Janet Jackson is a living legend… period! And the two-part ‘JANET’ documentary that aired on Friday and Saturday only further solidified her icon status, making her one of the greatest entertainers of all time.
The documentary took us on a wild ride throughout Janet Jackson’s decades-long career, including growing up in the famous Jackson family, dealing with her strict father Joe Jackson, and rising to fame as simply Janet. The documentary also took us from her musical debut to her marriages and divorces, to the infamous 2004 “Nipplegate” scandal, and finally to where she is today as a successful wife, mother, and icon. And while the documentary reinforced what we already knew about Janet, that she’s incredibly talented, creative and an overall musical genius, there were some things we learned about the queen of pop that we didn’t know before the documentary’s airing. Let’s revisit five things we learned from ‘JANET.’
1. There is no secret baby.
For decades, fans have speculated that Janet Jackson and her first husband, James DeBarge, had a secret baby in the 1980s and that the baby was being raised by her sister. The documentary addressed those rumors with Janet herself sharing how she felt the rumors were absurd at the time. “I could never keep a child away from James,” the youngest Jackson sibling said. “How could I keep a child from their father? I could never do that, that’s not right.” She also explained how many fans thought she was pregnant while filming Fame because she gained weight due to taking birth control at the time.
Guess fans can finally put that rumor to rest: there is no secret baby!
2. The mystery hands in the infamous Rolling Stone cover belong to Janet’s second husband, René Elizondo Jr.
Fans have also always wondered whose hands were covering the pop star when she posed topless on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine back in the early 1990s. Well, the documentary finally revealed that those hands belonged to Janet’s second husband René Elizondo Jr., and that he was the creative mastermind behind the whole thing.
At the time, the Rolling Stone cover was a bold choice for the young woman who was blossoming into her sexuality, as Janet explained, “I thought that was very bold of me, to be quite honest, to unleash that within my family. To everybody else, it was probably no big issue, but I’m talking about my family. Because that’s not how we were brought up. I do what I do because it’s something that I feel at that moment. I mean, I was happy.”
3. Allegations against her bother, Michael Jackson, hurt her own career.
While Janet was on the rise to pop superstardom, her brother Michael Jackson was battling his own legal woes after allegations surfaced accusing the pop star of molestation. At the time, Janet said she was “guilty by association” being the sister of the king of pop, and even lost a brand partnership with Coca-Cola due to the news. “That’s the way the world is,” the “Rhythm Nation” singer said about the loss.
4. Janet Jackson told Justin Timberlake not to say anything about “Nipplegate.”
Perhaps the biggest shock of the night was when Janet revealed that she encouraged Justin Timberlake to keep quiet about their 2004 “Nipplegate” scandal, a scandal that derailed the singer’s career for many years. After Jackson was exposed during the halftime performance, many felt that the moment was “too crude” for family television, flaming a controversy that led to many fines imposed on CBS by the FCC. Jackson recalled the moment during the documentary, explaining that she and Timberlake “talked once, and he said ‘I don’t know if I should come out and make a statement”. She then explained how she told Timberlake that she, “didn’t want any drama for you” and that “they’re aiming all of this at me.”
Later in the documentary, she sent a message to fans who were still blaming the former N’Sync leader for the controversy, sending in a cell phone video and telling the audience, “Justin and I are very good friends and we will always be very good friends,” Jackson said. “We spoke just a few days ago and he and I have moved on and it’s time for everyone else to do the same.”
5. Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri’s relationship ended due to infidelity.
During the documentary, it was revealed that Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri’s relationship ended due to infidelity on behalf of Jermaine. Janet admitted in the documentary that he was unfaithful during their eight-year relationship, explaining that she had “heard he was cheating.” Of course, Black Twitter had plenty to say about the super-producer stepping out on Miss Jackson, taking to the platform to express their discontent for his unfaithfulness.
Here are some of the best comments.
What did you think of the ‘JANET’ documentary?