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CNN PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Profiles of Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson
Aired June 19, 2004 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, she's the hard partying socialite, an heiress turned model, turned reality show star.
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JONATHAN MURRAY, CREATOR, "SIMPLE LIFE": She's an it girl. I mean there's something about her that draws you.
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ANNOUNCER: Fortune and fame for the great granddaughter of hotel magnet, Conrad Hilton. Wealth and celebrity are a family tradition.
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LEO BRAUDY, AUTHOR, "THE FRENZY OF RENOWN: FAME AND ITS HISTORY": She comes from a rich family that traditionally had a kind of a hankering for some larger sense of fame.
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ANNOUNCER: But there's fame and then there's infamy.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean Paris Hilton was just a dab on the red carpet until that video ended up on the Internet.
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ANNOUNCER: From sex scandals to simply hitting the red carpet, is this celebrity has come to?
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, it's enough somehow just to have a camera pointed at you.
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ANNOUNCER: Paris Hilton and our fascination with fame.
Then, it was the jaw dropping flash seen around the world.
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LYNN NORMENT, WRITER, "EBONY" MAGAZINE: And this whole blow-up is just -- it was sort of a shock to her.
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ANNOUNCER: Was it a wardrobe malfunction or a way to sell records?
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TOURE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE" MAGAZINE: It's absolutely a PR stunt. If Janet Jackson wasn't coming out with a new album shortly thereafter, then she wouldn't have done this.
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ANNOUNCER: She grew up in the shadow of her famous Jackson brothers, had a roll on a TV sitcom, but then took control of her own life.
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PETER CASTRO, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: She wanted to break away from the whole Jackson machine.
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ANNOUNCER: From girl next door to the center of a firestorm, Janet Jackson. Their stories now on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. Paris Hilton is the definition of what it means to be a celebutaunte. It's a word recently coined to describe a certain type of celebrity and the phenomenon of fame today. Sure, Paris has that famous last name and sure she's a star of an own reality TV show. The second season of the "Simple Life" debuted earlier this week. But why are we so obsessed with her and how has the idea of fame changed over the years? Some answers from Bruce Burkhardt, but first a warning -- some of the following material is of an adult nature.
BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's the New York City socialite who's become one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world.
MURRAY: She's clearly an it girl. There's something about her that draws you in at the same time that she's an outrageous party girl.
MICHELLE LEE, SENIOR EDITOR, "GLAMOUR" MAGAZINE: And the public looks at that and they say, "Oh, that's the most despicable thing, look at her posing for that camera." But at the same time, it's such eye candy and you can't help looking. ANTHONY MORA, AUTHOR, "SPIN TO WIN": I see her as kind of like the expert of vapor fame. If Andy Warhol was still alive, he's going to be worshipping at her shrine. She's taken what he was doing to the extreme level where she's famous really for doing nothing.
BURKHARDT: She commands front row seats at top fashion shows and enjoys ample exposure on covers of popular magazines.
JESSICA SHAW, SENIOR WRITER, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": She loves being photographed. She has pictures of herself in magazine covers that she keeps with her. She's obsessed with fame and with being in the public eye.
BURKHARDT: You'll find her at movie premiers, on the arms of actors and pop star boyfriends and in the VIP section of the trendiest night clubs.
LEE: We see her partying, dancing up on table tops. This is not a shrinking violet.
BURKHARDT: But last year, even more exposure on the Internet.
SHAW: I think there's not one human being in this country that did not get that sex tape forwarded to him or her on their computers.
BURKHARDT: And if you've missed her social misadventures or red carpet arrivals, you probably have seen her splashed on gossip pages. She's become a fixture on the "The New York Post's" page six.
RICHARD JOHNSON, PAGE SIX EDITOR, "NEW YORK POST": We got a lot of complaints from readers, which are -- I don't know why you keep writing about this girl. She's never done anything. She hasn't accomplished anything. All she does is go to parties.
Well, it turns we were right. She's a character and she is interesting in her own right even though she hasn't won like a Nobel Prize or anything. People want to watch her.
BURKHARDT: The public may see a lot of Paris but they don't often hear from her. She does some press, appearing recently on "The Late Show with David Letterman."
DAVID LETTERMAN, THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN: There was a time when you guys lived in New York City?
