James DeBarge breathed new life into the longtime rumor that he and Janet Jackson had a “secret” love child during their brief romance more than 30 years ago.
The singer, who battled with drug addiction, makes the claim in a newly released clip of WE TV’s “Growing Up Hip-Hip,” in which he talks to his daughter, Kristinia, who is a star on the reality television series.
“I’m tired of the secrecy,” DeBarge said after she confronted him about the urban legend. “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.”
“To be honest with you, I didn’t know,” he continued. “I was under the impression that there was no baby, and I wanted to believe it’s not true. But it is.”
Jackson and DeBarge eloped in 1984, but the marriage was annulled in 1985.
Watch DeBarge discuss the family drama below.