In 2009, La Toya Jackson was in the spotlight after a set of interviews where she expressed her belief that her brother Michael Jackson was murdered.
CYInterview now brings you a wide-ranging interview with Michael’s sister – a woman who has had a fair share of fame in her own right. La Toya speaks on many topics concerning the King of Pop. She discusses their life together, as well as new information she claims to have found regarding his passing. Ms. Jackson also weighs in on stories about her brother, which surfaced after his death.
Currently, La Toya is participating in Celebrity Apprentice. She tells us why she is doing the Donald Trump show. Perhaps, in the future, we will see her on Dancing with the Stars. ABC has asked her to do the show numerous times. On other fronts, Ms. Jackson tells us there is one more album in her music career, Starting Over, which will be out in the near future. La Toya says she is done with music after that and will just be focusing on various business projects. Adopting children might also be on the horizon.
For anyone who is a fan of La Toya, Michael, the Jackson family or pop culture and entertainment in general, this is one interview you will want to read and listen to.
The full interview begins below.
Listen to the La Toya Jackson interview:
Chris Yandek: We delayed this interview a week to pay respect to the people of Japan, the people of Japan are big fans of Michael and of course the Jackson family obviously, I wondering if you have any words?
La Toya Jackson: “Oh yes. My heart goes out to all of those in Japan who are suffering. It’s just a terrible disaster and I tweet about it all the time. You can tweet me. You can read what I say about them @LaToyaJackson. Just please I want anybody and everybody to do anything that they can possibly do, every little bit helps so please let’s all get together and help those who are suffering in Japan.”
CY: I have not heard anything about celebrities doing a telethon for Japan. Have you heard anything? I’m really surprised we haven’t heard anything at this point.
LJ: “No. But you know what I heard? I’ve heard Chris that they’re people that are donating individually, so which is really good. As far as a group getting together like we’ve done with the others, I’m sure that’s about to happen. It just hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure because they do need relief and they do need and they do need care.”
CY: And our message goes out to the people of Japan obviously to help any way you can of course Michael would want that.
LJ: “Oh absolutely. Are you kidding? I don’t know if people know, but he is the biggest donator that there has been ever in history. He’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for donating over 400 million dollars of his personal money to different charities and to people who need help. So yes, he would definitely want those to help the people in Japan. The Japanese are very, very, very devoted fans of the Jacksons and I just appreciate that very much. So we’re doing everything we can to help them out as well.”
CY: I think when we saw you on the CBS show Armed and Famous years ago, you were trying to find a new challenge and step out of your comfort zone. Is that the reason you’re also doing Celebrity Apprentice?
LJ: “Well, yes I was finding a new challenge and trying to step out of my comfort zone. You’re absolutely right. But Celebrity Apprentice was a bit different for me. I had been asked to do it and they asked me again and I gave it some thought. I wasn’t to on board in the beginning and I waited out and said, ‘You know what? This is a great opportunity to bring awareness to the charity that you want to step forward.’ So Aids Project Los Angeles was the charity that I had been working with since my brother’s passed because that was one of his charities. I said, ‘We can bring so much more awareness to it by doing this show and I can donate much more as well.’ So that’s basically the main reason that kind of drove me into going to do the Celebrity Apprentice because of that reason and I think it’s great that Mr. Trump, Donald has allowed different celebrities to come on and give to their charities. That’s just wonderful I think.”
CY: So tell us about the charity your representing that is close to your brother’s heart?
LJ: “The charity that I’m representing is Aids Project Los Angeles. Basically, Aids Project Los Angeles is in my backyard basically because I’m in L.A. I tried to take over his charities that he had been working for and this one was the closest and I said why not? I’ve been doing things for them ever since he’s passed, which makes you feel so wonderful inside. But what we’re doing is we’re looking for a cure for Aids because there are people with HIV and people with Aids and we need a panacea for it. Basically we’re doing testing and things of that nature to come up with the solution to help free these people. What I do is I go out I and pass out groceries to the people and I make sure they have their dental care, that’s in place and it is just wonderful to see the smile on their face when they know that you’re helping them.”
CY: That is truly wonderful. I’ve seen you over the years in the Dancing with the Stars audience, any chance you would ever do that or are you just a fan and a viewer?
LJ: “I like that show very much. I was a commentator on that show for Access Hollywood for one of the seasons and that’s why I had to be there to interview the different contestants that were performing. However, yes I love that show. It’s one of my favorites. My mother and I always watch it together. I’ve been asked to do it over and over, but it’s just something about that show that I just, I’m so in love with it that I don’t know. I’d be overwhelmed.”
CY: Yeah. I think so too. It’s definitely something you definitely have to think about before doing it, but there have been a lot of prominent people that have done it over the years and I’ve been covering that show since year one so maybe we’ll see you there in the future. So talking about other things, is there going to be any new music from you in the future and besides that, what kind of career do you want to have going forward?
