As the world shares Janet Jackson’s excitement over her pregnancy, her ex-husband’s claims that they have a secret child are hovering over her.
The singer married James DeBarge in 1984, and during his appearance on the show Growing Up Hip Hop, his daughter Kristinia questioned him about the allegations.
“I'm tired of the secrecy,” he said. “I'm tired of the truth not coming forward, and people being a coward when it comes to it. And I thought it was wise for me to speak out now because it needs to be addressed.”
He says Kristinia’s alleged half-sister contacted him via email after another woman had claimed to be a product of his marriage to Jackson.
"She confirmed it on her deathbed"
In a shocking exclusive to RadarOnline in May of this year, DeBarge opened up for the first time.
“She was very angry about people running with this story about this [other child] being my baby. She got very angry. She’s like, ‘Papa I want to help you out.’ She had so much of personality and she was so accurate with everything she was saying, it was only things that I and Janet know. No one else but God, me and Janet.”
He continued: “One of her adoptive parents died. Her adoptive mother... and on her death bed (she) said she told her. She confirmed it on the deathbed.”
He claims not to have known about the pregnancy - but that he had his suspicions.
“I hadn’t known [that Janet had a baby]… not for sure,” he said. “I went on a search. Someone went through some serious changes to make it impossible for me to find. This had to be some serious inside work being done with the paperwork. Someone was working with them.”
"She wasn't fooling anyone"
News of an alleged secret baby surfaced for the first time in 1994 - and was covered extensively by Star magazine, and DeBarge’s mother was reported to have believed Jackson was pregnant.
Etterlene DeBarge believes that the singer went away for a long period of time, and on her return, she told her husband that she wanted to end their marriage.
“I saw Janet before she left, and from what I could see, she was definitely pregnant,” she told the magazine. “She wasn’t fooling anyone.”
Jackson’s marriage to Debarge was annulled a year after their wedding.
DeBarge was released from prison in 2015 after serving three years for drugs charges and assault with a deadly weapon.
Jackson and husband Wissam Al Mana - whom she married in secret in 2012 - are expecting heir first child together.