tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN June 5, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PDT
the three girls had their picture taken holding a picture of amanda. ♪ i see what you're doing ♪ come here ♪ >> i'm here in beverly hills, the most glamorous place on earth and i'm about to interview one of the most glamorous people on earth. she's an edgy sex symbol who sold 100 million albums and millions more concert and movie tickets. >> hi, piers. i can't wait to meet you. i'm very excited. and that's ms. jackson to you.
♪ >> janet jackson or ms. jackson if you're nasty to her, never talks about her private life really, but tonight she's told me i can ask anything i like about her life in one of the most famous families in history. it should be an amazing encounter. how are you? >> how are you? >> may i? lovely to meet you. ♪ janet, how are you? >> i'm very giddy right now. >> giddy? >> yes. >> it is exciting for you, i know. >> it's good to see you. >> is it exciting? do you like doing interviews? do you hate them? how do you feel? >> i'm not very keen about doing interviews. >> why not? >> i'm not much of a talker. i mean obviously i will if i have to, but i'd rather listen. i'd rather just stay very quiet and listen to what's going on. >> yet you have written a book
that was incredibly open. i was surprised knowing how quiet you are. i was -- wow, she's being frank and honest here about private stuff. >> it's funny you say that. a lot of people said the very same thing when i did "the velvet rope "album. i have always written about my life experiences and this is just another step, another level for me. >> reading your book, janet, there seems to be two janet jacksons. the brilliant stage performers with all the confidence of a top performer and the quiet, shy, retiring young janet who goes home who's very different. which one have i got today? >> i don't know. maybe a little bit of both. i don't know. >> you are two people, aren't you? >> yeah. i am. i think everybody -- it's beyond two people. i mentioned this in "the velvet rope."
really we have several different characters that live within us. it all depends upon who we are interacting with that the character comes out at that moment. >> you have had this extraordinary life. reading your book, from the moment you were born, you were born into fame. you had no choice. you had to be famous because you were a jackson and you were one of the youngest jacksons. you had no option here. if i could give you an option. you're now 3 or 4 years old and i hold the keys to the door to fame. >> 3 or 4? >> say you're 3 or 4 and right at the moment when you're about to start performing and i can say to you, janet, you don't have to go through that door. you can keep out of this. you can remain anonymous and be a normal person. would you take that? >> well, there were two things i wanted. when i was 5, 6, 7 and i was serious about it. i wanted to be a horseracing jockey. >> are you serious?
>> i started riding when i was 5. i wanted to be a jockey. around 14 i got my first recording contract. at 14 actually. i didn't want to sing. i wanted to go to school and study business law. i wanted to act. >> but that's the feeling i get from the book is that you were kind of -- you had to go along with this. you had to be a singer because that's what the family did. it was the family business. >> that's what my father wanted me to do. i'm very grateful, very thankful. >> do you regret the loss of your anonymity? you are so famous. i was offering you really a deal to not be famous if you had the pour again not to be famous. would you prefer not to be or do you quite like it? >> i don't mind it. there are moments when i wish i could just crawl into a little shell and for no one to know who i am.
but i can't say that i miss it because i don't know what that's like. i mean, you can't miss something that you have never experienced. granted -- the reason i say that is because my brothers were famous. even though i hadn't been on camera, on screen, i got a lot of attention just from being the baby of the family and being a girl -- a little girl. so i always got quite a bit of attention since i can remember. >> not being able to lead a normal life for most of the time that you exist must be difficult. ordinary people can't understand that really. they don't understand the goldfish bowl that you in particular as part of this family have had to exist in. >> you do live in some sort of a bubble, but it's normalcy for me. like i said -- my brothers were famous when i was 2 years old to
help you kind of understand. so i moved to california when i was 2. it was on from there. i have been very blessed. i'm very fortunate. it's made me who i am today -- the good, the bad, the ugly, all of it. >> not much ugly about you, janet, if you don't mind me saying. now this ring, can i have a look? >> my ring? >> isn't it skull and cross bones? >> yeah. >> what are they? the heads of interviewers? >> i have a special finger for you. >> i bet you have. which one is it? >> it's this one. >> that one. >> i love skulls. >> you love skulls? >> yeah. >> that's creepy, isn't it? >> no. i don't think so. >> really? >> i just think they're cool-looking. >> do you collect real ones? >> no. >> how many skull things do you have? >> i don't know. >> fascinating.
