CHICAGO (AP) — Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is suffering from debilitating depression and even collapsed at his home in Washington two months ago, his wife said in an interview published Saturday that revealed new details about his secretive leave of absence.
Sandi Jackson, who is a Chicago City Council member, told the Chicago Sun-Times that contrary to rumors, her husband did not try to kill himself and was not being treated for alcohol or drug addiction.
"No, no, none of that is true," she said.
The Chicago Democrat and son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson has been off the job for nearly eight weeks. Throughout that time, his office has released little information, and only revealed his whereabouts a week ago, when Jackson was transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. In that announcement, Jackson's office said he was undergoing "extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues."
Sandi Jackson said her husband collapsed at their home in Washington on June 10 while she was in Chicago.
"His collapse was D-Day for us," she told Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, adding that her husband had become "completely debilitated by depression."
The congressman's father and his brother Yusef took him to George Washington hospital, she said.
"He called and told me not to worry, but it was obvious he was suffering from a form of depression," Mrs. Jackson said. "So Yusef took him at my suggestion to the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona, where they specialize in mental health."
She said it was there that a question arose about whether the depression could be "due to a lack of nutrients" and linked to a 2004 procedure he underwent to help him lose weight.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., are considering that possibility, she said.
"They are now trying to find out if his depression, which has not yet been diagnosed as a bipolar disorder, is connected to the weight-loss surgery. We don't know," she said. "Jesse is now gaining weight and eating and feeling better in that sense, but he is still very depressed."
The timing of Jackson's medical leave has raised questions, in part because Jackson is facing an ethics investigation in the U.S. House connected to imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations that Jackson was involved in discussions about raising money for Blagojevich's campaign in exchange for the then-governor appointing him to President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat.
Jackson was not charged and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Days before Jackson's office announced his leave, a fundraiser and family friend also involved in the probe, Raghuveer Nayak, was arrested and charged with unrelated medical fraud charges.
But Mrs. Jackson said her husband's family and staff had already decided to impose a news blackout at the start of his treatment "to enable him to heal," and she said her husband isn't aware of Nayak's arrest.
"He doesn't know anything about the indictment," she said.
Sandi Jackson could not say when her husband might return to work.
"I fully expect him to return to work, but not a day before the doctor says it's OK. That's the word we are waiting for," she said.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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