PARIS HILTON, SOCIALITE: We used to live at the Waldorf.
LETTERMAN: But it seemed like you would always be going to parties. Is that accurate? Is that a fair description?
HILTON: Well, when we were younger, it was fun. Like, what other teenager is invited to all these parties wouldn't go?
HILTON: So we did. BURKHARDT: But all in all, Paris seems to shy away from interviews. She's declined our request for one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paris.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paris Hilton.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paris Hilton.
MATTHEW FELLING, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Paris Hilton continues on the grand tradition that we love here in America, of celebrities who are famous because they're famous.
BURKHARDT: Why is Paris in the spotlight? How did she get there? What does her celebutaunte status say about America's fascination with fame?
MAUREEN ORTH, AUTHOR, "THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING FAMOUS": I have found, increasingly, in our society today that fame and infamy are merging. People are getting recognized for not doing anything.
BURKHARDT: Last year, the camera-loving hotel heiress parlayed her social exploits into a hit reality show. Fox's "The Simple Life" transplanted Paris and her celebutaunt sidekick, Nicole Richie, from Manhattan's social scene to an Arkansas farm.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you all want to help me pluck some chickens?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, vomit.
MURRAY: Some of the best television is when you put somebody in a fish out of water situation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aah!
MURRAY: Because there's this fascination with celebrity in America today, we felt that it would be even a better concept if the two people we sent were celebrities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pigs feet.
BURKHARDT: The concept worked. The show was a ratings bonanza. The celeb famous for party hoping nabbed another season on the hit TV series. In "The Simple Life 2," the spoiled socialites leave the lavish lifestyles behind again to take a 30-day cross-country road trip without cash, credit cards, cell phones or boyfriends.
MURRAY: So they go to see Paris and Nicole, two girls who have never traveled across America, who've never stayed in a RV park.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this a real trailer park?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes!
MURRAY: They sort of slummed their way across America. HILTON: We don't have any money.
Sir, do you have 75 cents?
BURKHARDT: Slumming? A strange concept for the heiress with the very famous last name. As the great granddaughter of hotel czar, Conrad Hilton, Paris Hilton grew up in the lap of luxury, posh Beverly Hills estates, her great grandfather's Park Avenue hotel.
SHAW: When she was a teenager, she lived in New York. She had the suite pad at the Waldorf Astoria and all of a sudden everyone became fascinated by her because who was this really cute girl living in one of the top hotels in the city going out every night, getting in trouble?
BURKHARDT: Paris barely made it through high school and finally, finished with a private tutor. The older daughter of real estate tycoon, Richard Hilton, and his wife, Cathy, and sister to fellow socialite and model, Nikki, she made her public debut in a graphic 2000 "Vanity Fair" spread.
LEE: I remember this one photo, very clearly, of Paris Hilton laying on the ground wearing a bikini top that was sort of gone askew. So she was essentially topless.
BURKHARDT: The explicit photos got tongues a-bagging. Paris began modeling for famous designers and gave acting a shot. She took a bit part in the horror flick, "Nine Lives."
HILTON: I'm never in home unless I'm in London or New York or...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or Paris or...
BURKHARDT: Made cameos as herself in "Zoolander."
HILTON: You rule.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Paris. I appreciate that.
BURKHARDT: And later, "The Cat in The Hat." But Paris continued to gain most of her notoriety by cruising New York clubs, hob-knobbing with celebs and posing.
MICHAEL MUSTO, COLUMNIST, "THE VILLAGE VOICE": Paris sought out the glare of the paparazzi and they, in turn, have followed her down the red carpet. She comes alive in front of the cameras. Cameras come alive in front of her.
BURKHARDT: Coming up, Paris, overexposed. Party girl to Internet porn star.
LEE: Here's an incident that could probably ruin another person, but yet for her, she sort of parlayed it into this uber fame.
BURKHARDT: And the drive for fame and fortune doesn't fall far from the family tree. MORA: Zsa Zsa basically predates Paris. She would have been the Paris of her day.
ANNOUNCER: We now return to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
BURKHARDT (voice-over): There she is on the carpet, on the runway, in the headline, Paris Hilton. That look, that attitude, that main.
ORTH: I don't think anybody would have paid much attention to Paris Hilton if her name were Mildred Clump.