>> i have never revealed this. >> you have never revealed the skull addiction before? >> i don't know if it's an addiction and it is no deeper meaning. it's just something that i like. just a little motif that i like, that's all. nothing deeper. >> janet, what are the other major themes of the book is clearly your ongoing relationship with food. how would you best articulate it? >> love/hate relationship. it's been a tough road, a tough battle since i was very little. not feeling worthy, self-esteem issues, issues dealing with food stemming from when i was very, very young. not feeling who i was was good
enough as i was. >> the weird thing about having an addictive problem to food which is what you articulate in the book so well is unlike other addictions -- you know, if it was drink or drugs or anything like that, you always have the power to give it up. you may remain an addict, but you can give it up. you can stop taking drugs or alcohol. >> you don't need it to live. >> food, the addiction is there every day, isn't it? there is no giving up. you have to eat food to live. >> you do. i'm not in denial in any way. i have never had someone say to me, you're addicted to food and maybe that's what it is for me. i have never had anyone say that to me, but the way that i feel about it, definitely. it still is an issue for me. you know, figuring out where to place it. i was an emotional eater. i still am. i have learned how to handle certain issues and not to run to
that for comfort. >> when i interviewed oprah winfrey for this show she said the worst day professionally was when the ratings for some movie she was in came in and they were terrible. she said she ate food that whole weekend, just ridiculous. >> that whole weekend? >> she was laughing but said it made her even more unhappy. >> more depresseded, i'm sure. >> when you have gone through bad times and you were eating too much, what would you do? >> it's binging. >> what though? it's have insight into binging? >> whatever you like. whether it's fries, pizza or -- i love caramel apples. >> oh, they're nice. >> aren't they good? i think everything you can have in moderation. to eat healthy is very important. but still you can have those things in moderation. a little here, a little there. i still eat caramel apples. >> do you?
>> yeah. >> they are the nicest thing, aren't they? >> i love them with the peanuts on the outside. love them. >> when we come back, the secret life of a superstar sex symbol. >> there was a time when i was so down and felt so unattractive. it lasted for a very, very long time. i used to bang my head against the wall. ♪ ♪ ooh baby, (what) can i do for you today? ♪ [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance? align can help. only align has bifantis, a patented probiotic that naturally helps maintain your digestive balance. try align to help retain a balanced digestive system. try the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic. align.
just knowing what i was going through. looking at myself in the mirror. realizing that i'm not myself or looking in the mirror and not really recognizing the person that i'm looking at. it's like, who is this person? you don't look like yourself. you look like someone completely, totally different human being. this has got to stop, this madness, being in this depression, yada-yada. it's been tough. i've learned to deal with it. i have learned to -- how to deal with it. >> how? what's the trick for people watching this going through a similar thing? >> it's just not about, okay, how do you stop the eating. it's deeper than that. there are issues behind it. you have to figure out what's creating it in order to stop it. it's not just about someone going in the refrigerator saying, i want this and this.
there is something behind that. that's what you have to get ahold of. once you deal with that it makes everything else a little easier, a lot easier for me. >> how depressed did you get? >> it was pretty bad. it was bad. it was pretty bad. >> what's "pretty bad"? >> it depends. i only say that because of different stages in my life. when i was a kid, i started developing at a very young age. they said my chest was too big so they would bind my chest for performances. not my family. this is the first show i did, "good times." they didn't tell me, they just did it. that's telling me, you are not good enough as you are. how bad did it get? that's where it started. even before that when you have someone calling you names
whether it's a name of endearment, i was the kind of kid that internalized everything. >> didn't michael call you donk, short for donkey? that's not nice. >> no, it's not. but when it's coming from a family member who means it out of love it's just fun. they don't realize what it could be doing to you. especially being the baby. you have a big family. a lot of brothers and sisters or just being the baby -- >> a lot of teasing. >> you get it more than anybody else. >> do you think in your case it affected you more than any of them realized? >> yes. >> that it was chipping at your self-esteem. >> yes, that's what i was getting at. they didn't know. i was so quiet, i never told anyone how i felt. i was hurting inside but i never said anything about it. i would laugh like it was nothing, not wanting to show the pain it was truly causing.
