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Interview With La Toya Jackson

Aired March 4, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, exclusive.

La Toya Jackson, Michael's outrageous older sister speaks out. Her first extended interview in over six years. From growing up Jackson, to starting over after being a tabloid target. And we'll cover it all in-depth and personal with your phone calls, La Toya Jackson for the hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.

KING: The last time La Toya was on this program was in September of 1993. That's almost 10 years. Where have you been?

LA TOYA JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S OLDER SISTER: Oh, that's a long time, isn't it Larry?

KING: That's right.

L. JACKSON: Oh, my gosh.

KING: What's been up? Where have been -- like, I know in six years -- you haven't been in public life for six years. You got a new CD called "Starting Over." Is that, like, autobiographical?

L. JACKSON: Yes. It's starting over. And you're right. I haven't done any thing -- any interviews or any thing in six years.

KING: Why?

L. JACKSON: I needed just a cleansing. I just needed to get all of the negativity out of my life and just go into finding out what I wanted and who I was and that's basically what I did.

KING: What did you get rid of?

L. JACKSON: A lot of baggage.

KING: Really?

L. JACKSON: Yes, I did. Yes.

KING: Human and otherwise?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. Absolutely. But it was very, very good for me and it was very spiritual, also, at the same time. And I just -- I'm a different person. I'm just starting over, as I said. KING: What did you do during the six years?

L. JACKSON: Well, first of all, it began with getting away and getting a divorce, basically, which took me into Vegas which was sort of, like, in hibernation, basically.

KING: Do you live there?

L. JACKSON: Yes. I have a place there, actually. I'm in L.A. and then there as well.

So I basically went there and I was going through that and I spent so much time with myself and by myself and alone and it was the first time in my life, Larry, that I had ever, ever been alone because I had always been around other people, of course.

KING: The Jackson family, included.

L. JACKSON: Which is a large family, of course, and having -- being surrounded by people and people managing me and telling me what to do and what not to do.

So this was an experience for me. It was quite interesting because I found myself just staying home and not going anywhere. I was afraid to leave the house. I stayed in for six months without going out.

KING: Didn't you miss singing?

L. JACKSON: I didn't want any parts of it.

KING: No kidding?

L. JACKSON: I didn't want any part of show business at all.

KING: How about the family?

L. JACKSON: The family was fine. That was fine. That was OK.

KING: Did you talk to them on a regular basis?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. I did. But I didn't want them to be a part of what I was going through because I felt this was something that I had to get through on my own, since I was going through this divorce and other things.

KING: How'd you get through it?

L. JACKSON: Basically with meditation -- just asking questions about myself, what I wanted out of life, rethinking things, figuring things out for myself and who people are and what makes people do the things that they do.

KING: We have lots to talk about and we'll be taking calls, by the way, for La Toya. Tell me about, first, about "Starting Over," the album. L. JACKSON: "Startin' Over" is an album that I just completed.

KING: All new songs?

L. JACKSON: All new songs. Every thing is brand new. I am so excited about this project because I got to the point, Larry, where -- well, you know in the media they say things like, Oh, she can't sing. She has no talent. She can't dance. I started believing that, and I was thinking, Oh my God. And I started thinking, Oh gee, how could this happen to me? How could I start believing this?

I know what I'm capable of doing. But when you hear that so much, it does something to you. So being alone, I had really nothing but the fans -- to turn to them and listen to what they had to say in e-mail and read their fan mails and they kept encouraging me. I want to thank them so much.

KING: How did you put the songs together?

L. JACKSON: 9/11 happened and I wrote a song for 9/11 and I played it for a few people and they loved it. And from that point onward, I just kept going on and on. So I started writing all of the songs and it's just a wonderful...

KING: And you're back now?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes.

KING: Does this mean, also, in person appearances?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes.

KING: You're going to be booked?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes.

KING: Do concerts?


L. JACKSON: Within time, yes, of course. It's just a wonderful project.

KING: How's -- the current relationship of the family. How would you describe it?

L. JACKSON: Wonderful. Couldn't be better.

KING: Are you a member of the family?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. Every body. Just wonderful.

KING: Because in your biography you claim that your parents had abused you growing up.

L. JACKSON: Yes. KING: Has a lot of life turned better for you?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. Absolutely.

You know what it is? I've come to realize that as we get older, we grow and learn a lot more. And I think that my father and my mother, they raised children the best way they know how.

KING: You forgive them?

L. JACKSON: Are you kidding? Yes, of course.

KING: They abused you.

L. JACKSON: That's the most important thing.

But you know, when parents do the things that they do, they raise us and they teach us everything they know or what they want us to know and then it's up to us to learn the rest. And I've learned that people do things for a reason, as I told you earlier. And I think my father was an aggressive man because he wanted to instill discipline in my siblings, my brothers and all of us and that was his way of showing love.

KING: The last time you were on this show -- and I'm going to quote you directly, "I would love to see that happen," -- getting back with the family.


KING: "I think that would be the absolute ideal."


KING: She also said that "When they can come to me and apologize and say we're sorry, then I'll acknowledge it."


KING: Have they said they're sorry?


You know what? It's so important to forgive and move forward, because that's negativity and it's toxic to the body and to the mind. So once you're over that, you feel pure and you're positive and you can move on with your life, with positive things.