BURKHARDT: From cameos on shows like "Las Vegas"...
HILTON: Actually, I love Vegas.
BURKHARDT: ... to her very own reality TV series.
HILTON: My boobs look huge in this.
BURKHARDT: Paris, the heiress, taken the Hilton name beyond hotels.
SHAW: She wants to be famous. She's someone who loves the limelight.
BURKHARDT: If Paris loves the limelight, she is only carrying on a long family tradition.
BRAUDY: One thing that's intriguing about Paris Hilton is that she comes from a rich family that's traditionally had a kind of hankering for some larger sense of fame.
BURKHARDT: Conrad Hilton, Paris' great grandfather, family patriarch and founder of the Hilton hotel empire. Conrad built his empire from the ground up. His first purchase nothing more than a flop house in Cisco, Texas, but its success led to Hilton's first major hotel in Dallas. From there, not even the Depression could stop him.
CATHLEEN BAIRD, HILTON ARCHIVIST: Business travelers were one of his primary clientele. He charged a minimum price for maximum service and had low rates, from $1.50 to $3 a night.
BURKHARDT: By 1941, Conrad had been married and divorced. He had three sons, Nick, Eric and Paris' grandfather, Baron. The budding hotel magnet had also expanded to the West Coast with his acquisition of the Townhouse, Conrad entered the world of Hollywood celebrity and he set out to enjoy life, a life with beautiful women and lots of dancing. BAIRD: He loved to dance. He liked to keep a very busy schedule. And, that schedule could very much include going out to dinner with a young lady and dancing in one of the nightclubs.
BURKHARDT: At one particular nightclub, Ron Conrad met and fell in love with a young Hungarian beauty queen. Her name, Zsa Zsa Gabor. A few months after they first danced, Conrad proposed. His friends were shocked. They said Zsa Zsa was a gold digger but Hilton ignored their advice.
SHAW: Conrad definitely set the tone for the family. He was loaded. He created this huge chain and he married Zsa Zsa Gabor. From then on, the Hiltons have pretty much been sort of coexisting between the world of the wealthy and the world of the Hollywood celebrity.
BURKHARDT: Conrad would soon come to regret his marriage to Zsa Zsa. It was a rocky union from the start.
BAIRD: He was very much into business. He operated with budgets. He felt the budget should apply to the home, as well whereas Zsa Zsa's ideas were very different.
BURKHARDT: Conrad and Zsa Zsa divorced in 1946. Single again, Hilton set his sights on some of America's greatest hotels, landmarks in San Francisco, Chicago, and ultimately New York. He bought The Plaza and later, the hotel of his dreams, the Waldorf Astoria, the Park Avenue address that great granddaughter, Paris, would one day call home.
BAIRD: And that was his proudest moment. And, it was his favorite hotel.
BURKHARDT: By the 1950s and '60s, Hilton hotels had gone international and Conrad had become one of the world's richest men. But it was Conrad's eldest son, Nick, who was making a name for himself now. Like his father, Nick was a man about town. He had an eye for the ladies. And in the Hilton tradition, he has a passion for celebrity. In 1950, Nick briefly married 18-year-old Elizabeth Taylor.
BRAUDY: Conrad Hilton married Zsa Zsa Gabor for several years in the 1940's. Nicky Hilton married Elizabeth Taylor. So it's almost like a family tradition to not only be rich but also to strive for some other status in the public eye. That's figments of fame.
BURKHARDT: From Conrad to Nick to Paris. The Hiltons have always been in the public eye, their successes, their failures, their loves and their losses, all the stuff of headlines and gossip columns. More than wealthy, they are the celebrity rich. The toast of what was once called Cafe Society.
BRAUDY: Cafe society was a world that grew out of the speakeasies of prohibition. And when prohibition was over, it continued into the nightclubs of a new era. And what Cafe Society was, was a coming together of three groups. One was show business. One was the rich and the other was gangsters. And this was the '20s and '30s and '40s when the gossip column becomes a major part of the media.
BURKHARDT: Profits and parties, the Hiltons have often been as much about fame as fortune, one no less important, no less desired than the other.
SHAW: These two worlds very often intersect, so Paris being in the spotlight and sort of crossing the line between rich and Hollywood is not really a surprise.
BURKHARDT: Coming up on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, how much is too much?
