LaToya Jackson Returns and Defends Michael

ByABC News
January 21, 2005, 3:31 PM

Jan. 21, 2005 — -- In a family from which the public has come to expect the unexpected, LaToya Jackson has always delivered. Through the years her every move seemed to generate scandal and controversy.

She appeared willing to do just about anything to cash in on her famous name, from posing for "Playboy" to hosting soft-core porn films -- to the shock and dismay of her family and friends.

"This was not the LaToya that my family knew, was not the LaToya that friends knew," LaToya Jackson told "20/20. "It was not the LaToya that's LaToya."

That woman was the creation of one man, she said: her former manager and husband, Jack Gordon.

She said Gordon dominated and controlled her for roughly a decade with threats, lies and routine beatings.

"When he hit me, the first time I was in shock," said LaToya. "I just recalled my ear ringing, just ringing so hard."

She has since divorced Gordon and is working on reviving her singing career with a soon-to-be-released CD called "Starting Over." She spoke to "20/20" in great detail about life as a Jackson, her allegedly violent marriage and her past antics which made her a Jackson family outcast. In 1993 when her brother Michael first faced child molestation accusations, LaToya supported the claims of his young accuser by condemning her brother's behavior with children.

Michael Jackson is currently awaiting trial on child molestation charges in an unrelated case. He has pleaded not guilty, and LaToya told "20/20" her brother is innocent.

Her earlier public condemnation, she said, was just one of the many things Jack Gordon forced her to do.

LaToya Jackson was born into one of the world's most famous musical families as the middle of nine children. She's two years older than Michael and as a young girl she was a homebody. She lived with her parents, Katherine and Joe, until she was almost 30.

Looking back, LaToya, now 48, said that cloistered childhood left her ill-prepared to face the real world.