KING: So you hold no bad feelings?

L. JACKSON: Absolutely not. My father is wonderful. I love him.

As a matter of fact, I spoke to him early this morning and he told me to tell you hello.

KING: Oh, that's good. I remember him.

L. JACKSON: And I said, Come on, you want to come on the show with me? And he says, I'm in Vegas, dad said.

KING: How's he doing?

L. JACKSON: He's fine. He's doing really well, thanks.

KING: All right.

Now, in the interview, back years ago, you told how Michael had separated from the family. Have you spoken to Michael?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. He's doing fine too. Every one's wonderful. Yes.

KING: And what do you make of all that's happening with Michael?

L. JACKSON: I think it's overly exaggerated. I think it's too much emphasis on it. I think that they should let him live his life and do as he chooses.

Michael is a brilliant person. He's a wonderful person and I think, most of all, he is a fabulous father. He's a wonderful, loving father.

KING: Why do you think -- don't you think he brings a lot of this on himself?

L. JACKSON: Well, it depends on how you view it. It depends on how you view it.

You know what I think? I think that when you seclude yourself from the world...

KING: Which he does.

L. JACKSON: Which a lot of us do, but he does it a bit more, of course -- that people are curious to know who you are and what you do and what makes you tick.

KING: Especially when you're that talented and that big.

L. JACKSON: Extremely, yes. Extremely.

So whenever you say something, everyone's really zooming in on everything that you say and you may not mean it in that manner, but it gets that response.

KING: How did you react, first, though that the fuss when he was holding the child out the window?

L. JACKSON: I thought that that was done out of pure innocence. I really do. I think that that was done out of the moment of just a fans, trying to please. Yes, you want to see my child? Here it is -- not realizing that it could have been dangerous, a dangerous situation. But it was pure innocence the way he did that.

KING: Do you feel defensive of him? I mean, your brother was on program a couple of weeks ago.

L. JACKSON: Jermaine, yes.

KING: Jermaine and he was very defensive of Michael. I mean, in a pro way. I mean, he loves his brother.


You know what it is? When you're raised a certain way and people don't really understand -- we understand. I think maybe the outsiders sometimes don't, but there are a lot of people that do understand and I think when you aim to please a lot, sometimes it can hurt you in a sense and I think in that case that might have happened.

KING: He's overly shy.


KING: But he wasn't shy as a kid.

L. JACKSON: No, not at all.

KING: As a kid he was..

L. JACKSON: How'd you know that?

KING: Because I interviewed the whole Jackson family once in Miami and he was, like, the...

L. JACKSON: The most outgoing, wasn't he?

KING: At age 12, he was the leader of the pack.

L. JACKSON: He sure was.

KING: What changed?

L. JACKSON: That all changed.

I recall talking to my mother about this and it was basically puberty. You know, when the kids go through that stage of puberty? That totally changed him. He became very withdrawn, very quiet, extremely shy.

KING: Why does he get so, like -- the plastic surgery. What did he need that for, you think? He's an adorable guy.

L. JACKSON: Isn't he handsome?

KING: Yes.

L. JACKSON: He's handsome.

KING: So why would he tinker with his face?

L. JACKSON: You know what? We all find fault about ourselves. So maybe that's something that he wasn't happy with.

KING: Did you discuss it with him?

L. JACKSON: In the very beginning, yes. Yes. In the beginning.

KING: And what did he say?

L. JACKSON: He wasn't happy. He wasn't happy with his nose, so he got it done.

KING: So he just changed -- he didn't think -- didn't you think his nose was cute?

L. JACKSON: You know what? When you're with someone so long and they're not happy and you see that unhappiness and if that's what they want to do to make them feel better, then I agree with him. It's OK.

KING: Our guest is La Toya Jackson. She's back. A new CD called "Starting over. " We're going to take calls for La Toya at the bottom of the hour and it would be a good idea to get in early.

We'll be right back.








KING: We're back with La Toya Jackson, back stronger than ever. The new album, new CD is "Startin' Over." How's the relationship with Janet?

L. JACKSON: Fine. Very well. We do a lot of things together.

KING: Do you?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes.

KING: She was the baby, right.

L. JACKSON: Yes. Janet's the baby.

KING: And she's still working everywhere, right?

KING: Will the Jacksons ever, all of you, work together once?

L. JACKSON: We're talking about that now. There's discussion about that.


L. JACKSON: There's a discussion. That would be fun.

KING: You don't think that would pack them in?

L. JACKSON: I think so. I think so.

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) stadium in America.

L. JACKSON: That's different, isn't it?

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Now, a couple of other things about you, we'll get back to Michael and take phone calls.

So you're divorced now, out of that relationship completely?

L. JACKSON: Yes, I am. That was my cleansing, actually.

KING: Are you involved?

L. JACKSON: No, not really. I've gone on a few dates and there's someone they kind of like, but...

KING: But what?

L. JACKSON: I won't say the name because everybody will know who it is.

KING: Oh he's well known.

L. JACKSON: I won't say the name.

KING: Might it get serious?

L. JACKSON: Perhaps. Perhaps.

KING: OK. None of my business. How often do the Jacksons talk to each other? How often do you talk to Michael?

L. JACKSON: We see each other at least once a month because we have Family Day, what we call Family Day. Where everybody, no matter where you are, you have to be there and everyone gets together.

