The Truth About Janet Jackson's Relationship With Her Family

The Jackson family has been a constant source of drama ever since Michael, Jermaine, and co., belted out their ABCs in the early 1970s. However, in more recent times, it's their youngest and unarguably most successful surviving member Janet Jackson who has created the most headlines, and that's not just due to her messy divorce and later-in-life motherhood.

Yes, the "Rhythm Nation 1814" star has had a tumultuous relationship with many of her relatives over the years — most notably with her late father Joe and young niece Paris Jackson. And as you would expect, many of these problems have been played out in the press for everyone to pore over.

But how are things between Janet and the rest of the Jackson clan now that her own personal situation has dramatically changed? From squabbles to social media messages, here's a look at the current state of play in the five-time Grammy winner's family life.

Marlon, Tito and Jackie still have their youngest sister's back

Janet Jackson's career was significantly derailed during her 2004 Super Bowl performance with Justin Timberlake thanks to a wardrobe malfunction that saw her left breast exposed. Indeed, while the former NSYNC star walked away scot-free, his co-performer was essentially blackballed by the music industry. And many, including Joe Jackson and Janet herself, believe that Mr. Sexyback threw her under the bus.

Timberlake did eventually, and belatedly, apologize on his Instagram account for failing to defend Janet's honor in 2021, something which at least three of her siblings appreciated. Referring to the issue on Sirius XM show "Radio Andy," Marlon, Tito, and Jackie appeared to take the ex-boybander's display of remorse at face value.

Marlon said, "You know, it takes a man to step up and do that, so we do thank him for doing that. But we'd like to move forward because that was out there, the negativity about it. But, as they say in the old days, as long as they're talking about you, good or bad, you're still in the public's eye." But in typical big bro style, Jackie was also keen to remind listeners that his previous actions had upset their little sis.

Janet Jackson wishes she'd had a closer relationship with father Joe

In 2018, the man described as "one of the most monstrous fathers in pop" died aged 89 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Joe Jackson had famously ruled with an iron fist while guiding his sons to superstardom. But how did his youngest daughter feel about her pop?

Seven years earlier, Janet Jackson had opened up about their relationship during an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Live." The ten-time US Hot 100 chart-topper recalled the one occasion that he was physically abusive to her as an eight-year-old, revealing, "I can't remember what it was that I did. I can't remember if I truly deserved it." She also acknowledged that he was much stricter on the rest of her siblings and rarely showed affection to them.

Despite all this, the "Together Again" singer still wishes she'd had a closer relationship with her dad, adding, "I know that he loves me, and he's told me before ... He has his issues, his things, the way he was brought up. He's set in his ways, and I think he did the best that he could, and I think he did a wonderful job with us — the outcome — but the way he went about it, I don't know if I agree with that. But we turned out okay." In 2019, Janet revealed to The Times that she'd since said everything she needed to say to Joe before his death the year previously.

Janet Jackson likes showing the love for her family on Instagram

Although Janet Jackson has kept relatively quiet about her famous family while being interviewed in recent years, she's certainly not averse to spreading the love on social media. The "All for You" singer regularly takes to Instagram to post throwback photos of happy times with her clan.

For example, in December 2020 she uploaded a snap of her toddler self sitting on the lap of her older brother Jermaine to celebrate his 65th birthday. She captioned the adorable pic, "Jermaine, I luv u and miss u much. Sending u so much luv today." The superstar also posted a similarly heartwarming message to her mom Katherine a year later as she turned 91. Alongside a black and white photo of herself resting against her mother, Janet wrote, "Sending so much luv to my beautiful mother today. 91 years strong."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has also taken to the same photo-sharing platform to send a birthday message to a family member who couldn't even read it: her young son Eissa. In 2021 she posted a series of kissing emojis captioned, "Happy 4th to my baby. You are my love, my life, my soul, you are my everything! You're Gods [sic] gift to me. Mama loves you."

Brother Randy has been accused of controlling Janet Jackson's life

In 2018, Janet Jackson reportedly twice contacted cops over concerns that her then-one-year-old son Eissa was in potential danger (via Page Six). The singer apparently believed that his father Wissam Al Mana, who was looking after the tot at the time, may have been under the influence and panicked even further when she couldn't get hold of him.

A police visit to Al Mana proved that everything was all above board and the New York Post (via Page Six) later alleged that Janet's paranoia may have been fueled by one of her siblings. According to an unnamed insider, Randy Jackson has been trying to manipulate his younger sister in an apparent bid to help with her fight for primary custody.

An employee for the Jackson family said, "Randy doesn't understand a lot, but wants you to believe he's an expert. He's fed Janet bad information. He's made her believe that a disagreement is an argument, an argument is a fight, and criticism from Wissam is a curse word ... This idea that if Wissam were to take Eissa, even for a couple of days, he'd flee to the Middle East ... is all Randy. As smart as we believe Janet has always been with her affairs, she's not being too smart by allowing Randy to take over her life and her marriage." When asked to comment about the allegations, father Joe responded, "Janet can handle herself."

