When Us Weekly reported Janet Jackson was pregnant with her first child last week one of the first things Ms. Jackson’s longtime fans said was, “First child? What happened to the one she had when she was married to James DeBarge?!”
While a DeBarge-Jackson lovechild has been rumored for decades, the former ’80s heart-throb revived the questions after he admitted he was contacted by a young woman who claimed to be the former couple’s daughter.
“Someone had contacted me. She spoke to me by email. The first time was two years ago. I have not been able to directly see her face-to-face,” DeBarge told Radar Online.
After contacting him, DeBarge said the young woman shared details only he and Jackson knows.
“She described as much as she could tell me because she was very fearful at the time. She was very angry about people running with this story about this [other child] being my baby,” he said. “She got very angry. She’s like, ‘Papa I want to help you out.’ She had so much of personality and she was so accurate with everything she was saying, it was only things that I and Janet know. No one else but god, me and Janet.”
DeBarge was married to Jackson in 1984 and suspected she’d had a child, but he couldn’t prove it.
“I hadn’t known [that Janet had a baby]… not for sure,” he said. “I went on a search. Someone went through some serious changes to make it impossible for me to find. This had to be some serious inside work being done with the paperwork. Someone was working with them.”
He also said many people tried to keep the couple apart before their marriage was ultimately annulled.
“They didn’t want us to have anything,” he explained. “There were times when I was jumped, physically, and attacked. It was dangerous to the point that I was afraid to go outside.”
DeBarge said he would have liked to know he had a child and when he heard from the young woman he felt overcome with emotion.
“It would have to be hidden from me if she wasn’t a part of my life all the time and I didn’t know anything about her,” he explained. “There’s no way it could not have been hidden. I didn’t know. Had I known, I would never have kept it a [secret]. I would have been very proud of her.”
Why DeBarge decided to wait until now to discuss his possible child until news of her pregnancy broke seems pretty shady, but what do you think? Does he seem credible? Should he have kept the story to himself?