It wasn’t until the legendary Michael Jackson passed away that the world was introduced to his children. After being hidden away for so long, they were finally given the chance to be themselves, and daughter Paris took full advantage of it, revealing what really happened after her life was turned upside down.
Behind The Mask
Paris and her brothers Michael Joseph ‘Prince’ Jackson Jr. and Prince ‘Blanket’ Michael Jackson II were rarely seen in public, but when they were they were constantly wearing masks, hiding their faces and identity. Was there something they were hiding from the world? Paris finally gave answers.
Last Moments With Michael
At the fateful moment of Michael Jackson’s death in June 2009, it was reported that Paris witnessed the cardiac arrest and with tears in her eyes, screamed out “Daddy!” At the tribute to Jackson, to everyone’s surprise, Paris gave an impromptu speech. Surrounded by the rest of the Jackson family, Paris exclaimed that Michael was “the best father you can imagine.” As Paris burst into tears, Janet Jackson shielded her and many wondered if the Jacksons would ever allow Michael’s children out into the public eye.
Who Get’s Custody?
Paris had never met her mother, Debbie Rowe, as she agreed that ex-husband Michael could have sole custody rights of their children Prince, Paris and Blanket following their divorce in 1999. The children grew up at the Neverland Ranch with Michael, but upon his passing, his mother Katherine took custody of the children. However, after not having seen her children in years, Debbie Rowe petitioned for custody of her children, but a settlement was reached whereby she would receive visitation rights only.
On To Something
In a rare interview in 2010, Katherine Jackson gave some revealing insights into her son’s paranoia. She explained, “He felt that people wanted him gone, wanted him dead. He would always say that, and, for him to say that, he must have known something. It’s just some of the mean, evil, vicious people didn’t want him around for some reason.” Her comments were later echoed by Paris who gave her own account of her father’s feelings towards a certain group of people.
Trying To Live A Normal Life
Nevertheless, Katherine had intentions for Michael’s children to live a normal, private life and a year after his death in 2010, they were photographed on a Hawaiian vacation. Jermaine Jackson went and told the press the children were doing okay, discussed their hobbies and said,”They love the film business, and they love being behind the scenes, Blanket loves to dance and sing. Prince and Paris love movies.” Paris was also seen taking to the softball field, flashing a smile with her teammates.
Breaking Their Silence
The goings on behind the gates of Neverland Ranch were kept extremely quiet. The only stories heard coming out of the famous estate insisted how much fun it was and the type of attractions that were kept there, however the stories of Jackson encounters were a taboo topic. The secrecy within the family went extremely public following Michael’s early death. In 2012, rumors of a family fight were plastered over the front pages of the media, and it was later confirmed that Paris was at the epicenter.
Katherine Goes Missing
In July 2012, Katherine Jackson had left her Calabasas home without explanation, and Michael’s three children behind. A family fight broke out when siblings Janet, Jermaine and Randy arrived to the scene and tried to convince Paris and older brother Prince to leave with them. The children resisted, and when Paris was about to write about the family feud on her Twitter account, Janet was said to have scolded her niece. However, this did not stop Paris and she sarcastically posted “gotta love fam.”
After alerting law enforcement, they were able to locate Katherine in Arizona with her daughter Rebbie. Despite Jermaine insisting that his mother was fine and resting up on doctors’ advice, the children still hadn’t heard from their grandmother. This prompted Paris to tweet, “8 days and counting . something is really off , this isn’t like her at all .. i wanna talk directly to my grandmother!!” After neglecting her grandchildren, Katherine lost custody, resulting their cousin TJ being awarded temporary guardianship by a judge.
Fighting For Finances
The altercation between family was a reported result of Michael leaving his father and siblings out of his will. The $500 million estate went to TJ to look after his cousins, leaving Katherine reeling: “I am devastated that while I’ve been away, my grandchildren have been taken away from me and I’m coming home.” Confused and lost, Paris wrote “everyones taking control of me , it seems that the worlds got a role for me .. I’m so confused will u show to me you’ll be there for me.”
