Janet Jackson Says Brother Michael Jackson Called Her a ‘Pig,’ Bullied Her About Weight
Plenty of celebrities have opened up about being bullied in school, but some stars, such as Janet Jackson, had to endure a bully at home — and in Janet's case, her bully was her brother, Michael Jackson.
Janet will unpack painful truths and secrets about her childhood in her upcoming documentary, Janet. While it has been documented that Janet and her pop peer siblings had an incredibly close bond, their relationship was far from perfect.
"There were times when Mike used to tease me and call me names," Janet told the New York Post in a new interview.
While you may think she's talking about the typical sibling jabs, what was said to Janet was incredibly cruel. According to the "Together Again" singer, Michael often teased her about her weight, calling her a "pig, horse, slut, hog or cow" in the process.
"He would laugh about it, and I'd laugh too,"Janet shared. "But then there was somewhere down inside that it would hurt. I'm an emotional eater, so when I get stressed, or something is really bothering me, it comforts me."
Janet hit an all-time low at the age of 11, when she got her first big break outside of the Jackson 5 — her family's band — by landing a role on the sitcom Good Times.
"That's the beginning of having weight issues and the way I looked at myself," Jackson recalled.
WATCH: Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson's "Scream" Video
The performer explained her lifelong struggle with body image has been difficult due to fame, and that added pressure stemming from Michael's publicized controversies and court battles affected her career: "Having the Jackson name comes with a great deal of scrutiny."
"It was frustrating for me," Jackson continued. "We have our own separate lives, and even though he's my brother, that has nothing to do with me. But I wanted to be there for him, to support him as much as I possibly could."
Janet's career ultimately suffered from her being "guilty by association." For her, the 1982 premiere of "Thriller" was the turning point of her relationship with Michael.
"That's when it all started to change. I remember really loving the Thriller album. But for the first time in my life, I felt it was different between us — a shift was happening."
Five years in the making, Janet will detail the 55-year-old icon's personal life, professional career and incredible story.
Janet premieres Jan. 28 on A&E and Lifetime.
Watch the trailer for the documentary, below.