Janet Jackson Opens Up About Michael’s Death

Singer talks at length about the tragedy in October's Harper's Bazaar.

Since [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist]‘s death in June, his younger sister [artist id="1090"]Janet[/artist] has said little publicly about the tragedy. But, in an interview appearing in the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Janet — who will pay tribute to Michael at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday — opened up.

“It will drive you crazy,” she said about all the media attention she has received over the years, and especially since her brother’s death. “People can have rhinoceros skin, but there’s a point when something’s going to hurt you. Not everyone is stone, stone. I haven’t watched the news in weeks. I had to ask my chef, ‘How’s Obama doing?’ I haven’t read a newspaper. On top of that, [we've lost] a family member.”

Of course, the entire Jackson family was on view during the public memorial for Michael, and Janet was the one by his daughter Paris’ side when she spoke about the loss of her father.

“I was really proud,” Jackson said of that day. “People said to me that Michael’s daughter speaking really gave them a sense of how he was as a father, in her words. Paris is incredibly smart; they are all so smart. She’s a sweet girl. The kids are doing well. They’re with all their cousins; that family love will keep them going.”

However, Janet also said she can’t recall speaking to fans, along with sisters LaToya and Rebbie, after the memorial, before she went back to filming Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too.” “I don’t remember that at all,” she said. “I really didn’t want to say anything. I left that night to go back to Atlanta to film.”

In the interview, Janet also mentions an incident — without specifying what it was — that made her stronger as a person. “I always wanted to have my mother’s strength, but I didn’t know if it was really there. But a few years back, something happened and I learned that I did.

“I’m not going to mention it, but we all know what it is. And now, coming off all this, it’s even beyond that. I was just focused on my job at that moment within my family,” she added. “Now at least I know that I can step up to the plate and not crumble when I’m needed. When it comes to something like this that is so, so serious, so painful, so traumatic, I can handle it.”

However, it seems she’s now focusing on the memories of her brother and the thing she remembers most about him.

“You have to forgive me, because it’s really hard to believe he’s passed,” she said. “When I was 14 years old, I would shop for him [when his fame prevented him from going out]. I washed his clothes, cleaned his room. When Mother would go out of town, she’d say, ‘I’m leaving you in charge. Take care of Mike.’ I would head home from school, see what he needed, then go straight to the stores.”