The wife of Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is finally talking about her husband’s depression and treatment, dispelling rumors he attempted suicide but acknowledging he is “completely debilitated by depression.”
“His collapse was D-Day for us,” wife Sandi Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jackson, D-Illinois, left his job in June without explanation and made public two weeks later that he was taking a medical leave of absence.
Jackson, a lawyer and Chicago alderman, said her husband “collapsed” June 10 at their Washington home but is not being treated for alcohol or drug addiction. She also said her husband has been in a “news blackout” since the collapse.
Jackson said doctors will decide “soon” when her husband can return to work.
A House Ethics Committee investigation is pending over allegations Jackson discussed raising money for Rod Blagojevich’s campaign so the then-Illinois governor would appoint him to President Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich is serving a prison sentence for corruption.
Jackson also allegedly directed a fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, to buy plane tickets for a woman described as Jackson’s “social acquaintance.” Jackson and his wife have called that a personal matter. Days before Jackson announced the medical leave, Nayak was arrested and pleaded not guilty to unrelated medical fraud charges.
Jackson was taken by brother Yusef to George Washington University Hospital. He then went to Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona, which specializes in mental health. Jackson was finally taken to the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, N.Y., to in part learn whether a weight-loss surgery was connected to the collapse, Jackson said.