La Toya Jackson: Sister Pledge

As a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice, La Toya Jackson continues her late brother Michael’s commitment to AIDS Project Los Angeles. But which catty competitor’s side is she on — Star Jones or NeNe Leakes?



LATOYA JACKSON 2 X390 (LOGO) | ADVOCATE.COMI’ll bet you could teach those queens a thing or two, Miss La Toya. Remember when you raised money for APLA on Halloween 2009 by working at Millions of Milkshakes in West Hollywood while wearing a big orange wig and silver catsuit? I’m not sure what look you were giving, but you were giving a look.
[Laughs] I was doing one of the Jetsons. Maybe you’re right, but there’s a lot that I have to learn too. Believe it or not, I learn a lot from the gays. And those drag queens were girlier than any of the girls I know, so it was great to learn new techniques and tricks of the trade. I learn a lot of dialogue and vocabulary from you guys too, by the way. Like “tucking.”

Richard Hatch is representing the gay community on Celebrity Apprentice this season. Did you two get along?
You know what? Richard Hatch and I got along just fine. It’s interesting, because everyone was a little intimidated by him in the beginning, but Richard’s actually a nice guy. I liked him very much.

The show hasn’t even aired, but people are already talking about the feud between contestants NeNe Leakes and Star Jones. Did you get caught in the middle of that drama?
Let’s just put it this way: There’s a lot of drama. I prefer peace, but sometimes you’re put in situations you don’t wish to be in, so you have to try to make the best of it.

Are you Team NeNe or Team Star?
Oh, Team NeNe, by far.

Really? That surprises me.
I know it does. But I’ll be truthful with you: NeNe’s bark is much bigger than her bite. Deep down inside, NeNe has a heart, and I can’t say that for everybody else.

Star has said that NeNe perpetuates the stereotype of the “bombastic black woman.” Is that valid?
That’s their fight, and I’m going to leave it to them to battle it out, but we all need to conduct ourselves like the young women that we are.

What was it like working with Donald Trump?
Incredible. He’s really done a wonderful thing here, reaching out to these celebrities to come fight for different charities. It’s brilliant.

Your album Startin’ Over was originally scheduled for release in 2003. There have been some roadblocks along the way, but will Startin’ Over finally get a release this year?
Absolutely. It’s going to finally happen this year. It’s time. I’m really excited about the songs, and I know you guys will be terribly surprised.

On your 2004 dance hit “Just Wanna Dance,” you sing about clubgoers not knowing if you’re “a he or a she” and kicking it “with a girl or a man.” Will any other songs on the album appeal to or resonate with the LGBT community in particular?
That’s an understatement. Just remember these three words: love, honor, and obey.

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