La Toya Jackson has been secretly engaged to her business partner Jeffre Phillips since August last year. 58 year old La Toya, who is the fifth child of the famous Jackson family, of whom Michael Jackson was a member, has announced plans to wed Phillips, who popped the question in Hawaii.

La Toya Jackson EngagedLa Toya Jackson has confirmed her engagement to friend and manager Jeffre Phillips, pictured above

La Toya was said to have been totally surprised by the proposal so she didn’t shout “YES!” immediately. She explained, “I had no clue. I couldn’t understand why he was so nervous.” Jackson is said to be head over heels for Phillips who she describes as her “best friend”: “I was in total shock. We’re best friends and we’ve been business partners forever. It was always professional - no one really crossed those boundaries.”

Talking to ABC news Jackson confirmed the news, “Yes I am. I’m engaged. And I’m excited about it. Yes, I’m very much engaged…And it’s wonderful.” Phillips apparently surprised Jackson with an array of her favourite foods, which included chicken soup, and presented her with a whopping 17.5 carat diamond engagement ring.

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This will be La Toya’s second marriage, her first was to former managed Jack Gordon, who she claims was abusive. Gordon denied her accusations, he died in 2005. Speaking about him La Toya said, “He [Gordon] took me to Japan, where I was supposed to be for a few days and then he took away my passport and said, ‘You’re never going back’…From that point, he started the abuse. He locked me in closets, I wasn’t allowed to watch television, he started beating me, I couldn’t have friends or read newspapers…he was making me do things totally against my will, like Playboy and everything that he did. He told me if I didn’t do it that he would kill me and kill my brother Michael.”

Despite such a traumatic experience, La Toya feels she is ready to love again, “things have changes…And now I’m open [to love and marriage].”

But who is Jeffre Phillips? Producer and manager Phillips produced the 2013 TV series Life with La Toya as well as the 2010 TV movie documentary Michael Jackson and Bubbles: The Untold Story. He is also famous for being the executive producer of the 2000 comedy films Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth.

La Toya Jackson EngagedLa Toya Jackson, pictured with brother Jackie Jackson, is the fifth Jackson child

Although the couple haven’t set a wedding date quite yet, La Toya has indicated that the pair have discussed adopting a child together.

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