by Karu F. Daniels
Throughout the years, we’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 child—spilling family secrets in the process. Nowadays, she’s deep in the reality TV zeitgeist, battling it out viciously with the genre’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 Oprah’s OWN network. Here, the 57-year-old—who in the 80s was sexy with serpents before Britney and wearing signature headbands before Frank Ocean—speaks openly about being labeled “insane,” enduring domestic abuse, Ms. Winfrey, and her connection to Anna Nicole Smith.
The biggest misconception about me is…that “She’s insane.” I think it’s an easy way out for people—if they don’t know what to say about you, that’s the word they throw out. I’ve heard them say Madonna was. I don’t pay any attention to it.
My ex-manager/husband…would say, “Nobody loves their brother like that. You act like he’s God.” And that’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 didn’t do what he wanted me to do.
After suffering domestic abuse…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: “What made this person beat me?” “What made this person make me go out and say things against my family when I was nothing but kind and nice to this person?” 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.
Oprah…was perfect to partner with. She’ll allow us our freedom to do whatever we want to do. She doesn’t intervene, she doesn’t say, “No, you can’t do that, you can’t do this.” She’s Oprah!
Michael…myself and my friend Kathy Hilton, all said we’d name our kids Prince and Paris. They both ended up having children and were able to name their kids. I didn’t have any, so Prince is the name of my Pomeranian.
I’ve always said no…to reality shows. In the very beginning, when Anna Nicole [Smith] had her show, they desperately wanted that to be my show. I wasn’t ready for it. Eventually, I thought, “People need to know me and get to know me for who I am,” and that’s when I decided that it’s time.
God…I believe I have a special bond with Him; I don’t believe in organized religion where you have to actually be there three times a week. I did it my way.