Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Janet Jackson speaks for the first time about losing her brother Michael Jackson.
"I've been doing okay," the singer said. "It's really hard to believe he's passed." Janet, who is getting ready to make a special appearance at the upcoming VMAs in honor of Michael, opened up about her special relationship with her older brother, who nicknamed her "Dunk."
"Sometimes his humor would be corny, sometimes dry," she said. "He was always very protective of me."
And the protection went both ways – even though Janet was eight years younger than the pop icon.
"When I was 14 years old, I would shop for him, washed his clothes, cleaned his room. When Mother would go out of town, she'd say, 'I'm leaving you in charge, take care of Mike.' I would head home from school, see what he needed, then go straight to the stores."
Janet’s good times with Michael continued. She said she's grateful for the time they spent together at a family gathering in May – the last time she saw her brother alive.
"We had so much fun that day...[He] would laugh so hard, he would just start crying," she said.
In the wake of his death, Janet says that she’s learned something important about herself.
"I always wanted to have my mother's strength, but I didn't know if it was really there...Now at least I know that I can step up to the plate and not crumble when I'm needed. When it comes to something like this that is so, so serious, so painful, so traumatic, I can handle it."
We think Michael would be proud.