FELLING: We have really set a record pace in building and manufacturing celebrities from reality TV to the Paris Hiltons of the world.
BURKHARDT: Celebrities, media and our obsession with the famous and the infamous when we return.
ANNOUNCER: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
BURKHARDT (voice-over): "Green Acres," two wealthy socialites head to the sticks in search of the country life, the simple life. Sound familiar?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God.
BURKHARDT: Forty years later, Paris Hilton and pal, Nicole Richie are two fish out of water in a reality series takeoff of the famous 60's sitcom. Coincidence? Perhaps. But the parallels don't stop there. "Green Acres'" star, Ava Gabor is the sister of Zsa Zsa Gabor, second wife of Conrad Hilton, Paris' great grandfather.
MORA: The interesting thing is that Zsa Zsa is really precursor of Paris and her sister. So in a sense, maybe there's some kind of psychic, genetic thing that was passed on.
BURKHARDT: Zsa Zsa to Paris, generational twins of a sort, poor, little rich girls famous mostly for simply being famous.
BRAUDY: I think the whole celebutaunt phenomenon is just the most recent version of something that's been going on for, you know, almost a hundred years. There were people like Gloria Vanderbilt or Peggy Hopkins Joyce in the '30s and '40s, that is the children of the rich who are a particular object of interest because they hadn't done anything to be rich except be born.
BURKHARDT: Our fascination with the rich and famous is obviously ingrained in our culture. From the flappers who roared with the band in the 1920s to the party hopping socialites of today. But the phenomenon of celebrity is ever evolving, ever shifting. Where we once hailed accomplishment, we now seem more focused on the trials and tribulations of our celebrities.
MORA: I think that there's a real shift in media now. I take it back actually to the O.J. trial where O.J. was a celebrity but then he became really known for the notorious aspect of his life. Then you had people who had became known strictly for notoriety and that's when you had the Heidi Fleiss' and the Monica Lewinsky's and the Bobbitt's.
BURKHARDT: Fame hasn't only become more scandalous, it's also become more salacious.
BRAUDY: If anything has changed in the idea of the poor, little, rich girl right now, and if Paris Hilton exemplifies anything, it's really the injection of more sexuality.
BURKHARDT: Paris Hilton perhaps became forever linked with sex and scandal last year when the X-rated video she made with her former boyfriend, Rick Solomon, surfaced on the Internet. Later, Solomon released and personally hosted a bold DVD of the couple's steamy romp entitled, "One Night in Paris." The video was certainly revealing and certainly embarrassing but it was in no way career ending.
SHAW: I actually think she sort of put that behind her and has come out on top. I mean, Rick Solomon was the one that looks really sleazy now.
RICK SOLOMON, FORMER BOYFRIEND: Paris. How'd I get to be so lucky?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paris Hilton was just a dab on the red carpet until that video ended up on the Internet.
BURKHARDT: With the Internet and the explosion of other outlets, with so many avenues to peek at the celebrities' lives, media of the 21st century has made nearly all of us voyeurs to some extent.
ORTH: With the advent of 24 hour cable TV and the 24/7 news cycle, combined with the wired world of the Internet, it has really speeded things up and celebrities are increasingly sought after. They have a shorter shelf life.
BURKHARDT: For her part, Paris seems to have moved on from the scandal surrounding her much-viewed video. She even joked about it on "Saturday Night Live."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the Paris Hilton roomy?
HILTON: It might be for you, but most folks find it very comfortable.
BURKHARDT: But why are we often so willing to forgive our celebrities when they get into public? MORA: The public loves its celebrities. They love to build them up and they love to knock them down, and then they love to bring them back up again because it's basically like a soap opera being run in real lie.
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: We made the ticker?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell are you all doing?
HILTON: Making sausages.
BURKHARDT: And the soap opera that is Paris Hilton's life is back, playing out on national TV.
NICOLE RICHIE, FRIEND: Just squish it.
HILTON: Cover it.
RICHIE: Like a cat box.
BURKHARDT: Paris has reteamed with Nicole Richie for "The Simple Life 2."
RICHIE: Is there one bed?
HILTON: Both of us have to sleep there.
RICHIE: Yes, with the dog.
BURKHARDT: And this time, Paris and Nicole will hit the road, taking in America, and letting America take them in one trailer park at a time.
