Dark secrets the Jackson family can no longer hide from

Over the years, the press focused most of its attention on the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and essentially ignored the rest of the Jackson family. This was a huge mistake because the other Jacksons' lives were full of drama and controversy, ripe for the picking. Here's just a sampling of the issues that went down with one of the most dysfunctional families to ever coexist in the music business. 

Tito may have an illegitimate daughter

Ever heard of Tanay Jackson? Well, she's doing her best to make sure you have by claiming she's the daughter of Michael's older brother, Tito Jackson. Tanay, who bills herself as a singer, songwriter, model and fashion designer, claims to be Tito's illegitimate daughter and Michael's niece. Meanwhile, the Jackson family says she's just trying to use its name to make herself famous.

According to Radar Online, Tanay insists she has documentation to prove her lineage—a birth certificate with Tito's name on it—but she refuses to show it, feeling she shouldn't have to "justify her DNA." She has, however, provided photos of the two together, which Radar Online released. Is there a family resemblance? You be the judge.

Jermaine was obsessed with Michael

It's probably not too surprising to learn that Jermaine Jackson was jealous of his infinitely more famous and younger brother, Michael (and honestly, who wouldn't be?). But Jermaine's jealousy probably goes beyond normal. Family friend Stacy Brown, who also happens to write for the New York Post, said Jermaine ranted about Michael on an almost daily basis, feeling he should have been the one to become rich and famous. He was quoted saying, "That should have been me" many, many times.

Despite the supposed sour grapes, Jermaine defended Michael in public and on talk shows. "All the while was the subtext—it should have been me," Brown wrote.

Jermaine allegedly had an affair with Whitney Houston

Following Michael's death in 2009, Jermaine received a lot of comfort from pop star Whitney Houston. This wasn't a big surprise to most—it was well-known the two had a long friendship and working relationship, and they obviously shared a love for Michael. Jermaine even mentioned their friendship in his 2011 book, You are Not Alone: Michael Through a Brother's Eyes, according to the Daily Mail. However, following Houston's death in 2012, the story started to change.

A source told London's The Sun that Jermaine left details out of his book to make it look like the two were just friends. However, the insider claimed Jermaine and Houston actually had a year-long affair which began in 1984 and ended only after Jermaine refused to leave his then-wife, Hazel Gordy. The source even alleged Houston's 1985 song, "Saving All My Love for You" was based on the affair. Since the story broke after her passing, Houston never had a chance to refute the rumors, and Jermaine has been tight-lipped about the topic. His sister, La Toya Jackson, on the other hand, confirmed the affair on The Talk, according to E! Online.

Janet may have a secret love child

Not even Janet Jackson, the most squeaky clean of the Jacksons, is without scandal, and we're not talking about the 2004 wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl. It seems Janet may have mothered a child with her first husband, James DeBarge, of the sibling music group DeBarge. Rumor has it they sent the little girl, Renee, to live with Janet's sister, Rebbie, according to an interview James' younger brother, Young DeBarge, had with Hot 97 (via CBS News). Janet and Rebbie's marriage happened when she was just 18 and lasted less than three months.

According to People, Renee is not Janet's child. The magazine said the child was born in 1986 or 1987, long after her marriage with Rebbie was annulled. Janet has reportedly not commented on the child's parentage.

Jermaine stole his younger brother's girl

Jermaine wasn't just jealous of Michael. He also supposedly coveted younger brother Randy Jackson's girlfriend, Alejandra Oaziaza. According to the New York Post, Randy and Oaziaza dated for several years and had two children together, but that didn't stop Jermaine from allegedly going after her when Randy was on the road. In addition to wooing her away, Jermaine married Oaziaza in secret in 1995. He had three children of his own with her, reportedly causing permanent fractures in the brothers' relationship. Jermaine and Oaziaza divored in 2004.

Jermaine's wife was arrested for domestic abuse

When his relationship with Oaziaza ended, Jermaine set his eyes on Halima Rashid, a wealthy woman of Afghan origin whom he reportedly met in line at Starbucks in 2004. A whirlwind romance followed, and Rashid soon became Jermaine's third wife, tying the knot just two months later at a Los Angeles mosque (Jermaine converted to Islam after visiting Bahrain in 1989.)