you don't do that. that's not the thing to do. that's what i did and i kept that up for years and my life began to change. >> you said you have been through this a few times. it's been a cyclical thing where your weight has gone up and down. you have talked openly about it in the book in a moving way. there will be lots of women watching this who have been through similar things in life. >> it's not just about weight, piers. it's about self-esteem. >> and how you're feeling. >> yes. that's why i started from my childhood. i didn't want to just appeal to women or men. i wanted it to appeal to teenagers, to kids so they know they are not alone and maybe one of the anecdotes i give they can relate to. for instance in the book i talk about a time i was so down and felt so unattractive, and it lasted for a very, very long time, that i used to bang my head against the wall.
>> really >> yeah. >> hard? >> yeah. >> just like this? >> yeah. and the person that i was with, my ex-husband at the time, he would have to stop me. >> what were you thinking when you did that? >> i felt -- >> crazy? >> i didn't feel crazy. i just felt very unattractive. i didn't like who i was. i didn't like the way i looked. but once again all of this stemming from, you're not right. this is how you should be. you're not good enough this way. you're not worthy. you're fraudulent. whatever the case is. all of that building and accumulating to this point in my life. and that went on for a good while. >> did you ever feel suicidal at all? >> no, no. >> never got that bad for you? >> no. no. there may be an instant of -- but no, not like that. not like that.
>> i have seen you say before that most families are dysfunctional and i agree with that. take anyone's family and give them the scrutiny the jackson family has had, they would all look dysfunctional in some way. >> you don't even have to give them that. take any family and you will find there are issues. >> everyone has it. >> uh-huh. >> the difference is you have all had to lead life in this crazy -- >> under a microscope. >> which makes it different to most people. >> it magnifies it, makes it very hard. it's not an easy life. >> it can't be. >> everyone thinks, oh, it's glamorous, this and that. like you said, two sides. people see you as this and there is no way and you mustn't have problems. >> i never give it a moment thought about how i look at all. a lot of men i know are the same. for you i notice all the magazine covers that come out, this incredible premium put on
female stars to look 100% all the time. even when you go out and try to be normal there's paparazzi everywhere. >> everywhere. >> hoping to catch you looking a bit rough. the pressure must be enormous. >> it's crazy. it's crazy. i think that's why of women swing in the other direction. they are undereating. some of the stories i hear, which i'm not going to get into and i'm not going to tell people's -- >> other female stars that do crazy things. >> that's not my place. >> without naming names, what are the craziest things you are hearing? don't name them. >> no, i'm not going to name names. >> what kind of -- >> okay, this is the worst. eating tissue, kleenex to fill the stomach so you're full. >> what? >> so that you're full. >> people do that? >> yes. so that you're full and that you won't want another bite to eat. that's what you eat.
>> that's crazy. >> that's crazy. then for the kids to see this and look up and say, oh, this is what i want to look like or what i'm supposed to look like. and want to go on a diet from a very young age and not living life as a kid. i was told at a young age on this show "good times" that i needed to go on a diet. i was only 11, 12. i look back on the shows and i wasn't a heavy kid. once again what that does. like i said, some people can brush it right off. others, they really internalize it. that was me. >> coming up, janet jackson's rocky relationship with her father. >> one occasion you cite when you're getting out of the bathtub and he whacks you. look, every day we're using more and more energy.
