Why is your charity on Celebrity Apprentice so important?
When I first was asked to do the show, I was a bit hesitant about doing it I but after evaluating it with my business partner I thought this was wonderful because my brother set up this charity with whom I had worked with⎯AIDS Project Los Angeles⎯and I decided this will bring awareness to this charity so why not do the show, which is why I got involved in it.
So, in a way you’re honoring Michael’s legacy?
Absolutely. And I think it’s so important to bring light to the different charities that are around the world that people aren’t familiar with, and that’s what we had done. Michael had given his personal money to charities and he was in the Guinness Book of Records for donating millions of dollars of his personal money. He did a lot of that work; a lot of people don’t know that. If he saw something like a tsunami or a starving child he would say send them $2 million. He would just pick up the phone and say send them that. And that’s what he would do for the kids that were hurting all over the world, people in general, for that matter.
Were there some people on the show are there more for their own exposure instead of their charity?
It depends. I think they forget⎯during the show, I kept saying, “Guys, this is for charity, did u forget?” There’s so much tension and fighting and yelling and very boisterous and strong-headed women and it’s like, “Wait a second, this is supposed to be out of love and together as a unit.”
What helped you get by? It looks stressful.
The entire show is high stress and it gets better each show, meaning there are a lot of fights that go on and you have to just stay focused on what you’re doing and that’s what I basically did. My strategy was being myself. I didn’t have a strategy but some of them came in there and it was like, “I’m gonna win this show regardless,” and it’s like, what about your charity?
There’s been a lot of drama between Nene and Star Jones. They’ve both been doing interviews throwing verbal darts at each other and Star in particular said she felt that Nene makes Black women look bad because of her attitude. What are your thoughts about that comment and their relationship?
I think that when you’re doing a show like this and you’re around people⎯I think that we’re working so many hours a day. It’s usually 18 hours or 15⎯somewhere around there⎯and when you’re working those many hours it becomes kind of stressful and people’s true personalities come out. I can only stay true to myself but whoever you are, if you’re boisterous you’re gonna see that, if you’re mean and malicious you’re gonna see that and that’s what you see in these different characters. And if that’s the way they represent women as a whole, as a minority⎯black women in general⎯that’s not necessarily so. But I would like for us to be⎯and I told this to the girls⎯I said, “You guys we must be professional,” I said, “Listen, we’re all Black women, and women on top of that so let’s make this a great show. Let’s all stick together and do a great job and make everybody proud” but that went right out the window [Laughs].
You seem pretty lowkey but you are Joe Jackson’s daughter so will you have a moment where you have to go to battle or lose your cool?
[Laughs] You know what it was [three episodes ago], Donald had complimented me on my work and the people that we were working for had complimented me and said I was the only one that knew what I was doing and the girls didn’t like that and said they had to get me off next. And that’s what they did, they all wanted to say don’t give her any tasks, don’t give her anything to do. It was difficult and they made it difficult but you have to stand up for yourself. But at the end of the day I don’t believe in yelling and fighting, I believe in talking things out. I’m not gonna yell back but I’m not gonna let you run over me either.
What else can we expect from the rest of the season?
I can’t reveal too much but you can expect a whole lot, trust me. I’ve never experienced anything like being in prison my whole life and that’s what it’s like. It’s just like working in prison. I hope they edit so you guys can see because a lot of editing goes on where you’re like, wait a minute, that didn’t happen that way so I hope they edit so you can see. It’s a very interesting show. You’re working with a group of people and you’re restricted to a boardroom. You’re in this room with each other all day and people get angry. Aside from the show, there’s also the Conrad Murray trial coming up. Can you give us an update? I’m definitely gonna be at the trial and I just want to see justice. It’s so sad what’s taken place and what’s happened and I want justice served to the proper individuals.
How are the kids, Paris, Michael and Prince?
They’re doing extremely well, thanks for asking. Kids are resilient and they’re enjoying their lives.
What are they doing to continue their father’s legacy?
Prince is interested in acting and directing and Blanket is interested in directing and Paris likes singing, so I try to spend time with them as much as I can and make sure they’re on the right path.
What are some of your favorite Auntie activities to do with them?
I did Ellen yesterday and they wanted to come a long, so I brought them with me because they’re interested in directing. We showed them how the cameras work and took them to the booth and control room⎯things of that nature. And I’m taking them out today and we’re going to do some fun things, like go shopping, go to the park and have a bite to eat and we’ll probably get manicures and pedicures together.
Aren’t you working on a book too?
I’m not at liberty to speak about such things.
What else are you working on?
I’m putting out and album called Starting Over. It’s something that I’ve been saying I was going to put out forever so I want to do that and get music out of my system and get it over with, so that will be out before the year is over. But my goal is business. I’ve always loved business. I run all these companies under Jatail.com. There are several companies that I run and I’m happy about it. We’ve been doing it for a few years now.
Is there anything you want to add?
No, I think we’ve covered everything, thank you.