Jesse Jackson Jr. depression: Father says there's no timetable for return


Jesse Jackson Jr. addressing the Democratic National Convention, August 25, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.


Justin Sullivan

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says there's no timetable on when his son, who is being treated for depression, will return to Congress.

The elder Jackson spoke to reporters Saturday outside a downtown Chicago movie theater, where he joined protesters in support of an assault weapon ban, The Associated Press reported

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"There is no timetable on his recovery," Jackson said. "We hope he will fully recover."

He added: “such a challenge is a game-changer and challenges all members of a given family."

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Jesse Jackson Jr., has been absent from Capitol Hill since mid-June. On Friday, a statement from his office released by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota said the lawmaker had been admitted to the healthcare center for “extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues," The Hill reported.

Rumors about Jackson's health ran rampant for several weeks. According to Politico, he was last seen on Capitol Hill on June 10 – though it wasn't until June 26 that his office announced he had taken a medical leave of absence for "exhaustion."

Reports followed that Jackson, 47, was battling alcohol addiction and had attempted suicide, but his family swiftly denied them.

The Jackson family had remained largely silent thereafter until the elder Jackson's comments Saturday.