Janet Jackson says Michael’s legacy will live on
Janet Jackson isn’t worried about her brother Michael’s legacy.
“It will continue. I love it when I see kids emulating him, when adults still listen to his music,” she recently told the UK newspaper The Sunday Times. “It just lets you know the impact that my family has had on the world.”
It’s been months since the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” reignited debate over whether the “King of Pop” was a predatory pedophile.
Michael Jackson, who died in 2009 at 50, maintained his innocence when he was alive in the face of public allegations he molested two boys during separate incidents in 1993 and 2003.
Jackson settled out of court with the 1993 accuser and was acquitted in the other case.
“Leaving Neverland” chronicles allegations by James Safechuck and Wade Robson that Jackson sexually abused them over a period of several years when they were children.
Jackson was never charged with any crimes related to Safechuck and Robson.
After the documentary aired in March, Jackson’s family condemned it, calling it a “public lynching” and Jackson’s accusers “admitted liars,” in reference to sworn statements both Safechuck and Robson made while Jackson was alive that he did not molest them.
In her interview with The Sunday Times, Janet Jackson didn’t specifically mention the documentary or allegations, but she did speak of her brother’s and her family’s impact on the world.
“I hope I’m not sounding arrogant in any way — I’m just stating what is,” she said. “It’s really all God’s doing, and I’m just thankful for that.”
Jackson also discussed her career, growing up in the Jackson family and the joys of becoming a mother at the age of 50.
Her son, Eissa, with former husband Wissam Al Mana, is 2 years old now and an inspiration to the singer, she said.
“I’ve slowed down a great deal. I don’t rehearse as many hours as I used to because of being with my baby,” she told the newspaper. “My days have been cut in half so I can spend that time with him.”
Not that the recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee isn’t busy.
She’s got a residency in Las Vegas, and a very different life from what she envisioned when as a teen she told her father, Joe Jackson, she wanted to attend law school.
The elder Jackson managed his children’s careers for a time, and there was no looking back after he discovered his youngest daughter could sing.
“I told him I wanted to go to school and study business law. I really wanted to make my way by acting,” Janet Jackson told the paper. “That was how I was going to pay for my schooling. He felt that God had a different path for me.”
Joe Jackson was known to be a strict disciplinarian, and his youngest daughter has said she was never allowed to call him “Dad.”
He died last summer, and it sounds as if Janet Jackson hailed him in the interview for what he did for the family.
“My father saw a way out for his children,” she said. “A better life. And thank God for that.”