There's only one exception and that's if you're touring, you're excused but otherwise you must be there. We see each other once a month. Family Day is a must.

KING: Did you watch the special done by that Londerner, Mr. Bashir, on your brother?

L. JACKSON: Yes, I did. KING: What did you think?

L. JACKSON: I thought he was very unfair to him. I thought he was manipulated. And I feel bad because he poured his heart out to him and when you do that and you share your privacy and life with someone and you put trust in them and then they turn around and you do this to you, it hurts. And I understand his feelings.

KING: He agreed to be taped and if they tape you they can edit you.

L. JACKSON: Yes, of course. You're absolutely right.

KING: What about the sleeping with young boys? How does he explain it to you, how do you explain it to yourself?

L. JACKSON: Michael addressed that to the public on television and I think that no one can consider that question but Michael and he addressed it to the public and I think that's the way it should be.

KING: Did it satisfy you?

L. JACKSON: That's totally up to him. I understand and I know him.

KING: I mean, but -- did was his reasoning...

L. JACKSON: Yes. Yes.

KING: ... acceptable to you.

L. JACKSON: Yes, it was. And I think it was fair for him to address it to the public to let them know what he felt and what he thought.

KING: Do you think he gets bum rapped?

L. JACKSON: Yes, he does.

KING: And he adds to his own by being secluded.

L. JACKSON: You know, yes, but when he goes out and speaks out he gets hurt even more. It's kind of difficult, isn't it? It's sort of a catch-22, isn't it.

KING: He makes bad choices, right?

L. JACKSON: You mean with that guy? With the brassiere guy or whatever?

KING: Obviously if he was hurt it's a bad choice.

L. JACKSON: But he didn't know. He didn't know.

KING: There's a new "Vanity Fair" article out by Maureen Orth (ph) a very good writer who's covered a lot of things for that magazine. She's married to Tim Russert of NBC.

And it alleges that Michael hired a voodoo priest, I don't know if you heard about this, to put a deadly curse on David Geffen and Steven Spielberg. It says he paid $150,000 to a West African shaman who slaughtered 42 cows in Mali to invoke the curse. What do you make of this?

L. JACKSON: I know absolutely nothing about that.

KING: Does it shock you?

L. JACKSON: That does because it doesn't sound like Michael at all. It doesn't sound like him whatsoever. So this is a shock just to hear that. I can't imagine him doing that, Larry. I can't imagine.

KING: I'm asking you seriously, have you heard of this before I just brought it up?


KING: And says that he had many special young male friends -- the "Vanity Fair" article deals with other things too. And you were raised as Jehovah's witnesses? Do you still have that faith?

L. JACKSON: I believe in a lot of the faith, but I am not a Jehovah Witness today. No. There are certain things I agree with and certain things I don't.

KING: OK, what is your faith? Do you believe?

L. JACKSON: I believe in God. I'm very spiritual. I'm a spiritual person. I think being spiritual doesn't mean that you have to go to church every Sunday or throughout the week as long as you have that connection with God. And that's what I have and to me that's the most important thing that we speak.

KING: Do you think Michael is ever going to in any venue whether here or somewhere respond to all this without being edited, just be Michael?

L. JACKSON: Perhaps in time. I certainly hope that he would, but you must understand that you are fearful of confiding in people and just putting your trust out there on the line. I think that -- and I know Michael's listening. I think that doing your show -- I think you're a fair person, Larry.

KING: Always try to be.

L. JACKSON: I think if he were to do your show it would be great because you'd be fair and honest with him. You'd let him speak his mind.

KING: Does he have anything against Steven Spielberg and David Geffen?

L. JACKSON: Not to my knowledge. KING: This is a shock about hiring voodoo people.

L. JACKSON: Actually, he thinks they're brilliant.


KING: We'll take a break and come back and start to include your phone calls for La Toya Jackson. Her new album, her new CD is called "Startin' Over." This is her first public appearance in over six years. And we're going -- lots of calls for La Toya and we'll get to everybody we can possibly reach and we'll start taking calls right after this.








KING: By the way, that's from "The Moulin Rouge."

L. JACKSON: Yes, it is.


When La Toya Jackson appeared on the cover of "Playboy" and posed nude for "Playboy," did you not? That's the largest single selling issue of "Playboy" magazine, we are told. Eight million copies sold when she was on the cover.

She also won a Grammy. That was the "Playboy" cover. Why did you pose nude?

L. JACKSON: I -- actually it was my management. It's nothing that I would have done on my own.

KING: Was that old Mr. Gordon again?

L. JACKSON: My old management, it was.

KING: You don't even like to say his name, do you, right?

L. JACKSON: You know what? I'm in a good space in my life at the moment, and I want to keep it there. I'm very positive now, and I like that and I want to stay that way, actually.

KING: And do you have regrets over doing that?

L. JACKSON: The "Playboy" issue?

KING: Yes.

L. JACKSON: It's nothing that I would ever do again, in a sense. But it's OK, because, after all, the breasts was exposed which I would never, ever do in a billion years.

KING: One other thing on Michael. You did once criticize him in December in a news conference in Tel Aviv. You said you won't be silently collaborator of his crimes against small, innocent children. What did you mean?

