Janet Jackson addresses rumours had a secret baby with then-husband James DeBarge in ’80s

Janet Jackson has addressed the long-standing rumour she had a secret baby with then-husband James DeBarge back in the ’80s.

The singer is set to discuss the claims in her upcoming self-titled documentary, Janet Jackson, with a teaser clip showing Jackson opening up about the matter.

“I could never keep a child away from James. How could I keep a child from their father? I could never do that. That’s not right,” the 55-year-old said in the clip.

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Janet Jackson says she married James DeBarge in 1985 to seek independence from her father. (Getty)

Jackson recalled the rumour was first sparked in 1984 on the set of the TV show, Fame

“A lot of the kids thought I was pregnant ’cause I had gained weight and I had started taking birth control pills,” said Jackson, who played Cleo Hewitt in the series. “And back then, you could pick up weight taking them, and that’s what happened to me, so that rumour started going around.”

Her co-star on the show, Debbie Allen, also features on the doco, in which she recalled being shock about the speculation.

“These were rumours that were just flying around, honey, like hash in a diner,” Allen said on camera. “Where was the baby? Nobody saw a baby. I mean, she was there with us all day, every day. Where was the baby?”

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Janet Jackson and James DeBarge at the American Music Awards in 1985.
Janet Jackson and James DeBarge at the American Music Awards in 1985. (Getty)

Elsewhere in the doco, Jackson opened up about her short-lived marriage to RnB singer DeBarge.

The couple were married for one year in 1984 before their annulment in 1985, with Jackson — who was 18 at the time — saying they eloped because she wanted to seek independence from her father and manager, Joe Jackson.

According to Jackson, the couple split after she found out he had allegedly been using drugs.

“I was just incredibly innocent,” she says with tears in her eyes in the documentary. “It’s just, to me, hurtful for someone to see that and just try to take advantage of it.”

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