Janet Jackson Talks Secret Marriage, Whitney Houston & Seeing Drugs For The First Time on Anderson Cooper
At 45, Janet Jackson still looks amazing and seems to be getting better with age! She was a special guest on ‘Anderson’ to help media personality Anderson Cooper celebrate the 100th episode of his daytime talk show. While there, she chatted about why she chose to keep her marriage to James Debarge a secret in the early 90′s, as well as seeing crack for the first time at age 11. She also dished on Whitney Houston, why she and her brothers never called their father ‘Dad’ and her self-esteem issues throughout the years. Check out the excerpts:
On Why she never called her father ‘Dad’
I never asked why and I just left it as it is. When our parents tell us something you don’t question it. It is what it is and you just leave it alone because if you don’t, it’s going to go to another level that you don’t want it to go to. So I left it at that but I never asked my other brothers and sisters why they didn’t call him “Dad”. Well, I tried one day to call him “Dad” but he said “My name is Joesph; you call me Joseph. I’m Joseph to you.”
On Why She Kept Her Marriage A Secret
We just kept it private. It was just a very private thing. We never told anyone. Only one or two people in the family knew, and we kind of ran off and did it… for the wrong reasons. We definitely loved each other but it was more of a saving… thinking you could save someone.
On having body image issues at a very young age
I remember I was getting dressed for the very very first episode -my first time away from my family- and as the wardrobe lady was dressing me, she said ‘I have to put bandages around your chest because your breast are too [big]“. I developed at a young age and I immediately thought, ‘as I am isn’t good enough’. And it was told to me the next season, just before we started, the producers called and told me I was too heavy. I needed to lose weight. I wasn’t a heavy kid..
[Michael] use to call me names. I had lots of names. I had ‘horse’, ‘cow’, ‘pig’, ‘donk short for donkey’. It’s a nickname that will forever stick with me but I don’t mind it at all. It can affect kids differently. For myself, it was very painful but I never told anyone. I would talk to my dogs. I would crawl into the bushes were they were to hide and I would talk to them and talk to God.
On Whitney Houston as a performer
Incredible. She was known as ‘The Voice’ and when she would open her mouth and this instrument would come out and you would obviously understand why. She was such a sweet, sweet soul especially back in the late 80s; early 90s is when I connected with Whitney the most. It doesn’t matter if we were doing an award show, we would always take the time out to find one another. Either she would come to my dressing room to say hey and I would be in make-up or I would find her to say hey in her dressing room. We would always find time to talk to one another. She was such a sweet soul.
On seeing drugs for the first time
I use to go to [Studio] 54 a lot when I would be on hiatus from ‘Good Times.’ My mother said, “What do you want to do” and I said, “I want to go to New York and visit Mike.” She’d come out; mother and I and we would go to [Studio] 54. I was 10 or 11 years old at 54 dancing.
It was the first time I had ever seen drugs. I couldn’t figure out why people were putting flour up their noises. I thought that was the stupidest thing.
I really can’t understand why her mother would take her to 54 but that’s Hollywood I guess. Later in the show, Janet surprised a dance team who thought they were dancing off against a Madonna dance team. Their reactions when she walked out on stage was priceless. I think Janet is such a sweetheart.