MURRAY: I think they're a natural comedic team. Often Paris is the straight person and Nicole is the one with the sort of outrageous lines. And Paris is laughing at it. They're sort of like a modern day Lucy and Ethel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone needs to pull over!
BURKHARDT: Paris and Nicole, a modern day Lucy and Ethel? Reality TV stars for sure, but do it girls like Paris Hilton ever really last?
LEE: Paris Hilton's celebrity can probably last a really long time. It's just going to be a matter of somebody else outrageous and beautiful and whatever coming and eclipsing her.
HILTON: Hi, how are you?
BURKHARDT: For now, Paris is just being Paris. She's still hitting the red carpet, still vamping for the cameras and she's still shocking. Yes, for now, the world's most famous celebutaunt is doing what she does best.
JOHNSON: Paris is great because she's not ashamed of the fact that she doesn't have to work and she actually enjoys the fact that she can go to parties and do nothing but have fun.
FELLING: There are stars out there who have lasting appeal. Then you have the flavors of the month and that just kind of gets recycled and recycled and recycled. And I think that Paris Hilton and people love her, fit into that strata of recyclable celebrity.
ORTH: Paris has accomplished that goal to be famous at age 21. Let's see where Paris is when she's 31.
ZAHN: Paris Hilton is also venturing into music and publishing. Her first record is due out in August and her first book, "Confessions of an Heiress: The Tongue and Cheek Peek Behind The Pose" is expected to hit bookshelves in September.
ANNOUNCER: When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS returns, the top selling pop star whose risque Super Bowl appearance sparked a debate over decency.
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NORMENT: She really was dismayed, concerned.
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ANNOUNCER: Janet Jackson before and after the controversy. That's next.
ANNOUNCER: We now return to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
ZAHN: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
Janet Jackson's half-time performance at the Super Bowl shocked millions and touched off a storm of controversy over indecency and America's airwaves. It certainly was a far cry from the innocent image her fans first came to know, but then the sultry singer has been a master of reinventing herself throughout her career. Here's Kyra Phillips.
JANET JACKSON: You know, my first name isn't baby, it's Janet. Ms. Jackson if you're nasty.
KRYA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's the pop music diva used to being the center of attention whether it's her steamy stage acts...
TERRY LEWIS, RECORD PRODUCER: She just kind has this shy mannerism. You see her on stage and it's a whole completely different thing.
PHILLIPS: ...provocative music videos like "What It's Gonna Be" with rapper, Busta Rhymes.
JACKSON: What's it going to be.
BUSTA RHYMES, RAPPER: For me or you.
JACKSON: And you and me.
MISSY ELLIOTT, RECORDING ARTIST: Between her and Michael, I have watched all my life and made my videos the way I made them because I felt like their videos were always taken to the edge.
PHILLIPS: On a risque album and magazine covers, Janet Jackson, the singer who evolved from the cute, chubby little Jackson sister to the chiseled, sexy pop star has always known how to stir an audience with songs like "Nasty."
JACKSON: Who is that making nasty songs?
PHILLIPS: So why did one more titillating Janet Jackson stage show generate so much controversy?
CASTRO: The sacrosanct moment of a Super Bowl is what people freaked out about, you know. It's sort of like going to church and what she did was a little too naughty and a little too self-serving in the eyes of many.
PHILLIPS: "Ebony" magazine writer Lynn Norman sat down with Janet just days after the Super Bowl.
NORMENT: She said, you know, Lynn, I never experienced anything like this before. Other people in my family have had such media experiences, but this is the first time for me. She's always been considered, you know, the kind of quiet one, no trouble, no major controversy. And this whole blow-up is just -- it's sort of a shock to her.
PHILLIPS: The Super Bowl show made Janet front page news, a spot that had been occupied by her brother Michael, as he faces an upcoming trial on child molestation charges. But 37-year-old Jackson now the impetus for an FCC investigation on television and decency has not always been in the spotlight. Janet Damita Jo Jackson grew up the youngest of nine kids to Joseph and Catherine in one of the most famous families in show biz. Janet's older brothers had become pre- teen idols making history as the Jackson 5 with smash hits like "ABC."
