In a 1993 interview with MTV reporter Abbie Kearse, the late great Tupac Shakur said he was asked multiple times to take an AIDS test before filming his iconic onscreen kiss with Janet Jackson in the love flick Poetic Justice. The rap star declined, despite multiple attempts from people on set.
In an exclusive report published to RadarOnline July 23, an insider alleged that Jackson was “especially turned off” by the “Thug Life” artist’s refusal after she learned that the California native had “a crush on her in real life.” Sources close to the singer also alleged that Janet changed her phone number to “distance herself” from the rapper after the incident, the report noted.
In the past, people close to Janet and Tupac claimed that the pair had feelings for one another on and off screen. Regina King, who starred alongside the duo in Poetic Justice, alleged that the superstars had “chemistry going on.”
“I don’t know if Janet will ever admit to it, but there was a bit of that chemistry going on,” King said during an appearance on the Lifetime Television Network docuseries Janet Jackson in 2022. “You could cut the air in the room at times. But she was in a relationship with René, make no mistake about it.”
It’s unclear if the celebs had a romance brewing, but in his 1993 MTV interview, Tupac dropped a few hints about how he truly felt toward his co-star. The “California Love” hitmaker told Kearse that he would have taken the AIDS test if he was “really going to make love” with the “Rhythm Nation” crooner. “I don’t know if it was Janet that it came from,” Tupac said. “Suddenly, out of the blue, they wanted me to take an AIDS test for this love scene and I did not disagree if we were really going to make love.”
Tupac continued, “I said if I can make love with Janet Jackson, I’ll take four AIDS tests, but if I’m going to do a love scene with her just like somebody else did and they didn’t take a test, then I’m not taking a test. Not only am I not taking a test, but get out of my trailer!”
After filming for Poetic Justice ended, the West Coast rhymer discovered that Janet changed her digits when he hit her up to play “paint guns.”
“I mean it probably wasn’t intentional. Everybody changes their number, but I really thought I made a friend. I thought I would know Janet Jackson for life,” the hitmaker said.
Janet Jackson denied changing her digits on Tupac.
During an interview with Angie Martinez, Janet Jackson denied changing her number on the “Dear Mama” hitmaker. She also claimed that she “exchanged numbers” with the rhymer “again” shortly after his MTV interview aired. While reflecting on the iconic rapper’s death, Janet said she was honored to have worked alongside the “incredible” actor.
“His career was just about to take off,” the dancer and singer said. “He was going to go so far with his acting alone, such an incredible actor and I got the chance to see a side of him, another side of him that I feel a lot of people didn’t know really existed, which was more caring…such a caring person.”
In 1996, Tupac was shot while driving home from a boxing match at the MGM Grand. According to NPR, the rapper was seen fighting with gang member Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, on the night of his fatal shooting. Anderson had a previous run-in with a close member of the rapper’s entourage.
During a 2017 interview on Drink Champs, John Singleton revealed that Tupac’s AIDS test was a “publicity” stunt.
Poetic Justice director John Singleton made a bold admission during a 2017 appearance on the Drink Champs podcast with Noreaga and DJ EFN. The late screenwriter revealed that Tupac’s AIDS test was a complete “joke.” He also alleged that the rap star was “attracted” to Janet.
“No, that was not serious. That was a joke that we used to have on set because the real talk is Tupac was attracted to Janet, I was attracted to Janet,’’ Singleton confessed, according to RevoltTV. “We’re on the set, we’re both trying to flirt with her and then I was like, ‘I don’t know if I should have him kissing on my actress when you’ve been fucking around because you know Pac was just coming and going then.’ Then, I was like, better yet, you gonna have to do an AIDS test before y’all do this love scene [but] it was a joke.”
Singleton clarified that the test was a complete joke. “It was just me … talking shit,” he added. “Then it was like, Oh, we should just use this and put this out. So that’s what we did. It was a publicity thing. It was just us talking shit on the set, and it was an inside joke.”
Listen to John Singleton’s full episode below.