Janet Jackson has reacted to wild rumors that she had a baby with her ex-husband James DeBarge and kept it a secret in the 1980s. Janet in her upcoming two-night documentary, which begins Friday night on Lifetime, and A&E denies that she ever had a child from her first marriage.
Here is what Janet had to say about that via Daily Mail:
Instead, she blames the rumors of a secret child on vicious chit-chat over her weight gain on the set of NBC’s fame, which she attributes to starting a new birth control regimen.
‘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,’ Jackson says in an interview for the documentary.
According to her, rumors began spreading when she joined the NBC series Fame for its fourth season. A lot of the kids thought I was pregnant, ’cause I had gained weight and I had started taking birth control pills,’ said the singer, who appeared on a single season as the high school student Cleo Hewitt.
‘And back then, you could pick up weight taking them, and that’s what happened to me, so that rumor started going around,’ she added. Debbie Allen, who played a lead faculty member on the series set in a performing arts high school in New York City, also noticed the rumors spreading on set.
‘These were rumors that were just flying around, honey, like hash in a diner,’ recalled the 72-year-old actress, dancer and director. ‘Where was the baby? Nobody saw a baby. I mean, she was there with us all day, every day. Where was the baby?’
Jackson recalled the rumors taking on a particularly cruel tone when whisperers began roping in her family. ‘First they were saying my niece Brandi was my daughter and that I gave her to [my brother] Jackie to raise,’ the Nasty singer recounted. ‘And then because [my brother] Randy’s daughter looks so much like me, they started saying it was Stevanna.
‘I was just incredibly innocent,’ she added tearfully. ‘It’s just, to me, hurtful for someone to see that and just try to take advantage of it.’
See even before social media, rumors could get pretty wild.
Flip to the next page for a video about the rumor.