LaToya Jackson

[EXCLUSIVE] Latoya Jackson Starts Over After Years of Extreme Abuse

The fifth sibling of the famous Jackson clan talks her best-selling book Starting Over, and how she manages to keep the faith after a violent marriage, and losing her brother, Michael

Kelley L. Carter

by Kelley L. Carter, June 12, 2012

LaToya Jackson

Latoya Jackson starts over

to God: ‘Please free me from this situation.” But I didn’t want to harm anybody in my family and get them involved. So that breakaway moment was when G [Jack Gordon] had an offer for me to do pornography. And they had offered him several millions of dollars and he said, ‘I’ve used you up, there’s nothing else left to do but pornography and you’re doing it.’ And I said, ‘please don’t do this to me, please don’t. You’ve destroyed me. Please don’t make me do this, please.’ And he said, ‘you’re doing it whether you like it or not.’ That’s when I asked for my passport. Then, of course, a beating came, because I wasn’t allowed to have a passport, keys to the homes, nothing. And once I got the passport I was courageous enough. I picked up the phone and said, ‘If you don’t give it to me, I’m calling the cops right now.’ I don’t know where that strength came from, but it came. And that’s when he beat me with a Coca-Cola bottle for doing that and when he got in the shower, I picked up my phonebook and I turned to the ‘J’s and the first Jackson that I found, I called and that was Randy. He answered the phone, and he put my mother and father on the phone and they said, ‘You go get your sister right now. Get on the plane right now and get her.’ And that’s when Randy came and I kept my pajamas on so it didn’t look like I was going somewhere. Because he normally would lock me in.

EBONY: Oh my gosh.

LJ: Oh yeah, especially in France, because the keys, you can lock a person in and he would just lock me in the house. So the fact that Randy came as soon as he came, I ran and we got on the plane and then I was free.

EBONY: That’s horrific.  What type of feedback have you gotten?

LJ: All the response is absolutely wonderful, and it makes me feel so good to know that people are reading the stories, reading about the life and maybe this will make a difference in their life.

EBONY: That has to feel amazing.

LJ: You know, it does. I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through, because there’s something that happens when they control you—mentally brain wash you—and make you think that you have to do these things or else.

EBONY: What’s life like for you now, LaToya?

LJ: Life is absolutely wonderful. It is absolutely wonderful. You have absolutely no idea. When I left him, he begged for me to come back and he says, ‘I’m coming to get you. You’ll be back, you’ll see. I’ll give you all your money; I won’t steal anything from you.’ He controlled everything. I didn’t see one penny when I was with him. And he said, ‘I will treat you with respect’ and I said, ‘It’s too late. It’s over.’ I got a restraining order. When I escaped, I became very analytical and I wanted to know what made him do the things he did to me. What made him treat me this way? When I was a strict about Jehovah’s Witness, knew nothing about life, and this guy just saw this innocent character and said, ‘I wanna take advantage of her,’ and that’s what he did.

EBONY: Last time we talked, you were picking up your brother’s philanthropic efforts. Are you still doing that?

LJ: Oh yes, I’m definitely still working with different organizations. I’m working with his charity, but I’m also … trying to make a difference for bullying. I’m against that, because to me bullying is nothing but a form of abuse. In July, I’ll be going to Washington D.C. to the legislature to make sure all that is taken care of.

EBONY: And how is the family doing? Now that the court case is over, are you all finding peace? Or is there more work to be done?

LJ: Oh no, there is so much more work to be done. You have absolutely no idea. And of course there are cases that are ongoing that you guys probably don’t really hear about in the news as much. Everything gets delayed, but in September, we deal with AEG, the wrongful death (suit) with my mother, she filed that. And it’s been a nightmare all around. But we’re all moving with that and moving through it all.

EBONY: What’s keeping you guys strong through this time period?

LJ: I think believing in faith and also his kids, making sure everything’s going well with them. They are very healthy, and they’re doing very good.

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