The pair remained married for more than a decade until news broke she'd been arrested and booked for felony corporal injury on a spouse. TMZ reported that Rashid tried to take a chunk out of her husband's leg with her teeth in 2015 during an explosive argument. The case was reportedly dropped after police failed to establish who the aggressor was. Rashid filed for divorce the following year, citing irreconcilable differences.

Taj was molested

According to the Daily Mail, Tito Jackson's son, Taj Jackson, was sexually abused by a family member as a child. According to tweets from Taj, the guilty party was an unnamed relative from his mother's (the late Delores "Dee Dee" Martes) side of the family. It was reportedly Michael who helped Taj cope with and survive the ordeal, acting as a support system for Taj and his mother. Taj revealed this dark secret in order to defend his deceased uncle against choreographer Wade Robson's 2013 lawsuit, which claimed the King of Pop molested Robson repeatedly between the ages of 7 to 14.

Did Michael have a secret love child?

While numerous people have claimed to be Michael's love child in the past, only one of them has any kind of legitimate proof: Brandon Howard. To start, there's a strong resemblance between Michael and Howard, in both looks and actions, but those aren't the only similarities. According to documents obtained by TMZ, Howard's DNA came up as a 99.9 percent match with Michael's—though you may have to take that with a grain of salt since Michael's DNA allegedly came from a 30-year-old dental impression purchased at an auction.

Howard's mother, Miki Howard, knew Michael in the early 1980s. Back then, she supposedly went by the name Billy, as in—you guessed it—"Billie Jean." To his credit, Howard did his best to distance himself from all the drama of the Jackson family. But still, this sheds light on an age-old mystery behind one of the King of Pop's greatest songs and its legendary lyric: "She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son."

Stories abound about Joe abusing his kids

It's no secret that Jackson family patriarch Joseph was a strict father to his kids (he admitted to using a belt strap to discipline them in an awkward interview with Oprah), but the true extent of his abusive behavior wasn't revealed until Michael's friend, Jason Pfeiffer, came forward with gory details. Speaking to Radar Online, Pfeiffer said Michael would break down in tears when discussing his childhood and the beatings he endured. "Michael wept as he spoke about how his father whipped him on the back and abused him so much. He made out he couldn't forgive his dad, who he said had made his childhood unbearable."

Pfeiffer recalled a time when Michael's father dangled him by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again," but the abuse allegedly extended beyond the physical. To teach his children a lesson about leaving their windows unlocked at night, Joe reportedly put on a fright mask and climbed into Michael's bedroom, terrifying his young son.

Katherine tried to divorce Joe, twice

Despite claims from La Toya that her mother, Katherine Jackson, never considered divorcing Joe, a series of documents obtained by Fox News suggest otherwise. The legal papers prove Katherine obtained a petition for divorce in 1973 when Michael was just 15 years old, filing it with the Los Angeles County Clerk on March 9, though it was soon rescinded, at the advice of elders within her church, according to sources close to Katherine.

When Katherine discovered that Joe had fathered a love child with his mistress six years later, she once again tried to bring an end their strained and increasingly unhappy marriage, though she was reportedly convinced not to go through with it again. At the time of this writing, the pair remains married but do not live together, with Katherine spending most of her time in California and Joe residing in Las Vegas.

Michael and La Toya used to preach door-to-door

Katherine was reportedly converted by a door-to-door Jehovah's Witness in 1963 and began to raise her children in accordance with the faith soon after her baptism. Michael was only 5 years old at the time, but he and older sister La Toya were encouraged to spread the word and as time went on, they began to go door-to-door themselves. "Five days a week the two of us and Mother studied the Bible at home and attended the Kingdom Hall," La Toya revealed in her 1990 memoir Growing Up in the Jackson Family (via JW Facts). "Every morning Michael and I witnessed, knocking on doors around Los Angeles, spreading the word of Jehovah."

Even after The Jackson 5 became a household name, Michael continued to preach in the neighborhood, donning disguises such as mustaches, glasses, and hats to avoid being recognized. The future King of Pop remained a loyal Witness over the years, refusing to celebrate his birthday or Christmas, though his relationship with the church reportedly began to break down after the somewhat blasphemous video for "Thriller" was released.

Tito's ex-wife was murdered

After her relationship with Tito hit the rocks, Dolores "Dee Dee" Jackson began seeing Donald Bohana, a 61-year-old businessman who had fallen on hard times and was completely broke, according to a report in the Daily News. Dee Dee had been dating Bohana for only three months when she was found dead at his home in 1994, having apparently drowned in the swimming pool.

