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Jackson's sister speaks out on family tragedy

February 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, Michael Jackson's sister Rebbie and her daughter Yashi Brown discussed the personal struggle close to their hearts.

The pop star's family endures their personal tragedy in the public eye. First it was the death of a loved one and then the trial of Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray.

The doctor is accused of overdosing the pop star with the hospital anesthetic propofol and making phone calls instead of monitoring the singer while in a state of sedation.

"That in itself was devastating to me," Rebbie Jackson said. "That was one of the things that I thought was really out of order."

Jackson, a singer herself, has rarely sought the spotlight. But now she is speaking out about Murray and a private struggle.

Her daughter, Brown, was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at age 23.

"There was paranoia, racing thoughts, insecurity," Jackson said.

"I didn't know sometimes who my mom was and why she was right there," Brown said.

The two are joined in a campaign for public awareness. Jackson is launching a concert tour this month called Pick Up the Phone, which promotes suicide prevention.

"When people are in that condition, they feel very much alone," Jackson said. "They don't know where to turn or who they can turn to."

Brown, now 33, is a success story. She turned her battle for mental balance into a book that is now on the digital bookshelf.

"It is a strong responsibility to speak out on this because there is so much stigma," Brown said. "I know that people need to hear this."

Brown said that Murray's trial has been eye opening, especially the testimony of Murray's girlfriend, Sade Anding.

Murray called from Jackson's bedroom to chat with her minutes before Jackson's fatal cardiac arrest.

Speaking to Good Morning America, Anding questioned Murray's priorities.

"I just feel like, why did you call me? That call was pointless," Anding said. "I would rather you not called me or call me when you're able to talk."

If convicted, Murray faces a four-year prison term.

"I feel that is not very long for someone losing their life," Jackson said, "but I am putting faith in the judicial system."