Janet Jackson's brothers still want another collaboration

Janet Jackson is no stranger to collaborating with members of her family. Who can forget "Scream," the 1995 duet with Michael that came equipped with one of the most expensive videos of all time? And six years previously, the pair and sister Rebbie joined The Jacksons on a track from their self-titled album, "2300 Jackson Street."

But it's been a while since Janet has shared the stage or the studio with a relative, a situation which brother Tito hopes to rectify soon. In 2019, the singer told ABC Audio (via ABC News Radio) that he and the rest of his bandmates are keen to join forces with the baby of their family: "It's something that we are looking at, you know, hopefully, we can put it together. As a matter of fact, we had a plan of getting together with Michael after the O2 Arena shows and we were hoping to put together a family project."

Tito went on to reveal that this family project would have involved the likes of Janet and Michael doing their thing before everyone came together at the end for joint performances. Although the latter's death in 2009 put pay to this particular idea, Tito claims that "it's never too late" for the rest of the Jacksons to commit.

Janet Jackson still has mixed memories of her childhood

In her revealing 2019 interview with British newspaper The Times, Janet Jackson admitted that the memories of her childhood were still something of a mixed bag. The "Black Cat" vocalist recalled how she and brother Michael would often take on charitable work of their own accord, driving around their hometown as teens handing out "barbecue dinners" to homeless people.

But Janet also acknowledged that she'd been deprived of the kind of carefree childhood most of her peers experienced because of her famous family commitments. She said, "You really miss out. You don't get to do all the fun things that kids do. I wanted to do gymnastics, but that couldn't happen because I was busy working."

The "Poetic Justice" actress may have regularly missed out on making new pals but she did at least have a large group of youngsters she could always rely on while growing up: her eight brothers and sisters. "They were my best friends," she added.

Janet Jackson is proud of what her family has achieved

Janet Jackson might not always have enjoyed a harmonious relationship with her family. But, as she told The Times in 2019, she's always been proud of what they've achieved. And the star is delighted that at least one of its members is still inspiring a new generation, too.

Referring to her late brother Michael, the "That's the Way Love Goes" singer remarked, "I love it when I see kids emulating him, when adults still listen to his music. It just lets you know the impact that my family has had on the world. I hope I'm not sounding arrogant in any way — I'm just stating what is. It's really all God's doing, and I'm just thankful for that."

Janet was speaking ahead of her first-ever performance at a festival that the King of Pop had never graced during his turbulent career, Glastonbury. The star wowed the crowds with a well-choreographed, hit-packed set in which she gave a shout-out to her siblings.

Janet Jackson continues to honor brother Michael's birthday

Janet Jackson always appeared to be closer to Michael than any of her other seven siblings. And since the King of Pop's tragic death in 2009, his youngest sister has continued to pay her tributes on social media.

In 2018, Janet commemorated what would have been Michael's 60th birthday by creating a homage to one of his most famous music videos. The multiple chart-topper joined influencer Kwaylon Rogers to make a 71-second reimagining of the 1991 promo for "Remember the Time" which the latter uploaded on Instagram. On this occasion, it's Janet who takes the throne to preside over several dancers whose moves also appear to be inspired by her late brother.

Two years later, Janet once again took to the photo-sharing platform to post a birthday message to her "Scream" collaborator. And having previously spent a considerable amount of time, money, and effort for his 60th, the star opted for something a little simpler for his 62nd: an "I miss u big bro" Instagram message accompanied by a kiss emoji.

Janet Jackson doesn't seem to have much contact with niece Paris

In 2012, footage emerged of Janet Jackson appearing to slap a phone away from her niece Paris outside her family's California compound. The incident allegedly occurred as the "Got Til It's Gone" singer and siblings Jermaine and Randy tried to force the youngster and her brothers Prince and Blanket into a nearby car. And it doesn't seem as though their relationship has recovered since.

Six years later Paris was notably absent as her aunt collected the Icon honor at the Billboard Music Awards in front of several other family members. After being bombarded with questions about her no-show, Michael Jackson's eldest took to Instagram (via People) to set the record straight: "No one from my [management] reached out to me about attending [the ceremony] or about the award, and no one from my family did either. I had absolutely no idea until y'all spammed with hatred."

Paris, who's since launched her own music career, also issued a demand to her detractors which alluded to a rift within the Jackson clan: "Dear social media followers, friends, stalkers, lovers and haters and fellow moonwalkers: Please do not tell me/demand/try to control how I handle my relationship with the people in my life, specifically my family. As amazing and as sh***y as things can be, it is no one's business but ours." Just a few months later, Janet and Paris were said to be at war again over payment of their father/grandfather Joe Jackson's funeral.

