updated 10/25/2005 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/25/2005 AT 8:00 AM ET
Janet Jackson’s onetime brother-in-law dropped a startling secret during a radio interview over the weekend.
Young DeBarge, the brother of James DeBarge, who was briefly married to Jackson in 1984, told New York’s Hot 97 that Jackson and his brother were parents of “Renee,” an 18-year-old girl the couple secretly sent to live with Janet’s elder sister, Rebbie, the New York Post reports.
Her birth was top secret, Young said. “James and the Jackson family kept everything real close, real tight,” he told the station. “No one really knew how it was working out until things kind of surfaced.”
Jackson was 18 when she and DeBarge first hooked up. They later eloped, but their marriage was annulled in 1985. Doing the math, an 18-year-old child would have been born in 1986 or 1987, after the annulment.
A representative for Janet Jackson wouldn’t deny claim, saying instead that her client had no comment.
DeBarge also said he believed that Renee resented her situation and the fact that her mother did not acknowledge her.
“She hasn’t really revealed that, but I’m sure that there’s some feelings there,” he said. “It’s only natural that you wonder about what it is and how it’s come to be that way.”