L. JACKSON: Management.

KING: You were instructed to say that?

L. JACKSON: Exactly.

KING: No, explain that to me.

L. JACKSON: Actually, during that particular time in Israel, I believe it was, yes -- we were going there and I had no idea why we were going to Israel. He told me I need to go on vacation, so he went to Israel and we got to the hotel, Larry, and at the hotel all of these cameras were everywhere and I, of course, was in the limo and no makeup on, nothing and I said, Gee, I didn't know that they were having an award show here at the hotel. And I thought it was Academy Awards or some thing because photographers were every where.

He never told me any thing. And we got there and they were screaming my name and he gave me the paper and said, Here. And I put the glasses on and he said, Read this to the public.

KING: And this was -- And you said, "I cannot and will not be silent collaborator of his crimes against small, innocent children. I think Michael needs help." This has not been -- "This has been going to since 1981. It's not just on children."

It also said, "Forget about the stupid star. Forget about the icon. If he were any other man sleeping with boys you wouldn't like him."

L. JACKSON: I didn't know if it would go that far, but...

KING: You were reading that.

L. JACKSON: Yes, off of a card from what he --- I had never seen it before in my life -- it's like -- and he says, You better read it.

KING: Wow.

L. JACKSON: Management, meaning that that control and that power, which is something that I have taken all of this time out to stray away from. I don't need that to be manipulated that in my life.

KING: How did you let yourself get that? L. JACKSON: You know what, Larry? I think about that today and I say, Jeez. I think it comes from growing up in a religious family not really knowing the world, not really knowing how people are and how people are and how they will manipulate you and use you and force you.

It was a very, very abusive situation.

KING: And he could manipulate -- even into criticizing and attacking your brother?

L. JACKSON: It was very abusive and it's things that should not be said, things that you keep to yourself, but it was done.

But I'm so happy now because I'm better because I'm in a much better position. I'm in a positive space. And I want to keep it that way. I don't like to dwell on that. It's the past.

KING: Let's take calls for La Toya Jackson. Los Angeles, hello.

CALLER: Hi, La Toya. You just appear so strong and graceful and I'm just wondering how on Earth did you get over that horribly unhealthy relationship? I want to know your secret.

KING: Apparently you're in one, huh?

CALLER: I think so.


L. JACKSON: Yes, you know what it is? It's taking time out for you and for yourself and spending time with yourself and being extremely analytical with every thing and with your life.

It's very difficult, but are you in an abusive situation now at the moment or not?

CALLER: I'm not sure. I need some pats on the back, girl.

L. JACKSON: OK. Just pats. Because I'm wondering why you know that you're not sure. You should be sure. That's a sign that you are.

KING: Were you sure? Did you know you were in an abusive...

L. JACKSON: You know what it was, Larry? It was fear. And she might be facing the same thing. I was so afraid because I was...

KING: Of what?

L. JACKSON: I was promised that if I ever left, that I would be killed. And I believed it.

KING: Killed?

L. JACKSON: Yes. I would be killed. KING: Jack Gordon said this to you?

L. JACKSON: I don't wish to mention names, Larry. You know better than that.

KING: I'm trying to tell the audience. I don't want them to find out, you know? I don't want them to think it's Saul Stein, OK?

L. JACKSON: No, it wasn't Saul Stein -- no. But, yes. And I believed it. And when you ...

KING: So you were controlled?

L. JACKSON: When you -- exactly. When you have that control over you, where you're not allowed to speak to anybody, you're not allowed to have friends, you're not allowed to do anything -- I didn't know what to do. I only had that one person.

KING: Pleasanton, California for La Toya Jackson, hello?

CALLER: Yes. Hi, La Toya.


CALLER: I am so happy to see you back to normal. And you look beautiful.

L. JACKSON: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is, Are you going to be tour by yourself and are you going to tour with your brothers? And who is your favorite singer?

L. JACKSON: Well, I'm hoping to do a little bit of both. I'm definitely going to tour by myself, of course, with -- oh, after the summer. And with my family, of course, I hope that we can do something together. We're working on that at the moment.

And my favorite singer? Geez. At the moment I have to tell you that -- geez, there are so many it's hard to pinpoint one, but I'm liking 50 Cent right now.

KING: 50 cent?


KING: This is a singer?


KING: His name is 50 Cents?

L. JACKSON: It's 50 Cent. Yes.

KING: And his brother is, what? 75 cents?

L. JACKSON: Twenty-five cents, yes.

KING: Sorry. Maybe I'm a little lost there. 50 cent.

New York City for La Toya Jackson, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi, La Toya.


CALLER: My question is, You say you see Michael about every month. I was wondering when exactly was the last time you saw him and have you met his children and what are they like?

L. JACKSON: His children, Michael -- he's doing fine. He's wonderful. Thanks for asking. And his children are just absolutely adorable.

KING: You see them a lot?

L. JACKSON: Yes. We see them at Family Day, actually.

KING: And that's always once a month.

L. JACKSON: Yes. Always.

KING: What are they like?

L. JACKSON: What are they like? They are -- he's done a wonderful job raising them. They are very mannerable. Very mart. Very smart kids, very respectable. All of the nieces and nephews are.

KING: Well mannered?

L. JACKSON: Of course. That's a must in our family.

KING: Is that?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes.

KING: That's required?