MICHAEL JACKSON: (SINGING)
PHILLIPS: Her 15-year-old brother Michael had begun to make waves as a solo artist with his debut album "Got to be There," When 7-year-old Janet joined the family act for its Las Vegas review.
JANET JACKSON, SINGER: That's right. I'm Janet Jackson and nothing goes until I say it goes. OK, go.
I remember being very nervous and Randy was hugging me and he's going, "Oh, Janet, it's OK. It's all right. You're going to do fine." I'm like, I don't know, I don't know if I want to go out.
PHILLIPS: But Joe Jackson insisted his daughter stay on stage.
J. RANDY TARABORRELLI, BIOGRAPHER: Janet was definitely pushed into the business. There's no -- you know, there's no disagreement about the fact that Janet really never wanted to be a singer. She was sort of pushed ahead by, you know, this sort of flow of success that the family was having.
J. JACKSON: Hey, Tito.
TITO JACKSON, BROTHER: Yes.
PHILLIPS: Janet continued to entertain on TV specials with her brothers but she made her way into the public eye through acting. When Janet was 10 years old, she was hand picked by TV mogul, Norman Lear, for a role on the popular sitcom, "Good Times."
J. JACKSON: I'm going to miss you all so much.
TARABORRELLI: She was so good as Penny in the show "Good Times" that anybody who was watching at that point realized that this was a real star in the making. She definitely had something that the other Jackson's didn't have.
PHILLIPS: More acting roles followed. She played the girlfriend of teen actor, Todd Bridges, on "Different Strokes."
J. JACKSON: I better go before we get in trouble.
PHILLIPS: And later took part in the TV series "Fame."
J. JACKSON: Well, if you want me to back off, fine, I'll back off. But I'm telling you one thing, some day you're going to come running after me.
PHILLIPS: The 16-year-old had become a successful young actress. But at the urging of her father, she left the small screen for the recording studio. Her solo debut came with 1982's "Janet Jackson." The album bombed.
In 1984, she tried again with her second record "Dream Street." Despite her famous musical roots, 18-year-old Janet barely got noticed.
TARABORRELLI: She didn't really sound like she could sing exactly. It was more of a sound rather than a voice. But the thing that she had going for her was that she was a Jackson and that she was Michael Jackson's sister.
PHILLIPS: Janet would soon make a decision that would bring her out of the shadow of her famous brother Michael and into her own spotlight. In 1984, 18-year-old Janet left home and eloped with pop singer James Debarge. CASTRO: She was in the grip of her family, her father especially. And she wanted to just break away from the whole Jackson machine, and one way of doing that was to just start a life with some other person.
PHILLIPS: But Janet's parents overruled that marriage and it was annulled less than a year later. Janet had had enough of the Jackson stronghold.
J. JACKSON: I want to be the one in control.
PHILLIPS: When we return, Janet leaves home, taking control of her own music and life.
And later, Janet shocks fans with a long-kept secret.
LEWIS: If you think about how hard of a secret that would be for people to keep.
ANNOUNCER: We now return to "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS."
J. JACKSON: What have you done for me lately?
PHILLIPS (voice-over): When 19-year-old Janet Jackson packed her bags for Minneapolis in 1985, little did she know that songs about personal liberation like "What Have You Done For Me Lately" would not only make her a star, but would break her away from the shadow of her family. After two unsuccessful albums and a failed marriage, Jane Jackson was ready to turn around her life and music career. That chance came with well-known R&B producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
LEWIS: I'll never forget the first meeting when Joe said to us, "Don't make my daughter sound like that Prince guy." Oh, no, Mr. Jackson. We would never do that.
PHILLIPS: Janet moved to Minneapolis to work with the producers on a new album. She was away from home, living in another city without the protection of her family.
Jam and Lewis had a reputation for creating hits as well as having a good time.
TARABORRELLI: These guys were, you know, were as wild and raucous and it was fun and, you know, sexual and edgy. And they were, you know, rock-n-roll people, musicians. And all of a sudden, Janet was in this whole different thing.
PHILLIPS: After months of working together in the studio, in 1986, Janet Jackson released "Control." It would be her breakthrough and break out album.
With its cutting-edge grooves and Paula Abdul choreographing her videos, "Control" shot straight to No. 1.
TARABORRELLI: When that came out, you know all of her siblings were looking at each other as if to say, wow, Joseph is going to be pissed off now.