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your dad is a fascinating character. i think he gets a hard rap, your dad. yes, he's a disciplinarian. >> mm-hmm. >> but, wow, without the discipline he had, would any of you have got where you got? i don't know. but i suspect his drive and the pressure he put on you and the work ethic and all this kind of thing. >> he's very strong. >> yeah.
would you say, when you look back on your relationship with your father is he predominantly a good man, do you think? how would you position him? >> i think my father means well. i think he means well and wants nothing but the best for his kid. i just think the way he went about certain things wasn't the best way. but, you know, it got the job done. that's because of maybe how he was raised, doing what he thought was best, not knowing any better. >> you tell a story in the book, one occasion you cite when you're getting out of the bathtub and he whacks you. how old were you then? >> i was very young. i remember being younger than 8. let me put it like that. >> that's pretty bad. >> yeah. i can't remember what it was that did. i can't remember if i truly
deserved it. my father has never touched me aside from that time. he's never whippeded me. >> but he did the boys. >> when my brother randy and i, when we came along i think my parents got kind of tired. having nine kids and raising these children, i think they became -- and everybody said, you guys have it so easy. my other brothers and sisters would say my parents were a lot more lenient with us and i thought they were very strict. >> does he ever tell you that he loves you? >> yeah, he has. >> he can do that? >> he has done that before. >> but not often, i shouldn't think. >> no. >> he doesn't give me the impression of being demonstrative in that way. >> very tough. jacksons don't cry. jacksons are tough. >> really? you do, don't you? >> of course. >> you're quite emotional. >> are you kidding me?
yeah, i cry. everybody cries. >> how do you get on with him now? honestly. >> do you think i'm going to sit here and lie to you? >> mm, maybe. >> that's wrong. we don't speak that much. >> when did you last talk to him? >> honestly, it's not often. >> weeks, months? >> it's been -- oh, no. it hasn't been months. not like that. a few weeks ago. >> do you feel sad about that? do you feel sad you don't have a relationship with him that is better? >> not anymore. i used to. it would have been nice. i would go over to a friend's house when mother would let me go.
and i would see my friends, the relationship with their father. how they called him dad and sit on their lap and. >> what did you call him? >> joseph. one time i tried to call him dad. >> what happened? >> he said, no. he said, i'm joseph. you call me joseph. i'm joseph to you. your father tells you one time, you don't do it again. so i always called him joseph. >> sad, isn't it? >> yeah, it is. i wish our relationship was different. but i know that he loves me. >> in his weird, strange way. >> that's exactly what it is. i know that he loves me and he's told me before. you know, 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.
i think he did a wonderful job with us. i mean, the outcome, but the way he went about it, i don't know if i agree with that. but we turned out okay. >> do you think you'll have children? >> i hope so. >> do you worry that the clock's ticking? >> no. you know, i have given it up to god. >> have you come close to thinking, all right, i'm going to have a baby now? >> i never really thought about having children until i got with jermaine dupree, when he and i were together. that was the first time i wanted to have children. i felt -- i don't -- i felt comfortable in the relationship at that time.
how he would be as a father, how he is as a father. he has a little girl. but we're not together anymore. so i don't know if i eel have kids. but i have really given it up to god. if it's meant to be. >> do you think you would be a good mom? >> i hope so. everyone tells me for the longest they have told me, oh, you would make a great mother. i said, i would? why? you're very nurturing. you're very mothering. you take care of people all the time. yada-yada. so i don't know. >> what would you do differently if you had a child to the way your father treated you? >> a lot of attention. a lot of love. spend a lot of time. i'd let them know how much i love them all the time. they'd know.
♪ smile even though it's breaking ♪ >> when your brother did the charlie chaplin "smile" routine at the memorial for michael. >> jermaine, yes. >> it seemed completely appropriate to anyone who knew him. that's what i remember about michael is the amazing smile he had apart from the genius talent. i saw him in paris in the early '90s. i have never seen a concert like it in my life. >> wonderful performer he was. >> incredible. he had this amazing smile. do you feel he's still with you? do you feel he smiles down on you? >> yes. a day doesn't go by where i don't think about him. not one day. that goes for the rest of my brothers and sisters. we have spoken about it. >> some of the most touching stuff in the book is about you and michael when you were very young. i really liked those passages. it's like you were looking after each other's backs a bit. you each had each other yet the
teasing was relentless and he could be naughty with you but he always knew you were there for him. >> i feel that he did. i hope so. we never talked about that. i feel that's part of my job as a little sister, to have the back of my brothers and sisters. >> what was he like as a little chap? >> the kid? >> yeah. >> i heard he was bad. i did. as a little kid because obviously i heard he used to -- pranks, tease people all the time. but he was a good kid though. >> when you came along and you became his back-watcher and you both got a little bit older each time, how did your relationship evolve? >> we were very close. mike and i were very close. we used to go to this restaurant called love's.