L. JACKSON: My parents wouldn't allow anything else. So we're the same way, actually.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more of La Toya Jackson. The new CD is "Starting Over." We'll be taking more of your phone calls.

Tomorrow night, Dr. Andrew Weil will be with us. I don't know anybody what's healthy for you and what's no. Andrew Weil tomorrow night.

And Thursday night, we'll be in Washington for an exclusive interview with Senator Robert Byrd, the dean of the United States Senate.

Don't go away.




KING: We're back with La Toya Jackson. By the way the CD is available or how is it being distributed?

L. JACKSON: No, actually the CD we're looking to put it out in the summer. Actually, right now we have several distribution deals...

KING: You mean it's done, but not out yet?

L. JACKSON: It's completely done. I just completed it, actually. And we're looking for a great distribution deal. We have several on the table, but I'm looking for something that's fair and that's fair for all parties. In other words, someone that that's going to really push it internationally.

KING: So you want to hear from people.

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. Although we haven't, but we want to make sure it's the right deal.

KING: Speaking internationally, the next caller is from Gothenburg, Sweden. Hello?

CALLER: Hi. Hi, La Toya.


CALLER: I just -- are you going to come to Sweden and tour in Europe? And if you are, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Sweden.

L. JACKSON: Yes, it will be released there as well because we have different ideas that we'd like to do with it. But definitely, yes, and I will be there. I can't tell you when, but I will be.

KING: You have sung in Europe, have you not?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. I have. Actually I have performed in Sweden.

KING: Someone called and asked about growing up Jackson. What was the toughest part about growing up as a Jackson?

L. JACKSON: I think for me, basically, it was difficult at one point for me in school. Trying not to let the kids know that I was related to the Jackson 5. It was so difficult.

KING: Really.

L. JACKSON: Yes. Because all of the girls loved them and I had to pretend like they were just no big deal. And when they found out that I was the sister, that was a bad thing. They beat me up. That was a bad thing.

KING: And Michael as a kid was never shy.

L. JACKSON: As a child, no.

KING: Never?


KING: He was outgoing and...

L. JACKSON: He was. Yes.

KING: To Emporia, Kansas. Hello?

CALLER: Hi, La Toya.


CALLER: I was wondering, do you have any children yet and if not are you planning on maybe adopting?

L. JACKSON: No. I don't have any and I would like to adopt. That's something that I've always wanted to do geez, for many, many years.

KING: OK. To Houston, Texas. Hello?

CALLER: Yes, hi, Larry.


CALLER: Miss Jackson. You look great. You look very happy.

L. JACKSON: Thank you.

CALLER: What I was wondering about is you mentioned that you had reconciled with your family and that's wonderful. And that they have apologized for past abuse.

What have you done to make up for any negativity that they might have felt towards you. We heard a lot about stories being sold to the tabloids, some of the nasty period that passed. How have you made up to them?

KING: Good question.

L. JACKSON: It is a good question and that's all a bunch of lies, actually. That has never happened, actually. But I will say that my family, they understand me and they know me. And what you hear in the media and the press is not always the truth.

KING: So you never ratted on the family to the tabloids?

L. JACKSON: No, he mentioned selling stories...


L. JACKSON: I would never do that. To be quite frank, I don't know how. I don't even know how to go about doing it. it would be my management. Remember, I was very secluded.

KING: All right. Do you understand how you let yourself get into that bind? Because the only way to learn is not to not repeat.

L. JACKSON: Exactly. Being so naive. If I had children today and if I had to raise them, I would give them that spirituality. But at the same time I would want them to know the world because it's so important to know the people that are out there that are con artists, that are out to get you that are out to exploit you and use you. That is so important. I didn't have that foresight. I didn't have that. I was just a nice, naive person.

KING: Moses Lake, Washington. Hello?

CALLER: Hi, La Toya, you look beautiful.

L. JACKSON: Thank you.

CALLER: Who produced your new CD?

L. JACKSON: It was produced by myself and a partner of mine, Jeffrey Phillips and a guy by the name of Peter. And it's a wonderful CD. This is my best work. I am so proud of it because it dictates where I am today and what' I've done. And we wrote an produced all the songs. Very happy about it.

KING: Thank you. Geneva, Switzerland, hello?

CALLER: Hi, La Toya. I wanted to know if you would do ever do the song writing on the music that you perform?

L. JACKSON: Yes. As a matter of fact I had just mentioned to the other caller that...

KING: You wrote a song after 9/11.

L. JACKSON: I wrote a song after 9/11, yes. And everything on the album, I wrote.

KING: All of the songs.

L. JACKSON: All of the songs. Every last one of them.

KING: What's the title of the 9/11 song?

L. JACKSON: It's called "Free The World."

KING: This caller has been holding a while so so I ought to take it. To Charlotte, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, hi, La Toya. How are you doing?


CALLER: La Toya, I just want to say, you're my favorite Jackson.

L. JACKSON: Thank you.

CALLER: I just wanted to ask you what is your opinion on people who always refer to you as the black sheep of the family?

L. JACKSON: You know, it's kind of -- it's a name that my management that was previous that had given me and that's where people basically get it from.

However, I know who I am and I know that my family knows who I am. And I think that when you have this positive attitude and you know what you want and who you are in life nothing else can really bother you. It doesn't bother me because I know I'm not that. I know who I am.

