Janet Jackson Opens Up About Losing Michael

 Ron Galella/WireImage.com


In her first interview since her brother Michael's June 25 death, Janet Jackson says she been unable to watch television.

"It will drive you crazy," she tells October's Harper's Bazaar. "People can have rhinoceros skin, but there's a point when something's going to hurt you. Not everyone is stone, stone. I haven't watched the news in weeks. I had to ask my chef, 'How's Obama doing?' I haven't read a newspaper. On top of that, [we've lost] a family member."

At times during the interview, Janet – who will perform a tribute to her late brother at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards – was at a loss for words.

"My brother is, I mean was…" she stammers when talking about Michael's style. Shifting on the couch and staring at the floor, she adds, "You have to forgive me, because it's really hard to believe he's passed."

Michael was laid to rest last week in a mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif. His death, caused by "acute propofol intoxication," has been ruled a homicide; several doctors are under investigation.

Though she did not discuss her brother's prescription drug history, Janet says he seemed in good spirits the last time she saw him: May 14 at a family gathering two days before her 43rd birthday.

"We had so much fun that day," she says, noting that ate Thai food and tormented each other. "We kept calling each other after and saying how great it was."

So how is she coping?

Recently spending three days on a beach helped, she says.

"It was the first time I had to myself since Michael passed, the first time I could get away since all of that," says the singer.

She also has been throwing herself into work (she was on set in Atlanta shooting a Tyler Perry movie when she got the call that Michael had died).

"I've been doing okay," she says. "Work helps focus all of that energy on something that is of value to you." 

Looking back at his death, she says she has learned a lot.

She says she was touched after Michael's daughter Paris, 11, spoke at her father's public memorial. Fighting back tears, Paris told the crowd, "Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine."

Says Janet, "I was really proud. People said to me that Michael's daughter speaking really gave them a sense of how he was as a father, in her words. Paris is incredibly smart; they are all so smart. She's a sweet girl. The kids are doing well. They're with all their cousins; that family love will keep them going."

She's also learned she has her mother Katherine's "strength."

"Now at least I know that I can step up to the plate and not crumble when I'm needed," says Janet. "When it comes to something like this that is so, so serious, so painful, so traumatic, I can handle it."

Janet also confirms Us Weekly's exclusive report that she's split from beau of seven years, music producer Jermaine Dupri.

The singer – who's been married twice (as a teen to James DeBarge and to choreographer Rene Elizondo) – tells the magazine, "I don't know if I'll get married again. I'll put it like this: If God wants me to, then I will."

As for kids, "I'd adopt," Janet says. "And I think that if I'm really supposed to have kids, it will happen, if that's God's plan for me." 


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