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Friday
Jun062014

La Toya Jackson on Engagement: 'Never Crossed My Mind He Was Going to Propose'

OWN TV(NEW YORK) -- La Toya Jackson confirmed her engagement to longtime business partner and best friend, Jeffre Phillips, earlier this week. And now she tells ABC News Radio that Phillips proposed by surprising her with a vacation to Hawaii. He dropped to one knee after a private dinner in their hotel suite inside Trump Hotel.

"It never crossed my mind he was going to propose to me. Actually...I thought I was having a surprise party and I thought everybody was going to jump out at some point and say 'Surprise!' But that never happened. Jeffre decides to get on his knee," she explains. "And he's just shaking...and I'm going, 'Oh no.' And that's when he proposes to me."

The proposal is featured on season two of Life with La Toya, which premieres Saturday night on OWN.

After working with each other for over 20 years, Jackson immediately realized how perfect Phillips was for her.

"Jeffre has always been a sweet guy, a kind guy, a great guy. And when he asked me -- I don't know if I should say it now or let them wait and watch the episode -- but...you start thinking about the individual and you start thinking about the person," Jackson says. "I have to be honest with you...I wish every girl had a Jeffre."

Jackson credits her therapist, who she is seen meeting with on the first episode of the second season of Life with La Toya, for helping her find love.

"I had a few problems with getting too close to people [and not] wanting them to get too close in my circle, my perimeters. What's going to happen next? Are you going to try to control me, take over me, take advantage of me? So I had those fears and of course I've overcome those things," she explains. "And in looking for love, little did I know it was right there before my eyes."

It also helped that her family and friends were supportive of Phillips. Her best friend Kathy Hilton, the mother of socialite Paris Hilton, urged her to marry Phillips. "Kathy goes, 'Honey, you better marry him.' She goes, 'Because if you don't, I know a whole lot of girls that want to,'" Jackson says laughing.

Phillips had to ask her dad, Joe, for her hand in marriage. "Jeffre and I are best friends and we're business partners so he knows everything about me. So he knew to ask my father first just in case I said, 'Well, you have to ask my father.' And you know, my father's not the easiest man in the world to speak to," she says laughing. "Although he loves Jeffre and he's been knowing Jeffre for years, of course. But yes, he did ask him, and my father...was dying to tell me!"

Jackson never considered a romantic relationship with Phillips as the two were best friends, but she feels she knows when Phillips realized he was in love with her. "I think what got Jeffre jealous was the fact that I decided that, you know what, I think I better start dating. And when I dated on the first episode [last season], I saw a little change in him," she explains.

Life with La Toya returns Saturday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.


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