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Janet Jackson's Secret Past

Feb 4th, 2004

February 4, 2004

Tonight, we dig into the ET vaults to show you what Janet has revealed through the years about her troubles with dieting, depression and divorce. We also talk to the singer's good friend PAULA ABDUL to get her thoughts on the situation.

"I felt it wasn't necessary," she told our Bob Goen. "She's such a beautiful girl, she didn't need to do it."

But the "American Idol" judge says that her friend has always taken risks. "Janet is great at being edgy. As an artist you want to push the boundaries."

And, Paula says, to be the talk around the water cooler can be a plus: "I believe Janet absolutely anticipated that all of this would happen ... everyone is talking about it and that's what you want as a performer."

Even at a young age, Janet has been in the public eye. From her roles on "Good Times" to "Diff'rent Strokes" and somewhat to her chagrin, she starred in the syndicated series 'Fame.' The multi-talented performer told ET in 1999 that she had hoped to do something different with her life.

"I wanted to go to college, but my father wanted me to do 'Fame,' so I went ahead and did that," she revealed. "I wanted to study business law. I still thought I'd be in the industry in some way but I never thought it would be what it was."

Her parents stepped in again when the teenage Janet rebelled and married singer JAMES DEBARGE. The marriage only lasted three months due to her parents forcing an annulment. In the 90s, Janet married once again, this time to RENE ELIZONDO JR. It was a virtually secret nine-year union until he filed for divorce in 2000.

Janet opened up again to ET about the two relationships: "I can honestly say I've been in love twice in my life and they were both friends of mine before we started seeing each other -- they were James and Rene."

But two years ago, Janet was still in the process of getting divorced. She was reportedly fighting his demands for a reported $10 million settlement. "I just hate when things like this happen because I wanted to be friends. You don't talk and that gets funky and it can be ugly."

The suit was settled recently for an undisclosed sum and she is now involved with JERMAINE DUPRI, but has no plans to marry.

For more on Janet's past and friend Paula Abdul's words for the performer, tune in to tonight's ET!

Courtesy of ETOnline.com

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