This morning, we welcomed very special guest, La Toya Jackson, in studio to talk about her brand new reality show Life With La Toya on OWN, which debuted last Saturday with over 1.5 million viewers.
Having done reality TV in the past as part of Celebrity Apprentice, La Toya tells us why she decided to finally allow cameras into her own world so that viewers can see the real her.
“I’m opening the door. I’ve always been offered and asked to do my own show, but I said ‘no’ because I wasn’t ready for it,” said La Toya. “Our family has always been secluded…but then the public – there’s always, always these misconceptions about the family.”
She adds that reading rumors and false stories about her family for so long prompted her to take matters into her own hands and show the public the real, unfiltered story in her series.
“Here I am going ‘you know what? Let me do my show, let me show them who I am and know you can judge me if you want to.’ I don’t mind that,” said added.
She says that her series is also an extension of her best-selling 2011 memoir, Starting Over, which chronicles her experience in a seven-year long, abusive marriage with ex-husband/manager Jack Gordon. On her show, she opens up about fearing for her life after threats Gordon made, and how she managed to escape the abusive relationship and start a new life.
“I want [women] to know that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing through in life, you can always start over. You don’t have to be submissive, you don’t have to hide in a closet and feel down because you been abused…and that’s what ‘Life With La Toya’ is – it’s an extension of showing people that, look what I’ve gone through and look at my life now because I’m accepting who I am, I’m owning who I am and starting over.”
La Toya goes on to tell us her memories of growing up with her brothers rehearsing at their home as the Jackson 5, and her close relationship with Michael. On what Michael would think of her doing a reality show, La Toya says that he would have “loved it” because “he was loving reality and that’s what people don’t know.”
In fact, the next episode follows La Toya and her mother Katherine back to their home in Gary, Indiana for the annual vigil held in memory of Michael, which is La Toya’s first time attending.
“My mother promised me that I wouldn’t get emotional…because I didn’t come [since he’s passed], and there she is crying,” La Toya laughed.
La Toya also addresses the recent controversy around Michael’s daughter Paris trying to reconnect with her birth mother Debbie Rowe saying that she’s “fine” with Paris spending time with her.
“I don’t know how other family members feel, but I know that my mother is fine with it and I’m fine with it – that’s their mother,” said La Toya.
Catch La Toya’s new series Life With La Toya Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. on OWN to see what life is like being a Jackson.
We discuss much more with La Toya Jackson in our complete two-part interview below!
Part one: La Toya talks about why she wanted to a reality show, escaping abuse from ex-husband Jack Gordon and addresses rumors surrounding the Jackson family.