J. JACKSON: You know my first name ain't baby. It's Janet. Ms. Jackson if you're nasty.
PHILLIPS: It was a new Janet, with a new attitude. Her hit song, "Nasty," showed that the baby of the Jackson clan could now take care of herself. As she put distance between herself and her family, Janet's career skyrocketed with another best selling album, 1989's "Rhythm Nation 1814."
PHILLIPS: "Rhythm Nation 1814" dominated the charts, producing seven top 10 hits, including the No. 1, "Escapade."
J. JACKSON: Let me take you on an escapade. Let's go.
PHILLIPS: In 1990, Janet made her debut world tour, playing in front of more than two million fans.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love Janet, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do, too.
JIMMY JAM, RECORD PRODUCER: I looked at her and I said -- after going out looking at the stage, looking at the crew, and the buses and the trucks and everything and I just said to her, I said, damn, I said, you're like, you know, you're not just Janet Jackson anymore. You're like Janet the corporation now.
PHILLIPS: Janet Jackson was a super star and after five years on her own, in 1990, she found love again with songwriter and long time friend, Renay Elizondo.
JAM: Renay and her were a great couple. Very compatible, very much in love, very, you know, played off each other's words and finished each other's sentences.
PHILLIPS: But a well-hidden secret about their relationship would later shock Janet's friends and family.
Janet rejoined Jam and Lewis for her 1993 album "Janet." The multi-platinum record earned her a Grammy and announced Janet's arrival as a provocative adult singer who was openly exploring her sexuality. Her music featured racy lyrics and songs like the erotic "Any Time, Anyplace."
JAM: She just was feeling great, looking great, in love, and all of those things came across on that record.
PHILLIPS: Janet had transformed from the young girl next door to a sexy, voluptuous woman.
NORMENT: I think earlier she did not feel she was beautiful. She had some serious image problems and she overcame that, then she started to feel good about herself, very confident, and started losing weight. It was just a major transformation.
PHILLIPS: Along with her new image, Janet's attitude about sex also changed.
CASTRO: She started talking about it in interviews and it was really weird to hear her say, you know, "I really love sex. I just embrace it." But it really became a stamp in her career and in her own personal life that she became a sexual creature after that.
PHILLIPS: Janet embraced her newfound sexuality posing topless on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine.
Janet was on top of her career and in love. But the happiness wouldn't last. When we return, Janet's dark move.
JAM: We booked a session in L.A. and, you know, she wouldn't show up. And then I'd get a call saying oh, she doesn't feel good today. She'll be there tomorrow.
PHILLIPS: And one night that spiraled out of control.
JAM: She told me to watch. You got to see the half time. You got to see the half time.
ANNOUNCER: WE now return to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
PHILLIPS (voice-over): By 1995, Janet Jackson was much more than just Michael's little sister.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! Ten million records!
PHILLIPS: She was a certified platinum super star, a young diva in the midst of a makeover. With Janet, Miss Jackson had announced her arrival, racier, sexier. She was all grown up.
LEWIS: I think that as you grow up, you become a little more comfortable with yourself, mentally, sexually, and I think it's just all part of growth.
PHILLIPS: But beneath Janet's sexy new veneer, she was suffering from the weight of the Jackson name, the demands of her career and an explosive secret she had been hiding for years. Her pain needed an outlet and the result was "The Velvet Rope" and songs like "I Get Lonely."
JANET JACKSON: I get lonely.
JAM: there would be times when she would disappear for, you know, a week at a time. Like, we'd book a session in L.A., and she wouldn't show up and I'd get a call saying, oh, she doesn't feel good today.
J. JACKSON: Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got until it's gone.
PHILLIPS: The "Velvet Rope" was difficult and very intimate. Hits like "Got Until it's Gone" explored Jackson's darker side, her emotional breakdown and the secret that shocked the world.
CASTRO: One of the most incredible entertainment stories that I can remember of the last 10 years was the fact that Janet Jackson was married for 10 years and no one knew it.
PHILLIPS: Janet Jackson had secretly married her long-time companion, Renay Elizondo, in 1991 and the startling nuptials were not truly revealed until Elizondo filed for divorce in May 2000.