KING: Were you bad rapped or are you a different person?

L. JACKSON: No, I was bad rapped and I have grown a great deal. I'm the same person -- this is the same person I was before.

KING: You're never going to let anyone control you again?

L. JACKSON: Are you kidding, Larry? Never.

KING: Does anyone control Michael?

L. JACKSON: I don't know. Not to my knowledge. Michael's pretty strong. Believe it or not.

KING: He makes his own decisions?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. He's a strong, guy, he's a strong cookie.

KING: Indianapolis, hello?

CALLER: Hi, La Toya.


CALLER: I was wondering if you regret being associated with the Psychic Network and if you still seek guidance through a psychic.

L. JACKSON: No, I don't. I do not seek guidance. I don't seek guidance. And whether I regret it or not, once again, I think if I had to do that myself I wouldn't have done it. And I know I sound like a tape recorder, but I'm so happy, I don't have the same management anymore.

KING: So, when you were -- just so we understand.

L. JACKSON: he controlled everything, everything I did was basically this is what you're doing, you're going here and saying this... KING: He would tell you to pose nude for "Playboy"? You posed nude for "Playboy." He would tell you to go out and jump into the waterfall. We're doing a water ballet like Esther Williams. You would do it?

L. JACKSON: It's not that I would do it, I had to.

KING: Had to?

L. JACKSON: I had to. I know it's difficult to understand...

KING: A prisoner?

L. JACKSON: You got it.

KING: Aurora, Illinois. Hello?

CALLER: Yes. Good evening, Larry. How are you?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: This must be your first call from Aurora, ever.

KING: No, I know Aurora.

CALLER: OK, cool. Anyway, hi, La Toya. You look absolutely ravishing.

L. JACKSON: Thank you.

CALLER: And my question is a request. We've heard so much of the Jackson 5 over the years, all of the men in the family. We want to hear from you and Reby and Janet together. Will you do something, either sing or appear on a talk show together?

KING: The girls.

CALLER: You owe it to the world. Yes, we would love, love this.

L. JACKSON: How sweet of you. That is so nice. That would be great. I can't promise you anything, but I can definitely relay this message to my sisters.

KING: When you were in this relationship and this controlling thing, didn't anyone in the family -- your father who's a strong guy, Michael, others try to get you out?

L. JACKSON: My father, from what I understand, yes. My father now he tells me that he tried to do so much, but Gordon kept everybody away. Everybody.

KING: Really? Michael, too.

L. JACKSON: He kept everybody away. I really don't wish to talk about it, Larry, because it's negative energy and I don't like it.

KING: But you've come so far.

L. JACKSON: I've come so far, yes and the fact of the matter is is that..,

KING: We appreciate how far you've come. I know...


L. JACKSON: That's how negative that situation was. I had no contact with anybody.

KING: You couldn't talk on the phone.

L. JACKSON: People don't have a clue what I went through. I didn't have a key to any of my places, my homes. He would lock me in the house. And I promised I wouldn't speak about this because it brings such negativity that I don't wish to go through again...

KING: Well you're doing great.

L. JACKSON: Thank you.

KING: But people appreciate more how you're doing...


L. JACKSON: Then I would be in front of the camera and I would look so positive, like, oh. It was terrible once I left.

KING: You were on this show once.

L. JACKSON: Exactly.

KING: He was in the Green Room.

L. JACKSON: He was a very controlling person and...

KING: We'll be back with more of La Toya Jackson, more of your phone calls. We're looking forward to her CD coming this summer, "Starting Over." Looking forward to seeing her perform again. And we're looking forward to the whole Jackson family performing together.

We'll be right back with more. Don't go away.





KING: We're back with La Toya Jackson.

Guess who we have on the phone? Joe Jackson, La Toya's father. How are you, Joe? JOE JACKSON, LA TOYA JACKSON'S FATHER (via phone): Hello. I'm fine. How about yourself?

KING: I'm fine. What do you make of your daughter?

J. JACKSON: She's a good lady. She's fantastic. She's handling you, that's important.

KING: Yes. That ain't easy, right?

L. JACKSON: And he knows I've grown a lot, haven't I?

J. JACKSON: Beg your pardon?

L. JACKSON: You know that I've grown a lot, haven't I?

J. JACKSON: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I can tell him the way you handle them Jack Gordon.

L. JACKSON: Oh yes. Ohhhhh.

KING: She doesn't like hearing his name. Joe, how do you react --we'll get you -- we'll have you come on one night and we'll talk about it at length -- but how do you react to all of the things that have happened to Michael?

J. JACKSON: Well, being his father, you know, and his mother is the same way, we don't like what's happening because we know why they're doing it. When your No. 1 up there and you've sold more records than anybody in show business history, then it has a tendency to try to pull you down. That's what's happening with Michael and, you know, all of these lies they're telling on it. But he'll come through with it.

KING: You have total faith in your son?

J. JACKSON: Yes, sir, I have total faith in him. I've always had total faith in him, yes.

KING: And what do you make of how your daughter's rebounded?

L. JACKSON: Oh, she's -- La Toya? She's fantastic.

KING: Now when are you going to have -- we've talked about it tonight. When will you have the whole Jackson family get together and perform?