i don't think it's in existence anymore. we used to get a ton of dinners. an we'd drive around in the car, looking for homeless people to give them to. >> did you? >> yeah. we used to do it all the time. just give them food. one guy threw it at us. i don't need your stinking food! i was like, mike, let's get out of here. >> i can imagine you handling that okay. i imagine b michael probably freaked. >> he was driving. i was passing out the food. we got out of there though. that's the only time we were ever in any sort of rejection. >> are you labeled now, because enough time has passed, the terrible grief you must have felt at the time. are you able now to think about happy memories? have you got to that stage yet? >> mm-hmm. >> what do you think about? >> about passing out the dinners
to the homeless. >> yeah. >> about taking care of the animals when we were kids. about the talks we had. things like that. >> for those who didn't know him, what was he like? what were the misconceptions of michael, do you think? >> very sweet, very gentle. incredibly smart. always about love. always about love. he knew who he was. >> do you think most people misunderstood him? >> mm-hmm. >> i interviewed michael. >> you did? >> yeah. i interviewed him. i found it fascinating to talk one on one with him. because, a, he seemed completely normal to me. we had a great discussion. >> he was. >> about all sorts of things. great sense of humor. what was interesting, and i want to read you some of this, is
what he said about princess diana who had just died. he said to me, i told her no normal person could possibly understood the life that she lead. i had the attention since i was a kid. diana had it only from the age of 19. i had it all my life and i knew how to handle it. i would say rise above it all. i would tell her i would go on stage and the worst pain was something like a tooth ache and i would put it out of my mind and perform. i said to her, be strong, determined, you can only hurt yourself so be defiant. i think she got something from my words. i think i was able to comfort her. when i read the book there was a lot of similarity there in terms of the way you dealt with the appalling tragedy of michael's death. you had to get back out and perform. when i read the words again i was thinking, wow, it's almost exactly the situation you found yourself in.
>> for one, listening to what you just said, what he had said to you, a part of that is how my father raised us. whatever is aching you, whatever is going on in your personal life, you don't let it show. you have a job to do. they are not there to know your business. get out there. they paid hard-earneded money to see you work, to see you perform. you give them that. so you don't show the pain going on inside of you. i got back to work. right after my brother passed. it was very difficult at times. and there were moments that it helped me get through it. >> performing does? >> mm-hmm. >> is that because you have kind
of a weird communion with an audience, having people there to almost share it with? is it that? >> this, this one on one or not even one on one. yeah, one on one or getting in front of a small group, that's difficult for me. >> but 80,000 people on a stage is a different thing. >> no-brainer. isn't that weird? >> it is weird. >> isn't that crazy? >> i don't know what that's like. i have never done that. >> here's another one that's kind of crazy. i don't like when people stare at me. >> really? oh, dear. i have been staring at you for half an hour. >> it's like i'm in the wrong profession. i'm in the wrong business. >> you don't like being looked at? >> uh-uh. >> you are in the wrong business. >> i know, right? it's kind of crazy.
i'm in the wrong business. but it's easier for me when i'm moving, when i'm thissing, when i'm thatting. it's a lot harder for me so i just have to put on that face. >> in a moment, ms. jackson on the real diva in the family. >> well, let me stop because i think my sister's a diva. she's gonna kill me!
i want to talk to you about sex, love and marriage. i don't mind which order you do it in. >> okay. >> where do you want to start? >> you're the one who wants to talk about it. you start. >> i find you fascinating in this area. you have been married twice. you're clearly a very romantic woman. i can tell that. from your lyrics, you're quite a naughty girl, aren't you? >> am i? >> i think so, yeah. quite a sexual woman.
and not afriad to say it. >> it's a beautiful thing. it's beautiful. but, see, you guys are more open. >> yes. they're more prudish in america. >> yeah. >> you should have been european. >> maybe i was in another life. maybe that's where all of this comes from, is stemming from. >> could be. >> possibly. i don't know. >> how many times have you been in love? >> truly in love? three. >> you married two of them, hopefully. did you? you were in love with both of your husbands, i hope. you weren't, were you? this is great. really? >> no, truly in love -- five. >> how come it went from three to five?