LJ: “You know Chris, I’m putting out one more single and album as a matter of fact called Starting Over. Once I do that, I’m done with music. The reason I’m putting it out is because I’ve been putting it out for the past two years and I haven’t done it yet and the fans keep begging me to do it So. I said, ‘This is it and I’m done with everything.’ As far as new music is concerned and go and do what I love best, which is doing my business. I’m an entrepreneur and I love business. That’s what I’ve always done. I went to school for that. My father took me out and said, ‘You’re gonna be here like everybody else.’ So my heart is going towards that and where it has been. I have so many different companies that I work with and that we all work together and we pull out the best of everybody.”
CY: Is this the period in your life of self discovery for you where maybe you’re living alone and you’re just trying to figure out who you are given everything you went through earlier in your life?
LJ: “I think that every day we are taught lessons and sometimes we don’t realize or see it. I think life is a learning lesson within itself. I think you should take the best out of everything that you see and that you encounter and make the best of it. So yes, it is a learning lesson and it is a stepping stone and you do learn from what you’ve done in the past and you try to improve and enhance your life and that’s basically what I’m doing.”
CY: I was told by someone, I’m not sure if this is true that you possibly want to adopt kids. Might that be something coming up in the future?
LJ: “I’ve always wanted to adopt kids ever since I was 16 years old. I always said I’m going to adopt, I’m going to adopt. There’s too many kids in the world that need love and attention, I can give it to them. It’s so funny that the path you take in life, it takes you into a different direction and yes, it’s still on my mind and I haven’t given that up and I’ve given it such strong thoughts lately.”
CY: Given that fact, obviously everything you went through earlier in your life, what is the message to women about domestic violence?
LJ: “That’s a very, very touchy subject, domestic violence. I think women don’t realize is it’s something that’s very prevalent. It goes on, on a daily basis. As you and I are speaking about this, there are thousands and thousands of women that are being abused at this very single moment. I think women need to have a lobby. I feel that women need to speak out. The first time a man hits you is one too many times and you need to do something about it. That something about it is walking out that door and seeking for help and never looking back.
I know that it’s very difficult to do because I have been very much into that situation where you feel you can’t. You can’t just leave. You can’t go because you’re subjected to this and they take your self-esteem away and everything away from you. But I’m urging all women, I ask them the first time they hit you, please walk away. There is help out there. There are a lot of places that you can go and get help. That’s the first step to your freedom and to your life is to walk away.”
CY: We had Michael Jackson’s choreographer Travis Payne back in February from the This Is It Tour and he told me there were a lot of people that were close to Michael that were going to perform and appear with him on the This Is It Tour. Did Michael invite you to perform with him on the This Is It Tour or to appear?
LJ: “No, not at all. To go to the show, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. absolutely.”
CY: There was a period in time when you and Michael lived together in New York. What can you tell me about that period when you guys lived in New York?
LJ: “It was a great time. We were always close to each other. We were always best friends and when we lived together, it just made the bond so much closer. He was working doing The Wiz at that particular time and we just had each other, the two of us, our first time being away from home from the rest of our family and we lived our life the best that we could and shared so many wonderful moments. We slept in the same bed. We did so many wonderful things and it was just a great, great bonding time.”
CY: The most requested question that people had, I did actually let the Jackson fans contributed a few to this interview, was what was the most fond memory that you have of Michael while growing up?
LJ: “Oh jeez, there are so many memories. Where do I start? There’s just so many that you could pick any. Let’s just say, you know what I liked about him? Whenever I’d get sick, he would always go out and he would buy me stacks of fashion magazines for me to read cause I would get sick every single month, monthly and he felt so bad because I was in such excruciating pain and he would get tapes of the Three Stooges and he would put them in my VCR because that’s what we had back then. He would put the tapes of the Three Stooges in to make me laugh and forget about the pain. Then he would go out, he knew that my favorite artist at that time was Frank Sinatra. I just loved his music. He would go and try to find some kind of memorabilia of Frank Sinatra and get Frank Sinatra to sign it for me to make me feel better.”
CY: Interesting enough. Then moving on from that, you co-wrote and sung a song with Michael titled Night Time Lover. Fans wanted to know, did Michael ever originally have any intentions to use the song as one of his own tracks or was it always meant for you and did he record his own solo track to match yours?
LJ: “We did that song. I recall that so well in his bedroom on the floor. He was sitting on the floor and I was sitting on the bed and we just started writing Night Time Lover. He felt that this is a great song for me. We started writing for me actually and Michael produced it on me and he at one point told me, ‘I think I want to put that out again.’ This is much later on. He says, ‘I think I want to put that song out again and I sign on it and he’d sing it actually, but he never did it, he never did. That was just wonderful to know that.”
CY: Were there any other songs you guys worked on?
LJ: “Basically that. I’ve done little things on his songs like sing background for P.Y.T. and the scream on Heartbreak Hotel and things of that nature, but that’s basically it.”
CY: Moving along with that, people wanted to know what your fondest memories were of Neverland Ranch and did Michael ever spend the night at your house?
