Several months ago, I read Janet Jackson's autobiography/advice book, True You. Now we hear from her big sister LaToya in Starting Over.
Seeing the cover, you would think that this book was totally about Michael. But it's not. The book is pretty much divided into three parts: her marriage and being taken away from her family, leaving her marriage and putting her life back together, and Michael's passing and her theories about his untimely death.
LaToya first met her future husband, Jack Gordon, in the mid-80s. At that time, Latoya was still being managed by her father. Somehow, Jack schmoozed his way into her life (and pretty much conned Joseph in the process) and became her manager. Then her decade of hell began.
LaToya was in a very abusive relationship with Jack and was beat constantly. All those things that she did during that time period (Playboy, Psychic Friends, the Paris shows, accusing Michael of messing with children) was all Jack. And if she didn't comply and/or protest, he beat her (she still got beat up when she did comply).
In 1996, LaToya finally got the nerve to finally leave Jack by escaping with brother Randy and a cousin. She used the next 13 years to repair the relationships in her family, start a business partnership with a new friend (who co-wrote the book), rebuild her career, and getting over the abuse from Jack.
Then June 25, 2009 happened.
LaToya is the first sibling that arrives at the hospital and finds out about Michael's death from her mother. She also the family member that escorts Michael's children to the hospital room where they say goodbye to their father.
She also feels that Michael was killed and that Dr. Murray is the fall guy (her father has said this too). She found it ironic that many people who Michael had fired (and were with him during the height of his career) returned in time for his comeback concerts. She also questions why none of the family members oversee his estate and questions AEG's motives (the company who sponsored This Is It).
Do I think Michael's death is as complicated as LaToya thinks it is? I don't know. But I do believe that Michael probably did have a horrible case of insomnia and he was way beyond Nytol, which contributed to his death.
The book was easy to read and enjoyable. Love the pictures of her and her family. The hardest part for me was going through LaToya's account of her brother's passing (especially now with the trial going on). But the first part of the book should be a testament surviving domestic abuse.
I chose this video for obvious reasons (but I always found it yucky that LaToya was Michael's love interest). She did drop some "trivia" throughout the book. For example, Michael fell in love with the location where the video was made. So much that he bought it and it became Neverland. RIP Michael and Linda.