A representative for La Toya Jackson is denying reports that the singer and reality star married her longtime business partner over the weekend.
“The rumors that La Toya Jackson married her longtime business partner Jeffre Phillips are completely false,” the rep told ET Monday. “The reporting outlet should be embarrassed for their mistake and at least make an effort to find facts to back up their story before reporting.”
Reports claimed that Jackson and Phillips married in a private ceremony in Los Angeles last Friday, with Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and nephew, Prince, in attendance.
A source told Us Magazine that Phillips has “been by [Jackson’s] side forever,” and that he helped her several business dealings.
“And he’s always with her,” the source said. “They are the very best of friends and Jeffre is part of the family by now.”
Jeffre Phillips asked Joe Jackson for permission to marry his daughter on La Toya Jackson’s reality series, Life with La Toya, earlier this year. He proposed during a trip to Hawaii and, during the preparations, said he had never been so nervous, and that he would be “devastated” if things went wrong.
The 57-year-old, the fifth child of Joe and Katherine Jackson, was previously — and forcibly — married to manager Jack Gordon, who claimed it was for Jackson’s own protection against kidnapping by her family. Jackson said the September 1989 marriage was unplanned and against her wishes, and reportedly tried to run out of the chapel several times. She was prevented from doing so by Gordon’s bodyguard, Antonio Rossi, who told her, “There’s some things you have to do. Even if you don’t want to.”
La Toya Jackson asked Jack Gordon for an annulment six months later in Rome, but he refused and bashed her head against a hotel room table several times, saying he would never let her go. Jackson subsequently lost all contact with her family and remained estranged from them for several years before reaching out to brother Randy to help her escape while Gordon was out. She filed for divorce in 1996 and sued Gordon for years of abuse under the Violence Against Women Act.
The first season of Life with La Toya premiered in April on the Oprah Winfrey Network. In June, OWN announced that a 12-episode second season had been ordered and is scheduled to premiere this month.