J. JACKSON: Well, that has to be worked out, you know? As soon as they're ready to do it, hey, I'm for it all of the time.

L. JACKSON: Yes, he's always for it.

KING: Do you admit that you were a very tough father with them growing up?

J. JACKSON: Well, I had to be kind of strict a little bit because the things that we were surrounded with, you know? So you notice that my kids don't be into any kind of trouble. We tried to raise them -- with always the respect other people as well. But we don't like the media tearing them down. There's no such thing as Michael -- Wacko Jacko, that's not his name.

KING: And you stand by Michael in all this.

J. JACKSON: 100 -- 3000 percent.

KING: Can't get better than that. Joe, we're going to be calling on you. We want you to come on here one night.


KING: Come on.

J. JACKSON: Well, when I come, you'll know when I'm there.

KING: Thanks, Joe. Thanks for speaking.

L. JACKSON: I love you, Joseph.

J. JACKSON: I love you, too, Toya.

L. JACKSON: Thank you. Bye-bye. See you soon.


KING: OK. All right. To Phoenix, Arizona, hello.

CALLER: Hi, La Toya. I am so happy to see you doing well again and I love your whole family. I'm part of the King of Pop fanatics. And I just want to -- my question was -- I was kind of interested if you were always interest in music and if you weren't a recording artist what other career would you have possibly pursued?

L. JACKSON: You know what? In the very beginning, I didn't want to get involved in music and it was my father who sort of put me into the group tap dancing and singing with my brothers, but -- and I loved it after that. I'm so happy he did it.

However, I think that I'd probably be into business law because I wanted to go to school and study that. But I'm happy I made the decision, actually. Well, my father did it for me.

KING: To Muskat, Oman, hello?.

CALLER: Hey. Hi. What's up, La Toya?


CALLER: I just wanted to say you look amazing and it's great to have you back.

L. JACKSON: Thanks. CALLER: And I was just wondering, will you be coming to the Middle East any time soon and also what do you think of the "E! True Hollywood Story" that recently aired on you? Do you really think it portrays you as a person you really are?

L. JACKSON: I think that it's funny that you mention that, because some one from that production is here.

I think it portrays me in a very, very bad light and I don't think that that story was fair to me whatsoever. And the reason it was done that way was was because I wasn't there to respond and I couldn't respond at that particular time. It's a very bad light of me. And that is not me. That is not the person I am. And no, I don't like it.

KING: You going to work the Middle East?

L. JACKSON: Yes. Yes.

KING: To Pittsburgh, hello.

CALLER: Hi, La Toya, this is Ali (ph). Hi.



CALLER: My question to you was, I think you're a very beautiful woman -- and what my question for you and your siblings, what I can't understand, what I want to see if you can answer was, why did you feel like are you and your siblings feel like plastic surgery was something that had to make you feel like, you know, it was something that would make your happiness complete?

L. JACKSON: Well, it's not a matter of making the happiness complete. I think it's up to each individual and if you're not happy with something, knowing that you can probably alter it a little, that's OK. And I think that if it wasn't supposed to be done, they wouldn't have surgeons to do it.

KING: To Charlotte, North Carolina, hello?




CALLER: It's so exciting to talk to you because I'm Michael's, like, No. 1 fan and I love all of the Jackson members.

L. JACKSON: Really?

CALLER: Yes, and I just wanted to know how you feel when people say bad things about him in the media and what you would want to say to people like Martin Bashir who do, like, everything in their power to portray him so negatively?

L. JACKSON: Yes. You what it is, is that they don't really know him. And it would be great if they could speak on his accomplishments and every body in the family, as opposed to something that's so minute.

KING: Why doesn't your family come forward more?

L. JACKSON: Larry, believe it or not, we are a very quiet, secluded and shy family. And I know it sounds weird being in this business, but -- well, you know, a lot of people in this business are shy, aren't they? But we're extremely, exceptionally shy.

KING: New York City, hello?

CALLER: Hi, La Toya. Welcome back. You look great.

L. JACKSON: HI. Thank you.

CALLER: My question to you is, Would you pursue a career in acting?

L. JACKSON: Yes. As a matter of fact, I'd like that very much. I'm working on that as well.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with La Toya Jackson.

Don't go away.






L. JACKSON: Hi, I'm La Toya Jackson. And I'd like to share my exciting new step workout with you. And I really feel that being fit is critical to success in the entertainment industry. It takes hard work and dedication to stay that way.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE) step forward. This is what La Toya calls the "sensation step."


KING: You still do that?

L. JACKSON: No. I don't.

KING: By the way, you can contact La Toya Jackson at L. JACKSON: I just wanted to say hello to my fans. They're so wonderful and so helpful and thank you so much.

KING: She has the Web site,

Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, La Toya. I was wondering if you are going to tour some time in South America.

L. JACKSON: Yes. I'm looking forward to that market because it's one of my favorite markets and I love it very much. Definitely, yes.

KING: OK, we've gotten Sweden, Switzerland, the Middle East and now Brazil. we're covering the world.

L. JACKSON: That's a world tour. Isn't it, Larry?

KING: I think they want you to come.

L. JACKSON: Yes, I know.

KING: Waterbury, Connecticut, hello?

CALLER: Hi, La Toya.


CALLER: I think you're so pretty. I wanted to ask you is Randy Jackson, the one from "American Idol", is that your brother.