JAM: I totally agreed with their approach towards it, because your life is so open to the -- that everybody knows everything. It's nice to have something that people don't know. And it's nice to have that one thing that's just between you and the person you love, because everything else is so out there.
J. JACKSON: Come on, four, three, two, one.
PHILLIPS: If Janet was hurting after her divorce, she was certainly on the rebound a year later with the release of her Grammy winning CD, "All For You."
J. JACKSON: All for you.
PHILLIPS: "All For You" marked her escape from depression and gloom.
J. JACKSON: Just a wonderful space to be in. The last album I did "Velvet Rope" was very difficult for me, going through the depression, having that bout and just a lot of things that were going on in my life at that time.
PHILLIPS: And, true to form, Janet was as provocative as ever in her songs and on stage with erotic numbers like "Would You Mind" from her 2002 special "Live in Hawaii." After a racy tour, and the enormous success of "All For You," Janet Jackson took a much needed break in 2002 and all but vanished from the spotlight. Then, in an instant, Janet went from under the radar to over exposed, literally and figuratively. During a half-time performance with Justin Timberlake at this year's Super Bowl, Janet's right breast was revealed to some 90 million viewers.
TOURE: I was sitting alone in my apartment and I'm like, wait, wait, what was that? That must have been a pasty. There is no way Janet was naked on TV. There is no way.
PHILLIPS: Jackson and Timberlake immediately said her breast bearing was an accident, a wardrobe malfunction. But what they called an accident was an outrage to the FCC.
MICHAEL K. POWELL, FCC CHAIRMAN: I thought it was outrageous and I was deeply disappointed as I sat there with my two children and I knew immediately this would cause outrage among the American people, which it did.
PHILLIPS: The release of her latest CD, "Damita Jo," just two months after the Super Bowl, sparked more debate over Jackson's half- time peep show.
TOURE: It's absolutely a PR stunt. If Janet Jackson wasn't coming out with a new album, shortly thereafter, then she wouldn't have done this.
LEWIS: You can say this could be a publicity stunt but when it happened, it was no album to come out. And at that point, they leaked some kind of way of a single out some kind of way, but I don't think that has any bearing on the reasonings for doing anything.
PHILLIPS: After quickly releasing a videotaped apology, Janet kept quiet about her Super Bowl controversy except for one exclusive interview with "Ebony" magazine writer Lynn Norment.
NORMENT: She really was dismayed, concerned. But she said this too will pass and she'll be a stronger person afterwards. Everything happens for a reason and that in the end, it will all work out OK.
PHILLIPS: And now, Janet has someone by her side to help her work things out -- record producer Jermaine Dupri.
NORMENT: She has found her knight in shining armor in Jermaine Dupri. She seems very happy with him, very much in love. And during the interview, she just kind of said, "Oh man, I'm in love." And, it's just refreshing to see that. It's very genuine.
PHILLIPS: A new love but many lingering questions. Has Janet seriously damaged her career?
TOURE: They say, you know, takes a lifetime to build a reputation and a moment to ruin it. And, she definitely tarnished her reputation. She definitely went too far but it's still possible to bring it back and to keep going.
PHILLIPS: It is unclear whether the Super Bowl controversy hurt sales of Jackson's new album, "Damita Jo." While selling, more than one million copies so far, it was Janet's first album not to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts since 1989's "Rhythm Nation."
LEWIS: Nobody's going to buy the record because of any sort of controversy or any sort of publicity or that. But at the end of the day, you got to like it when you hear it to buy it. And that's what translates into sales, nothing else.
PHILLIPS: But the question remains, for a diva famous for reinvention, has one stunt become one costume change too many or is this just Janet Jackson's latest act? (END VIDEOTAPE)
ZAHN: Janet Jackson is on the cover of this month's "Blender" magazine and in her cover story, she admits to having what she called a very active sexual mind at a very young age. She also tells "Blender" that her first crush was on singer, Barry Manilow.
That's it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Coming up next week, Donald Rumsfeld and Michael Moore. As the U.S. gets ready to hand over sovereignty in Iraq, a look at America's controversial secretary of defense and the controversial filmmaker behind "Fahrenheit 9/11."
I'm Paula Zahn. Thanks so much for being with us. Be sure to stay with CNN for the very latest on what's happening in your world.
ANNOUNCER: For more celebrity news, pick up a copy of "People" magazine this week.
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