La Toya Jackson Thinks Her Brother Michael Was Murdered
La Toya Jackson's latest book, Starting Over, was recently released in paperback. It began as a vehicle to tell the story of breaking free of her abusive husband and getting a second chance at life. But in the middle of writing it, her brother Michael Jackson passed away unexpectedly, and the story took a turn.
Pat Lyttle / Retna / Ja-Tail Enterprises La Toya Jackson, hiding bruises.
The book still contains a detailed account of La Toya's adult life, including the years she spent under the tight control of ex-husband and manager Jack Gordon, how he tore her away from her family, manipulated her and allegedly nearly killed her, until she finally escaped him. But it also details Michael's role in that tumultuous relationship, as well as struggles he encountered late in life, and the events surrounding his eventual death. La Toya claims Michael was murdered, a fact she discusses with us below, in somewhat cryptic detail.
So much has been said about your family, so much has been written about your family.... What does it mean to you to speak for yourself?
I think that when you do it yourself, you write the book, people look at it and know your story. Know your truth. Everybody has their own truth. This is my own story, my own truth, and I wanted to share it with the world. I didn't wish to see anyone else go through anything like what I've gone through. I think if I can help save a life and explain what I had gone through, it's well worth it.
You mention you had a special relationship with Michael. Back when you were little, what was that special connection like?
That was a gold bond. It really was. We dressed alike, we did everything together. My brothers, they would say, 'Why do you guys always have to be together? Why do you always have to dress alike?' And we'd come down the stairs together. Whenever guests would come over Michael would say, 'Let's put on these sweaters!' and we would match and the whole bit.
But it was a natural close bond because we had so many things in common. And I think that's something that you can never break. That's something I cherish. I look back at it now and it means more to me today than it did then, because it was just us.
But now that he's no longer here, for me to share those moments with him, I have to share them mentally, in reminiscing.
You're known to be a pretty spiritual person, and from the book, you say that Michael predicted a lot of things that ended up coming true. Do you think he had psychic abilities?
Well, we were spiritual in the sense of God Jehovah Witness. [Laughs.] It was something we were just religiously so devoted to, Michael and I, growing up. Nothing could really break us from that. It's something people just couldn't understand. They'd say, 'Why are you guys so religious? But yet you're in show business. Don't you want to go out and do this and that?'
But we remained steadfast. We just loved reading the Bible and things of that nature. When we were in school we'd sit out on the lawn, and everybody would play basketball, and Michael and I would read the Bible. [Laughs.] We'd put a blanket down and sit down and read the Bible. We're spiritual in that sense, but anything else as far as psychic abilities, no.
Children were very important to Michael, which perhaps stemmed from abuses he suffered as a child. Do you think that was the case?