Janet Jackson Recalls How Michael Jackson Called Her "Pig" as a Child

In her new Lifetime documentary, Janet Jackson remembers being teased by her brother Michael Jackson over her looks and struggling with weight issues throughout her life.

By Corinne Heller Jan 29, 2022 11:40 PMTags

Janet Jackson, who struggled with body image issues throughout her life, recalls how even her brother, the late Michael Jackson, teased her about her looks as a child.

She spoke about the matter in her new documentary, Janet Jackson., which she co-produced. It features rare commentary from the notoriously private "Rhythm Nation" singer and former child actress.

"When I was 10 years old, I did [the sitcom] Good Times and that's the beginning of having weight issues and the way I looked at myself," Janet, 55, said in part three of the four-part documentary, airing Saturday, Jan. 29, at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime. "I was developing at a very young age and I started getting a chest and they would bind my chest so I would look more flat-chested."

She continued, "And then there were times when Mike used to tease me and call me names. He used to call me 'pig,' 'horse,' 'slaughter hog,' 'cow.' It wasn't out of malice on his part at all. Brothers teases sisters, sisters tease brothers, and it was just kind of funny."

Every Time Janet Jackson Has Made History

However, Janet was impacted emotionally by his words. "But then there was somewhere down inside that it would hurt. I mean, you have someone say you're too heavy. Even if it was out of love, it affects you."

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Janet has spoken before about the teasing from Michael, who died in 2009. In a 2011 Extra interview, she said, "I got called 'slaughter hog,' pig,' 'cow,' 'horse, 'dung.' I got called a lot of names but...he didn't mean it in a malicious way at all."

She added, "I held it all inside and it really took its toll on me and I carried it into my adult life."

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Over the years, the singer and mother of 5-year-old son Eissa has often been mocked by the tabloids over her fluctuating weight. On Janet Jackson., the star said her second husband, dancer and songwriter René Elizondo, was "constantly on me about the way I looked" and allegedly told her she needed to look like the way she did in her music videos when she went out. He has not commented. The two divorced in 2000 after nine years of marriage.

"I'm an emotional eater," Janet said in the documentary. "So, when I get stressed or something's really bothering me, it comforts me and I'll try and do things to bring [my weight] down, try to diet. But I can't keep it down."

When asked if she would have felt differently had she not been in the public eye, the singer said, "I probably would have wound up not having a problem."

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