Michael Jackson was a music hero to many, but it turns out he was a real lifesaver to some.
"One time I was on the roof of his house. I was going to jump and everyone was losing it," recalled Jackson's onetime brother-in-law James DeBarge in an interview airing tomorrow on Lifechangers, Dr. Drew Pinsky's new talk show.
James, who appeared with brother Randy and sister Bunny, was briefly married to Janet Jackson in the mid-1980s.
Pinsky asked James how Michael managed to stop him.
"He was the only one not freaking out!" James said. "He seemed to be familiar with my pain...He knew I needed someone to talk to, so he was that ear. So we just talked all night and I forgot that I was even on the roof and that I was going to jump."
Along with brothers Eldra and Mark, James, Randy and Bunny made up the Motown group DeBarge. They mirrored the Jackson 5 as far as being successful right out of the gate, but couldn't really sustain the momentum of their early hits.
James eloped with Janet Jackson in 1984, when she was 18, and their marriage was annulled a year later.