LJ: “No. He never did spend the night at my house, but when we were living together meaning at my family before we parted our separate ways, he would always camp out in my room. He would call it camping out and we would camp out in each other’s room and he would come to my room and camp out. Neverland was wonderful. It was just, it was what he wanted it to be. It was serenity. It was peace. It was his own world and you were a part of that world once you entered the gate, hearing all the music play and seeing all the animals grace the lawn. It was just wonderful. You felt like you were in paradise, a piece of paradise, a piece of serenity.”
CY: Do you ever have dreams about Michael?
LJ: “Well, of course. Are you kidding? Absolutely, absolutely. I like to think that he’s still with us and he will always be with us.”
CY: You said to Barbara Walters in 2009 that you did not take hard drives that allegedly contained over 100 songs of your brothers’. Do you have any information today about the whereabouts of those alleged missing hard drives?
LJ: “No and I did not take those and it’s so sad because it’s one of those situations where people just pin the blame on anybody and they don’t know what happened and they just put it on you. It was basically Frank Dileo who said that, which was awful. Think about it, it’s my brother, but I did not. Actually at that time, I didn’t even know what a hard drive was.”
CY: New reports came out about the missing surveillance tapes from the last hours of Michael’s life. The LAPD said they were erased because they didn’t know there would be a homicide investigation. Do you have any thoughts or anything you want to share about that?
LJ: “Yes I do. Absolutely. First of all as I’ve always said, my brother was murdered. That’s number one. Number two, you never ever, ever erase anything. I don’t care if it was the first four minutes or what. You don’t erase it. That’s a cover up and that’s a hide because they know that people were in that house prior to anybody getting there. They were already in that house and they didn’t want us to see who was leaving. When I got on the scene, I asked the police officers, ‘Where are the surveillance tapes? I want you to pull them.’ They said, ‘Well.’ ‘I want to see everything on it. I want to see it.’ I asked them over and over and I haven’t seen it to this day and I just learned just the other day they erased it so they say.”
CY: Yeah. So the reports say. What did you make of Michael’s autopsy report?
LJ: “Well, I wanted a second one and we got a second one. Honestly, nothing in this country is always properly straight. There are so many loopholes and so many things that were done in a different way that I am not happy with what’s happening and what’s going on whatsoever. At the autopsy I want to be there. I want to make sure that nothing was done improperly and at the last minute, no you can’t come. It’s like, why can’t I? I want to make sure. I don’t want people cheating him out of his life the way he did because I’m very troubled by all this.”
CY: I can totally understand that and fans want to hear this from you. It is true six weeks after Michael passed away that you did accompany corner officials to Forest Lawn Memorial Park so they could get samples, hair samples for toxicology testing and if, reasons and results of that?
LJ: “Yes I did. I was the informant on his body so I was constantly going down there and I didn’t like the fact that they had to go back and get hair samples, which they had gotten, then they wanted palm prints of his palm and that troubled me greatly because they had tested his body over and over and over again. Why that? That’s one of the things you don’t forget. Why that? So I said, ‘For them to clutch his fists that way, they’re going to say that he grabbed something or grabbed whatever it was or did whatever they were gonna say he did to himself.’ That’s what I’ve always said. They were gonna say he injected himself and I promise you that’s what’s going to come out because there was no reason for that.”
CY: Since the summer of 2009 shortly after your brother’s death when you gave a few interviews, have you found any new information whether it be people who could’ve contributed to your brother’s death or any other new evidence or conclusions?
LJ: “I found tons of new information and that’s what I do. I found tons of it and I’m very disturbed by everything that happened and everything that took place. It needs to heard and told.”
CY: And when are we gonna hear about this? Have you shared it with authorities?
LJ: “You will hear about it very soon.”
CY: Ok, then people are wondering as well besides that, ok, considering that information you say you do have and evidence, ok. Did you hire a private investigator? Have you talked to authorities? Everyone would like to know that specifically?
LJ: “No. Simply because the Los Angeles Police Department, they have the detectives on it, they’re taking care of it and they don’t wish to have anyone to intervene. Although, I’m not pleased with the job that they’ve done. There is a cover up, a big cover up.”
CY: So then do you still believe the trial of Conrad Murray is a sideshow and if you do, what should his punishment be?
LJ: “I do believe it’s a sideshow and I will say this to, I truly believe that Dr. Conrad Murray was simply the fall guy and nothing more. That’s all he is and I just think that he was the guy they put up front to make it look like something happened. I see the way that it’s going and they’re gonna say it was pure negligence and I just can’t believe that and I don’t believe it.”
*This CYInterview conversation with La Toya Jackson was conducted one day prior to the passing of Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor. Many will recall that Ms. Taylor and Michael Jackson were friends. LaToya was kind enough to send us this statement regarding the death of Liz Taylor, the day after our interview. Here is her statement:
“Liz Taylor was an amazing woman and screen legend. She was an incredible friend to my brother, at his side through some of his most difficult times and of course loved by his children and our family. She will live on in our hearts forever, my prayers go out to her family.”
La Toya Jackson’s official Twitter is at http://www.twitter.com/LaToyaJackson
La Toya Jackson’s official website is at http://www.latoyaonline.com/