Today, the tragic stories of child abuse in the Jackson house are common knowledge. However, when Michael Jackson released Moonwalk in 1988, the accusations were new and explosive. Describing his father, Joseph, Jackson wrote that “He’d sit at home with us every day after school and rehearse us. We’d perform for him and he’d critique us. If you messed up, you got hit, sometimes with a belt, sometimes with a switch. My father was real strict with us — real strict. Dad would make me so mad and hurt that I’d try to get back at him and get beaten all the more. I’d take a shoe and throw it at him, or I’d just fight back, swinging my fists. That’s why I got it more than all my brothers combined. I would fight back and my father would kill me, just tear me up.”
All That Is Bitter And Sweet
In her honest and shocking 2011 memoir, acclaimed actress Ashley Judd revealed that she had been sexually abused not just once but by several men on multiple occasions throughout her youth. This included suffering repeated abuse at the hands of an unnamed family member while growing up in Kentucky. In All That is Bitter and Sweet, Judd also describes how her mother and sister, country singers Naomi and Wynonna Judd, often left her home alone with her father for long stretches of time while they were touring the country and promoting their music. Seeing her mother and sister work so closely together made Judd feel as though she was on the outside looking in at something she could not touch. She also wrote about dealing with depression for years, saying she felt neglected and unloved by her mother and extended family.