In her newly released memoir, Starting Over, former Celebrity Apprentice contestant La Toya Jackson candidly reveals details of her abusive marriage to her former husband and manager, Jack Gordon. And in a recent interview with PopEater, Jackson talks in-depth about her reasons for writing the book and how walking away from her abusive relationship proved to be one the most difficult and triumphant moves of her life.
In the interview, Jackson shares that she suffered abuse from Gordon for nearly a decade and explains that Gordon not only threatened her life, but the lives of her family as well.
“It was nearly 10 years. I had no choice, no control,” Jackson said. “If I was to make a move or do anything, first of all I was surrounded by his people and also he promised me that he would kill my brothers and then kill me. He said, ‘If you ever try to run away, I’ll come and find you and kill you and your brothers.’ I believed it because I knew the way he operated.”
Jackson also reveals that Gordon forced her to famously pose nude for Playboy, but, when he tried to take her sexual exploitation to an even greater level, she finally decided to leave him.
“He forced me to do everything against my will, like Playboy magazine. I would get beatings twice a week,” said Jackson. “The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he wanted me to do porno with a couple of men. I said, ‘I can’t do this.’ He said, ‘Yes, you are.’ And he got in the shower, and I picked up the phone, and I was terrified he was going to catch me, and I made a phone call to my mother and father, and they told my brother Randy, ‘You get over there and get her now,’ and he got on a plane and got me, and I escaped.”
While Jackson doesn’t excuse Gordon’s violent behavior and manipulation, she reveals that she believes that she was vulnerable to Gordon’s abuse because of her own inexperience.
“I know exactly why it happened. He was fortunate enough to get a religious girl who knew nothing about the world, who was wealthy and he could take advantage of and use her and make money off her and then toss her aside. He told me, ‘I’m going to make you the most hated person in the world,’ ” said Jackson
Despite her tragic past, Jackson explains that she hopes her book will help other women to realize their own self-worth and walk away from their own abusive relationships.
“People walk into your life, they control you, they take away your dignity, your self-esteem and self-worth. They take away from you everything that you love from you, and they seclude you from your own family, and this is a way of dividing and controlling and conquering you from your family,” Jackson explained. “Women need to know when a man touches them it’s one time too many because it doesn’t stop there. He’s going to do it again, and you can get away. You can start again, and they need to know that.”