Celebrity

Michael Jackson Had A Secret Half-Sister And She's Finally Speaking Out

While the late Michael Jackson's career and personal life became the focus of media attention over the years, the rest of the Jacksons were working hard to keep their complicated lives under wraps.

For as long as Joe and Katherine Jackson, and their nine children, Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, LaToya, Marlon, Michael, Randy and Janet, have been in the spotlight, they've been plagued by controversy and drama - from child abuse to extramarital affairs and secret love children.

In an exposé published by Daily Mail, Joe had a twenty-five year affair with a woman named Cheryle Terrell, and in that time they welcomed a daughter, Joh'Vonnie.

Joh'Vonnie was born on August 30, 1974, the day after Michael's 16th birthday, but the Jackson family didn't find out about their patriarch's love child for another few years. When Katherine did six years later, she tried to divorce Joe, but was eventually convinced not to go through with it. That would be the second time she attempted to leave Joe, the first was in 1973.

Joh'Vonnie Jackson

In her new book, "Bastard Child," Joh'Vonnie reveals that over the years she had the chance to meet Katherine as well as all of her half-siblings, but their encounters were nothing like she would've ever imagined.

She recently had an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, and opened up about the details of her tough childhood trying to be a part of the famous dysfunctional family.

Joh'Vonnie, 43, explained that to this today she is close to her father, but with the exception of Rebbie, the rest of the family never made any efforts to accept her as one of their own. She went as far as saying that her brothers and sisters mentally tortured her, and often acted like she wasn't a part of the family at reunions and concerts.

Daily Mirror

The mom-of-one said that she knew early on who her half-siblings were, but her existence was kept secret from the world for years, and that played a role in why she never fully integrated.

"I was very aware that I was in the Jackson family growing up, I saw them on TV, I listened to their music,' she explained. "But I was hidden away, kept secret for years, not able to become part of that family. It was hurtful."

Joh'Vonnie also opened up about being bullied when she was younger because the kids at school found out she was related to the Jacksons, but she was born out of wedlock.

"I got beat up every single day because I was Joh'Vonnie Jackson," she revealed. "I had the hardest childhood, it was just as blue as Michael's and just as blue as my other brothers and sisters, and then to grow up and they don't want to have anything to do with me."

She then recounted her encounters with Michael, and why it still haunts her.

When asked why she thinks the Jacksons pushed her away, the single mom said it's because Joe favored her over the rest of his children. Joh'Vonnie and her mom lived just a few miles from the Jackson home, and Joe would consistently visit and bring her gifts.

She said the extra attention she received from Joe, ruined her chances of ever connecting with Michael. They spoke on the phone once, and he came off as nice, but when she asked him to call her again, he never granted her request.

They finally met in 2003 when Joh'Vonnie was 29, during a family event at Neverland Ranch. However, the King of Pop "seemed cold and standoffish."  

"He never acknowledged that I was his sister, there was no hug or kiss, not even a hand shake, no physical contact at all," recalled Joh'Vonnie. "I wanted to embrace him, I thought that he would wanna go some place quiet and sit and talk with me and ask me about my life and get to know me a little better."

They met again a few years later, and their daughters got along well, but Michael still wouldn't acknowledge his half-sister.

"I mourn a relationship that never began, that's what I'm sad about," Joh'Vonnie confessed. She believes that had she forced Michael to get close to her, she could've helped him when he hit a low.

Daily Mail

Joh'Vonnie, who now works in the timeshare industry, said that although it took some time, she's finally come to terms with the fact that she may never be part of the family. Still, she won't let her hurt feelings cloud the fact that she loves each and every one of her siblings unconditionally.

"It is what it is, I love my brothers and sisters no matter what they do, what is said about them, how they act, whatever, it's unconditional for me," she admitted. "The door is always open and my phone is always there, they can always call me if they need me for something. But I don't feel that that is extended for me. I feel rejected by some of the family."

She currently lives in Las Vegas with her 23-year-old daughter, Yasmine, and she sees Joe at least once a week since he lives close. She also keeps in touch with older sister Rebbie, but doesn't hear from the rest of the family.

After years of being silenced, Joh'Vonnie decided to write a book to tell her side of the story.

"So many people have these assumptions about what was going on with me, I'm so misunderstood, everybody's saying I just want to be famous and all these other things which are absolutely not true, the rest of the family gets to tell their side on everything, why shouldn't I have the right to tell what my life has been like and be honest and authentic about it," Joh'Vonnie explained.

If you'd like to read the rest of Joh'Vonnie's story, "Bastard Child" is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.