Rebbie Jackson Reminisces
Maureen was Michael’s other “Mom”
Day 301, Week 43, Article 42
Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson is the oldest of Michael Jackson’s siblings, and by all accounts was his second mother. But you can’t tell by looking at her. Last month at Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too premiere in New York, the fit, beautiful 60-year-old Rebbie looks like she’s going on 40. Oh, and younger sister Janet, who stars in the movie and stood on the red carpet with her, didn’t look too bad either. Irrespective of her looks, Rebbie shares how Michael’s tragic passing affected her: “I have to say, for a while, it was very difficult to listen to anything that Michael’s voice was on,” she reportedly told the New York Post. ‘That’s pretty tough to escape. Everywhere you go–food markets, department stores, TV and radio–they are playing his music.’
Rebbie Reveals: “When he passed, I thought about him the way he was as a kid,” she said. When Rebbie was a teenager, mother Katherine enrolled in school while father Joseph worked, leaving Rebbie in charge. “I’m very much the big sister. I helped raise a lot of them. I took care of them and administered the disciplinary action.” Consistent with her role as “second mother,” she cancelled a string of performances in recent years to help address Michael’s needs. ‘My brother had a problem with drugs, and he was in denial. There were many interventions by the family members. And I was involved in a lot of that. It was such a sad thing and it hurt so badly,’ said Rebbie.
Rare Rebbie: In a rare 1994 interview, Rebbie was asked, “Do you believe Michael molested young boys?” Her exact words then were: “As the oldest child in the family, I helped raise my little brother. I know within my heart that Michael isn’t even capable of such a horrible thing. The mere allegation was enough to almost kill him, let alone the actually act. His being falsely accused has adversely affected the lives of so many of our relatives: uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins, have all felt the brunt of my brother being falsely accused. No, my brother never molested anyone, and I didn’t have to be there to know that.”
Rebbie’s Religion: Rebbie is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses as was Michael, who later lapsed. With this in mind, Rebbie was asked, “How would you describe your relationship with Michael? I understand that your religion prevents you from talking to or associating with him.” A reflective Rebbie answered: “I feel uncomfortable mixing business, politics and religion, but I will briefly say this: As with any family, anything one member does affects others in the family. This has never been truer than with the Jacksons. Nonetheless, we are still a family, and a family of entertainers at that. No religion can erase blood ties. So, to the extent necessary, there is interaction, especially on a business level, between family members. And while religious affiliation and political alliances play a part, they don’t stop us from being related…he’s my younger brother and I love him.”
Familial love persists between active Witnesses and relatives with a “disfellowshipped” (see 1 Cor. 5:9-13) status. The word “disfellowship” means to “exclude from fellowship.” It originated in early 17th century England, and primarily had a business or secular connotation. The religious transition came about in 1849 when one Mormon publication stated: “No person that has been disfellowshipped or excommunicated from the church will be allowed [etc.],” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Calvinists adopted the expression shortly thereafter.
Will You See Rebbie?: You certainly have the opportunity to see Michael’s other “mother” if you live in the Scranton, PA., area. Rebbie will be performing with The Temptations Tribute in a relief benefit for earthquake victims in Haiti and Chile. Contact Wendy Evans at 570-955-1455 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.