a 99% chance of Michael being Brandon’s father. Will we ever know for sure?
1. A Completely Loveless Marriage
It’s hard to imagine being married to an abusive, evil guy like Joe Jackson. The man was obsessed with making his children famous and getting rich, and in doing so, even stooped to low levels like beating his children. We have to think his wife, Katherine Jackson, was extremely unhappy in the marriage and wonder how she stayed with him for so long.
Apparently, Katherine actually tried to divorce Joe two different times, but couldn’t ever go through with it. The first time Katherine tried to divorce Joe was when Michael was only fifteen. But due to advice from her church, Katherine decided to stick it out and be there for her children. Less than ten years later, Katherine learned of Joe’s affair and attempted to divorce the man again only to be convinced by outside sources to hold off. To this day, the two are still married but don’t live together anymore.
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