>> because i wasn't -- >> thinking properly. >> mm-hmm. >> do you like being in love or is it agonizing? >> obviously relationships can be tough. but i love being in relationships. i'm not a loner. granted, i do need my moments where i just need to be. but -- >> are you easy to be with, do you think? are you high maintenance, low maintenance, middle maintenance? >> i always thought i was low maintenance. why are you laughing, steven? what's -- >> your extensive entourage appears to say middle to high. >> is it extensive? >> i was expecting monsters to arrive and beat me up. >> they have been with me for years. >> they're cheeky, too. >> that's the relationship we have. 20-something years. >> have you ever been a diva?
>> i don't think so. look, as strict as my parents were and disciplinarians, i -- well, let me stop because i think my sister's a diva. she's going to kill me. >> latoya? >> why latoya? i could have meant rebe. latoya. my grandmother was grand and i think she's grand. i love her just the way she is. my friend tell me i'm not. my family they tell me i'm not. people that i've worked with say they expected to you be annoying. you're totally opposite. so i guess i'm not. >> your first marriage ended do you think you were basically too young, too inexperienced, too young and you have issues that you couldn't reconcile with?
>> at the time i didn't think it was because i was too young. but, yeah. >> looking back on that? >> yeah. and i think i did it for the wrong reasons not to say that it wasn't in love with him. but i did it for the wrong reasons. >> and the second time? >> what about it? >> what went wrong there, do you think? >> oh, i can't speak about it, unfortunately. >> oh, really? >> yes. not because of me but because -- >> you just agreed not to? >> he asked me not to and i gave him my word. >> do you think you'll get married again? you weary enough. twice bitten, twice shy. >> you hear third time is the charm. maybe marriage is not for me. maybe i'm just meant to, i don't know, have someone, live with someone but not tie the knot and
i always thought i don't need a piece of paper to validate what it is that i have with someone. >> do you find it easy to meet guys? you are janet jackson. >> that's what guys have always said. >> you come on here with your skull and cross bones. even i'm feeling slightly -- >> oh, stop it. for me to meet guys, no. for guys to meet me, i think most have been intimidated. that's what i've heard. >> they have to get past your security detail first. >> i'm very easy to talk to? >> really? >> i think so. >> i think you are. >> i think so. i might be a little bit quiet, but i don't think i'm shy. but i think i'm pretty easy to talk to. but i would love to have a family and do all of that juicy stuff. i would. but it's really up to god. ♪
i'm not -- i love, by the way, your accent. >> thank you. i like yours. >> do i have an accent? >> of course you do. >> i do? >> you're an american. >> thanks. >> my pleasure. what's the thing that makes the happiest in the end? if i wanted to make you really happy how would i do it? >> i don't know if you could. there are a few things. my family. my relationship with god. what i do, performing. the love that i receive and support from fans. those things make me happy. >> you're going out on tour with the greatest hits tour. >> tour. yes. >> it's going to be ridiculously huge.
how do you feel about it? >> we're really excited about it. no, not nervous at all. the biggest tour that i will have done to date, i mean allowing the fans to vote for which city they like for me to come to perform, in which city. and the response has been incredible. incredible. >> what's been the best moment of your life? >> it would have to be a moment which i'm not going to go into, but a moment with my family. that's when i'm beside myself, when we're all together. i love -- >> there was one moment in particular you're thinking of? >> i love, love -- like my great nephew, london blue. he goes i love this family. this is such a great family. he's so cute.
he's 5. it's just sweet moments when we all get together, which is rare. it's hard. >> when it happens, do you all feel like -- >> it's special. >> we're a bit crazy the jacksons. but when we get together we have an amazing family. >> we have a wonderful family. we have a wonderful time together, that's the thing. such great fun. that's what i love. >> just to wrap this up, it's bean fascinating encounter. i didn't know quite what to expect. you've been fascinating. you're exuding to me an air of being happy with yourself as you ever have been. >> i am. i told you before i'm in a wonderful space. and it's about having that happiness, that love from within. all of this, all of the material things, all of that is just stuff.