Nephew Taj believes there's a good reason for Janet Jackson's silence over MJ abuse allegations

While many members of the Jackson family stood up for Michael both before and after the screening of "Leaving Neverland" — the HBO documentary in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck alleged that they'd been sexually abused by the King of Pop as children — Janet Jackson refused to be drawn on the matter.

But in an interview with CBS show "This Morning," nephew Taj argued that his aunt's silence wasn't a sign that she believed the accusations. The 3T singer, who was sitting alongside father Tito and uncles Marlon and Jackie, told Gayle King that Janet feels the same way as the rest of the family about the damaging claims: that money is the motive.

Taj said, "I think there's a fear, as well, to put more energy to it and more eyeballs to it. I think that's why my aunt Janet hasn't said anything because she doesn't want to make it any bigger." Another of Taj's aunts, LaToya Jackson, has also kept quiet about the controversy, a stark contrast to the comments she'd previously made about her brother back in the 1990s.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Nephew Austin Brown describes Janet Jackson as his 'heart'

Before welcoming her own child into the world at the relatively late age of 50 in 2016, Janet Jackson doted on the many nieces and nephews her eight siblings gave her. And one of her strongest bonds appears to have been with sister Rebbie's son Austin Brown.

While launching his music career in 2012, the then-26-year-old told CNN (via The Hollywood Reporter) that both his uncle Michael and aunt Janet had been a source of inspiration while growing up. Describing the latter as "my heart," Brown added, "She's just a great person and a great person to talk to about anything, and we really had that relationship to where she's the one — no matter what I say to her, she never judges — and I can talk to her about completely anything."

It wasn't the first time that the singer, who's since collaborated with Parquet Courts and Macy Gray, has gushed about his aunt. In an interview with People in 2010, he revealed, "She is the person that I talk to the most in my family. She knows everything about me. If I couldn't tell my mom, I would tell her. She would take drives with me and talk to me like I was a normal person."

Janet Jackson still admires mother Katherine

Janet Jackson may have had a turbulent relationship with her father Joe. But judging by her 2019 interview with Australian magazine Stellar, she has nothing but admiration for her mother Katherine.

While discussing the son she shares with former husband Wissam Al Mana, the "Runaway" singer revealed that she'd found it tough being a working single parent. However, she found comfort in the fact that her own mom managed to raise no fewer than nine children almost entirely on her own. Janet added, "I don't have a nanny. I do it all myself ... Of course, when I'm working someone watches him, but it's my baby and me. It's not easy at times, but my life has changed. Obviously my baby comes first."

When asked whether she'd be comfortable with Eissa launching a showbiz career of his own in the future, the Tyler Perry regular replied, "It's really up to him; if he wants nothing to do with music, that's fine with me. I wouldn't want him to do this from such a young age. I don't think it's for everybody. You really have to be thick-skinned for this. You can really go in the wrong direction, there's so much temptation, all kinds of crazy things. You have to be fiercely grounded." Janet then remembered how she and her siblings would still have to carry out menial chores at the height of their young stardom in a bid to stay grounded.

Janet Jackson still tries to stay in touch with her siblings

So after all the rumors about fallouts and feuds, is Janet Jackson still as close with the rest of her siblings as she was while growing up? Well, in her 2019 interview with Stellar, the "Doesn't Really Matter" singer claimed that she and the rest of the Jackson clan are still very much in contact.

Unfortunately, their busy schedules mean that they now rarely get to hang out with each other as much as they'd like, as Janet explained: "We call each other and text a lot, we'll FaceTime. It bums me out my brothers will tell me, 'Are you going to be in London? We're coming there, we have some shows. We want to see you and the baby.' It'll just be my luck that I'm leaving town to go to the States."

However, "The Nutty Professor II" star revealed that this kind of scenario is nothing new: "It's been like that all our lives; we just miss each other. Just recently they were in the U.K. and I surprised them and showed up at their hotel and we spent some good quality time together. That's important for a family."

Janet Jackson doesn't speak to her half-sister at all

There's certainly no love lost between Joe Jackson's love child and the rest of his family. Following the passing of the music manager in 2018, daughter Joh'Vonnie Jackson, who was the result of an adulterous affair with secretary Cheryle Terrell in the 1970s, appeared to blast her half-siblings with an Instagram post captioned, "Allah, thank you for keeping the evil doers away from my father and our family during this time."

According to Joh'Vonnie's appearance on "The Talk" that same year (via Atlanta Black Star), the feud began several years earlier when Janet learned that her half-sister was allowed to call Joe "Daddy." Apparently, the chart-topper and her siblings had always had to address him their pop by his Christian name, and as a result, this sparked a wave of jealousy. 

In 2009, Joh'Vonnie told Mirror that LaToya would completely blank her when their paths crossed and that although she would often attend Janet's gigs, she was never allowed to talk to her. She added, "I feel rejected by some of my family. It's upsetting and hurtful. I had the hardest childhood. It was just as blue as Michael's and just as blue as my other brothers and sisters. But then I [grew] up and found they don't want to have anything to do with me."