While her death was initially ruled an accident, Dee Dee's sons—Tariano, Taryll, and TJ Jackson—filed a Superior Court complaint alleging that Bohana killed their mother when she refused to bail him out of his money troubles. The boys (who formed their own pop group called T3) claimed Bohana beat Jackson for hours before eventually drowning her. The jury believed their version of events, finding Bohana guilty of second-degree murder, according to the Los Angeles Times. Tito led the tributes to his former partner on behalf of their three children. "She was just a well-caring mother," he said, "and these kids were actually robbed of something that nothing can bring back."

Marlon's twin brother died as an infant

The memorial held for Michael brought the majority the Jackson clan together for the first time in a long time, and they were joined on stage by a number of their late relative's friends and admirers. Legends of the music world Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Smokey Robinson all paid tribute to the King of Pop, though perhaps the most emotional moment occurred when Marlon Jackson brought up his twin brother, Brandon.

Marlon and Brandon were the sixth and seventh Jackson children, twins who were born several weeks premature, according to TMZ. Sadly, Brandon died within 24 hours of birth, and Marlon used Michael's eulogy to ask one last favor of his most famous brother. After telling the crowds gathered that he hoped Michael would now finally be left alone after years of being judged and ridiculed, Marlon asked Michael to "give our brother, my twin brother Brandon, a hug from me."

Jermaine's kid may have tried to use a stun-gun on Blanket

Jermaine hasn't exactly been a perfect role model to his kids, but one of them, in particular, seems determined to come off the rails. In 2010, authorities were called to the Jackson family compound in California after the then 13-year-old Jaafar Jackson purchased a stun gun online, reported ABC News. The compound was home to Michael's children, who moved there with their grandmother, Katherine, after their father's sudden death, along with the children both Jermaine and Randy fathered with Alejandra.

Though a family spokesperson insisted Jaafar opened the stun gun in the bathroom and tried it on a piece of paper before security confiscated it, another source alleged Jaafar was caught chasing Jackson's youngest son, Prince Michael (nicknamed Blanket), around the grounds with the weapon. "In the last two weeks Michael's kids have undergone a transformation," an insider told ABC News. "Remember, they really didn't hang around with their cousins before Michael died."

La Toya says family members were "silent collaborators" in child abuse

New York Post writer Stacy Brown became close with "the strangest family in America" after meeting them as a young fan, describing himself as a "friend, ghostwriter and confidant of the Jackson family for nearly 25 years" in an article penned for the paper. Brown claimed La Toya not only believed there was truth in the allegations of child molestation made against Michael, but that the rest of the family was "silent collaborators" in his crimes.

When the first accusations surfaced in 1993, La Toya reportedly revealed that the family knew about a payoff of around $1 million that was made to the parents of one of Michael's victims, and that Katherine had acknowledged her son's disturbing and illegal behavior in a series of letters to him. When the family members hit hard times financially after losing a civil judgment over a failed tour, many of their belongings were repossessed by bailiffs, among them one of Katherine's handwritten letters in which she allegedly called her son a homosexual slur.

Paris attempted suicide, blames cyberbullies

News of a failed suicide attempt by Michael's daughter, Paris Jackson, first came to light in June 2013 when the troubled teen was rushed to hospital with self inflicted wrist injuries and a cocktail of pills in her stomach. The Sun reported that Paris' attempt on her own life was a reaction to the news that she and her older brother, Prince, did not have the same father. While both were reportedly aware that Michael wasn't their biological father, they had always believed that they were at least full siblings, and a family friend claimed Paris went into a downward spiral after learning the truth of her parentage.

In 2016, Paris took to Instagram to blame her suicide attempt on cyberbullies, posting an emotional video in which she questioned why there was so much hatred online. Fears about her state of mind were reignited in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential election victory when the 18-year-old posted a picture on Twitter of a man staring at a noose, clearly contemplating killing himself.

The family nanny says she pumped Michael's stomach

In the wake of Michael's death, his children's nanny lifted the lid on his supposed drug abuse in the months leading up to his demise. Grace Rwaramba told reporters in the UK that she "had to pump his stomach many times. He always mixed so much of it. There was one period that it was so bad that I didn't let the children see him…He always ate too little and mixed too much." Rwaramba claims she informed both Michael's mother and his sister Janet about the troubling behavior, but Michael then accused her of betraying him and fired her.