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Janet Jackson Shuts Down Long Standing Rumors She Had A Secret Child With Ex-Husband James DeBarge: 'I Could Never'

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Jan. 26 2022, Published 5:58 p.m. ET

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Janet Jackson has shut down a decades long rumor.

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In the new two-night Lifetime and A&E documentary Janet — the superstar, 55, flat out denies that she ever had a secret child with former husband James DeBarge in the 80's.

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“I could never keep a child away from James. How could I keep a child from their father?" Jackson stated via Page Six. "I could never do that. That’s not right."

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During the special — set to air on January 28th and 29th — the actress explained that she believes the pregnancy claims began to spread in 1984 while she was playing the role of Cleo Hewitt during season 4 of NBC’s Fame.

“A lot of the kids thought I was pregnant ’cause I had gained weight and I had started taking birth control pills,” Jackson explained. “And back then, you could pick up weight taking them, and that’s what happened to me, so that rumor started going around.”

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Costar Debbie Allen — who played dance teacher Lydia Grant — backed up the "Control" singer's statements. “These were rumors that were just flying around, honey, like hash in a diner,” the 72-year-old choreographer said.

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“Where was the baby? Nobody saw a baby. I mean, she was there with us all day, every day. Where was the baby?" Allen added.

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Jackson and DeBarge eloped in September 1984 when the Poetic Justice star was only 18-years-old. The former couple's marriage ended in November 1985 after she found out that the R&B/soul singer, currently 58, was dabbling in drugs.

“I was just incredibly innocent,” Jackson explains while bursting into tears. “It’s just, to me, hurtful for someone to see that and just try to take advantage of it.”

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The Grammy Award winner officially became a mother in January 2017 when she gave birth to her son Eissa with her then husband, billionaire businessman Wissam Al Mana. The couple split three months after their son's birth.

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