Janet Jackson is a music icon who has defined style, dance and music trends throughout her decades-long career as an entertainer! But the youngest member of the Jackson dynasty hasn’t had a life free of shocking scandals! And from her love child drama with her ex-husband James DeBarge to her hidden marriages and major health troubles, we’ve gathered all of Ms. Jackson’s biggest secrets!
One of Jackson’s biggest secrets to be exposed was her shocking pregnancy that was revealed in April 2016! The news came after the signer’s successful return to the charts in 2015 with her 11th studio album, Unbreakable, and the project’s Unbreakable World Tour!
Though the album was released without any hitches, the Unbreakable World Tour ran into some big problems after a pretty drama-free kickoff in August 2015. The first signs of trouble came when Jackson was forced to cancel a few show dates in October 2015, saying that her doctor ordered her to go on vocal rest. She then announced in December 2015 that she would be postponing several more dates of the tour due to a secret medical problem. “Hey you guys…Happy Holidays to each and every one of you! I need you to know, I learned today, from my doctors that I must have surgery soon,” Jackson wrote in the post about the cancellations. “It breaks my heart to tell you that I am forced to postpone the Unbreakable Tour until the spring. Please pray for me, my family and our entire company during this difficult time…There will be no further comment.”
The postponements in December sparked talk that the music legend possibly had cancer, with a source telling RadarOnline.com that doctors “found a growth on Janet’s vocal cords that could be serious” and it was “a medical condition that has to be taken care of immediately.” Jackson eventually spoke out to address the cancer rumors, saying that she did not have cancer. After her recovery she returned to the stage to begin rehearsals for the European leg of her world tour in February 2016. But by March, the singer again announced she would be canceling those dates as well!
Questions swirled for weeks about what forced Jackson to again halt her tour. But by April, an answer appeared to be presented when the singer made the announcement that she was putting her tour on pause indefinitely since she and her husband, Wissam Al Mana, were preparing to start their family. And it was soon revealed by Entertainment Toinght that Jackson was actually pregnant with her first child!
But her baby news lead to the reveal of another major scandal, her ex-husband DeBarge’s admission that he believed that the singer secretly had a child during their very short marriage in back in the ‘80s. In an interview with RadarOnline.com, DeBarge said that he had reconnected with a woman who claimed to be his and Jackson’s daughter and that he and his family had always believed that Jackson secretly gave birth to their child. “Someone had contacted me. She spoke to me by email,” he said. “The first time was two years ago. I have not been able to directly see her face-to-face.” He said that woman “suggested” that they take a paternity test, but they have yet to go through with the procedure due to his fears. He added that when the woman reached out to him, she claimed to be Jackson’s daughter. “She did but without saying [it],” he said. “She was angry because another child was trying to come forward and say that she was our child. So she did out of anger.” DeBarge added that he had earlier done his own search for a possible secret daughter. “I hadn’t known [that Janet had a baby]… not for sure,” he said. “I went on a search. Someone went through some serious changes to make it impossible for me to find. This had to be some serious inside work being done with the paperwork."
All three of Jackson’s marriages have also been shrouded in mystery! She eloped with DeBarge in 1984, but it was annulled very quickly after, with the secret baby rumors being sparked in the fallout of their failed union! She went on to remarry to her good friend René Elizondo Jr. in 1991, with their marriage remaining a secret until Elizondo filed for divorce from the singer in 1999! Speaking to Rolling Stone about the marriage, Jackson said she made the decision to hide their union in order “to have a normal family life . . . Since I was a child, my personal life has been lived in the public eye. At times, this has been very difficult. I hope my fans will understand." Despite the two having a prenup, Elizondo — who wrote songs for Jackson’s albums and directed several of her music videos — went on to sue Jackson for spousal support. He claimed he had been forced to sign the prenup. And according to reports, the singer ended up paying her ex an estimated $10 million in their final settlement.
And even her 2012 wedding to her third husband and the father of her first child, Al Mana, was kept a secret until the duo confirmed their marriage in February 2013. According to reports, the two first met in Dubai in 2010 at a hotel opening. They went on to marry in Qatar in a ceremony the couple described to Entertainment Tonight as “a quiet, private, and beautiful."
Jackson also made a pretty shocking confession during her appearance on Anderson in 2012, saying that she first encountered drugs during her visits to the legendary Studio 54 nightclub with her older brother Michael Jackson! “[I] used to go to [Studio] 54 a lot,” Jackson told Anderson’s host Anderson Cooper. “I would be on hiatus from Good Times and my mother said, ‘What do you want to do?’ and I would say, ‘I want to go to New York and visit Mike.'” She added with a chuckle, “I was 10 … at 54 dancing. You know it was the first time I ever saw drugs. I couldn’t figure out why people were putting flour up their nose. I thought that was the stupidest thing.”
Another forgotten health scare Jackson faced was her battle with migraines back in 2008. After canceling several tour dates while completing her Rock Witchu Tour in 2008, Jackson revealed that she had been suffering from rare vestibular migraines, which are associated with vertigo. "Janet wanted very much to resume her tour so as not to disappoint her fans, but she continued to suffer from vertigo and could not perform," Jackson's manager, Kenneth Crear, said in a statement on her condition. And many of Jackson’s fans cited her past issues with migraines as a possible reason for Janet’s early postponements of her Unbreakable World Tour! What do you think about Janet’s career scandals and secrets? Tweet us @OKMagazine or let us know in the comments section.