by Karu F. Daniels
Throughout the years, weâ€™ve seen La Toya Jackson morph from a near silent member of one of the most vocally gifted music dynasties to a take-no-prisoners, sex-charged rebel childâ€”spilling family secrets in the process. Nowadays, sheâ€™s deep in the reality TV zeitgeist, battling it out viciously with the genreâ€™s biggest vixens, Omarosa Manigault and NeNe Leakes on The Celebrity Apprentice, and exposing all of her idiosyncrasies on her new series Life with La Toya on Oprahâ€™s OWN network. Here, the 57-year-oldâ€”who in the 80s was sexy with serpents before Britney and wearing signature headbands before Frank Oceanâ€”speaks openly about being labeled â€œinsane,â€ enduring domestic abuse, Ms. Winfrey, and her connection to Anna Nicole Smith.
The biggest misconception about me isâ€¦that â€œSheâ€™s insane.â€ I think itâ€™s an easy way out for peopleâ€”if they donâ€™t know what to say about you, thatâ€™s the word they throw out. Iâ€™ve heard them say Madonna was. I donâ€™t pay any attention to it.
My ex-manager/husbandâ€¦would say, â€œNobody loves their brother like that. You act like heâ€™s God.â€ And thatâ€™s when he went on a mission to go against him, and the only way he could do it was to threaten that he would kill him if I didnâ€™t do what he wanted me to do.
After suffering domestic abuseâ€¦I went to therapy for a day. I felt that I could do this on my own because I believe in the power that resides within me. I wanted to do it my way [asking] myself: â€œWhat made this person beat me?â€ â€œWhat made this person make me go out and say things against my family when I was nothing but kind and nice to this person?â€ The only conclusion that I came up with is basically his childhood. I started doing research and I found out so many things about his family background.
Oprahâ€¦was perfect to partner with. Sheâ€™ll allow us our freedom to do whatever we want to do. She doesnâ€™t intervene, she doesnâ€™t say, â€œNo, you canâ€™t do that, you canâ€™t do this.â€ Sheâ€™s Oprah!
Michaelâ€¦myself and my friend Kathy Hilton, all said weâ€™d name our kids Prince and Paris. They both ended up having children and were able to name their kids. I didnâ€™t have any, so Prince is the name of my Pomeranian.
Iâ€™ve always said noâ€¦to reality shows. In the very beginning, when Anna Nicole [Smith] had her show, they desperately wanted that to be my show. I wasnâ€™t ready for it. Eventually, I thought, â€œPeople need to know me and get to know me for who I am,â€ and thatâ€™s when I decided that itâ€™s time.
Godâ€¦I believe I have a special bond with Him; I donâ€™t believe in organized religion where you have to actually be there three times a week. I did it my way.