Don’t be fooled by Janet Jackson’s Instagram photo of her and late father Joseph. No one is smiling in this picture, least of all Janet. She looks like she’s a hostage.
Janet’s rise to fame had nothing to do with Joseph. It was family friend John McClain who got Janet to A&M Records, far from her father’s reach, and to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as producers. Janet hated her father. He was very abusive to her, which has been noted over and over. She once famously helped her mother beat up one of her father’s girlfriends.
Whatever peace she’s made with her father is great, but the reality is she knew what he was capable of. Family friends who knew the Jacksons quite well circa 1980 say Janet once appeared in their kitchen asking for a butcher knife to use again Joseph. The elder Jackson was also responsible for her separating Janet from her high school sweetheart and forcing her into the marriage with James DeBarge.