L. JACKSON: No, I get asked that question a lot. No he isn't, but I do have a brother named Randy Jackson, but that's not my brother.

KING: Different one.

New Orleans, hello?

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Hello?

CALLER: Yes, hi. Bravo, La Toya! I just wanted to ask you with all of the knowledge you've gained did you ever think about doing a talk show?


L. JACKSON: It's so fun they you say that because I've been asked to do that and I think it's wonderful, but I want to concentrate on my music right now, but thank you.

KING: Tucson, Arizona. Hello? CALLER: Hello. I wanted to say and ask La Toya where all of her confidence comes from. She seems so much more grown up and self- assured than the last time she was on your show.

KING: Boy is she.

L. JACKSON: It's just spending time alone and just being me. I wasn't me when I was with that other management and now I can be me and I can breathe and be happy and I'm so happy for it and the growth of growing up.

KING: How is Michael dealing internally when you talk to him with all of these things and now the "Vanity Fair" article. You haven't spoken to him about that yet. How does he deal with it?

L. JACKSON: Of course, all of this is very sad and it's all hurting. However, we don't get on a one-on-one with that situation because it's negative energy and we try not to. We really try not to.

KING: You don't talk about it.

L. JACKSON: We talk about jovial things and fun things. The family and the kids and the children and things of that nature. We don't want to expel on that.

KING: Is the father we just spoke to close to all of the kids?

L. JACKSON: My father? Yes. Yes.

KING: And mom, too.

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. Are you kidding? Yes. Which is wonderful. It's really great. I've got something for you.


L. JACKSON: I got a little gift for you. It's called the "King Kit."

KING: The King Kit.

L. JACKSON: The King Kit.

KING: It's a lovely tie.

L. JACKSON: It's a lovely tie and you have to little suspenders there.

KING: Aha! And a color I don't have.

L. JACKSON: Oh, good!

KING: They match. Thank you, darling. You didn't have to do that.

L. JACKSON: Thank you, I wanted to. KING: They gave me a phone call, but I didn't get the city.


KING: Hello? Willmore, Kentucky. Hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Thank you for this. Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: We were wondering what's Reby been up to, lately?

L. JACKSON: Reby has been busy with her family life, of course and she's working on different projects of her own. She's very healthy and happy.

KING: Tell me what you do at the once a month get together when all of the Jacksons gather.

L. JACKSON: We get together. We go over to each other's house and we just have fun.

KING: All of the kids are there.

L. JACKSON: All of the nieces and nephews. It's so much fun, Larry. We go sometimes -- well, the time before last we went on a camping trip and we spent three days out camping. And we had all these campers and security and things like that. It's just a lot of fun.

KING: Is Michael treated any differently because of all of the attention he gets.

L. JACKSON: When he's with us?

KING: Yes.


KING: He's just another guy?

L. JACKSON: That's why it's so different when you see the public image. With us he's just...

KING: ... treats all the children equally.

L. JACKSON: We're all treated the same. Yes.

KING: St. Louis, hello?


KING: Go ahead, you're on.

CALLER: I would like to tell La Toya, she's so beautiful and I love them all. L. JACKSON: Thank you.

CALLER: I would like to ask her, how is her mother handling all of this negative media hype?

KING: How's mom dealing with it?

L. JACKSON: My mother is a very strong lady and, of course, she's the mother of all these siblings and sometimes it gets kind of tough for her. And she's in a very tough position right now and I think it's kind of getting to her a little bit. But she's remaining strong and I'm happy with proud of her for that.

KING: Is it the hardest on her?

L. JACKSON: I think so, yes. I think so. Of course, my father, he handles it a little bit better than my mother. My mother has high blood pressure and when she hears things like this it really hurts her. Especially the jokes. That really hurts my mother and I'm happy you said that because I wanted to mention that she gets so hurt, Larry. By late-night jokes.

KING: The Lettermen.

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes. It hurts her so much. She turns it off and she breaks out.

KING: Breaks out?

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes.

KING: Would you get married again?

L. JACKSON: Never want to say never, but it's so important to me to have trust and honesty in any relationship.

KING: And you're guarded.

L. JACKSON: Oh, yes.

KING: That ain't going to be easy. You do someone right now a lot.

L. JACKSON: Yes, I do. But I have to have that first. That's the most important thing. Most important.

KING: I thank you very much for sharing this hour with us.

L. JACKSON: Thank you.

KING: Let me just go over. This the CD will come out this summer.

L. JACKSON: Some time this summer.

KING: It's called "Startin' Over." We can expect to see the Jacksons all in concert together, somewhere at some venue. That's going to be worked out. You can contact La Toya Jackson at


KING: That's your dot com and we thank you again very much.

L. JACKSON: I thank you for having me. Thank you so much.

KING: And by the way, you didn't have to do this. It was very nice.

L. JACKSON: I wanted to. You brought me the chicken soup so I got you that. I was sick and Larry got chicken soup for me.

KING: Thanks, La Toya.

L. JACKSON: You're welcome.

Where else? We'll be back in a minute to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.





KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE Dr. Andrew Weil returns. He is never dull. Always interesting. I don't know anybody who knows more about eating for good health than Andrew Weil.

And don't forget Thursday night, Senator Robert Byrd.


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