Settling The Storm
The month after the bitter turmoil that took over the Jackson family, Katherine was reinstated as the legal guardian of Michael’s children. After Jermaine Jackson had withdrawn his signature from a letter calling Michael’s will “fake, flawed, and fraudulent” he wrote on Twitter, “After much soul-searching, it is clearly time for us to live by Michael’s words about love not war.” Paris was pleased to finally be reunited with her grandmother and have some normality in her turbulent life.
First TV Appearance
After appearing in children’s fantasy film, Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys, Paris was interviewed by Ellen Degeneres, a first in her life, having been shielded by the public and press by her father. In the interview, she was asked how she felt about wearing a mask in public, the teenager recalled saying, “this is stupid, why am I wearing a mask?” However she added, “but I realized the older I got he only tried to protect us and he explained that to us too.”
Speaking Out Against Bullies
In a revealing interview with Oprah, Paris admitted her distain for having security surrounding her all the time. In addition, she spoke about the difficult transition going from homeschooling to private school saying, “A lot of people don’t like me, kids at school talk so bad about me behind my back.” However, the level headed teen said that “Some people try to cyber bully me but it doesn’t really work.” She opened up to Oprah regarding her father’s passing saying: “It never gets easier.”
After her interview with Oprah, many were impressed with Paris’ attitude to being in the public eye and how she dealt with bullies at school and on the internet. However, Paris got to a place in 2013 where everything became too much for her. Coping with her father’s death and the media spotlight led Paris into a depression, she later noted that “It was just self-hatred, low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn’t do anything right.” To make matters worse, Paris had concealed it from her family.
During this time of confusion and depression, Paris dramatically changed her appearance and was seen in public sporting a new look. She chopped her hair into a shorter ‘do, dyed it black and showed off her numerous piercings. Her look alerted the public and the press began speculating if Paris was going through an identity crisis, or something similar. In addition, there was rumors coming of her school which stated that Paris had a reputation of being a “rebel.”
Growing Up Fast
The teenager pinpointed the difficult transition from homeschooling to a private school, starting in the seventh grade. Having been protected from everyone by her father, Paris’s world was opened up to something completely alien and she said, “a lot of older people doing a lot of crazy things, I was doing a lot of things that 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds shouldn’t do. I tried to grow up too fast, and I wasn’t really that nice of a person.” Paris’s decision to act out didn’t come from nowhere, since she was being bullied.
When Paris signed up for social media, as much as it opened Jackson up to a new social experience, it came with plenty of abuse and nasty comments. Paris reflected on the cyber bullying which affected her to dangerous result, explaining “The whole freedom-of-speech thing is great, but I don’t think that our Founding Fathers predicted social media when they created all of these amendments and stuff.” Once realizing her struggle and internal issues, Paris knew she needed help.
Following her downward spiral, Paris went and attended one and a half years of high school at a therapeutic school in Utah. She admitted that before seeking help, “I was actually crazy. I was going through a lot of, like, teen angst. And I was also dealing with my depression and my anxiety without any help.” Ironically, Paris was prescribed the same antidepressants that her father was taking when he suffered from depression. Slowly but surely, Paris weaned herself of the medication.
Growing up, Paris didn’t know who her mother was. She explained, “When I was really, really young, my mom didn’t exist.” However, Michael didn’t completely hide her mother’s identity, Paris asked Michael if she has a mom, to which he replied “‘Yeah.’ And I was like, ‘What’s her name?’ And he’s just like, ‘Debbie.” After Michael’s passing, Paris began to research her mother online and they finally met when she was 13-years-old, but the reunion wasn’t as emotional as expected.
Needing A Role Model
After Paris attended school in Utah, her siblings believed she needed a mother figure to help her through the tough time. Paris did reach out to Debbie Rowe but insisted that it wasn’t because she needed a mom, adding “I’ve had a lot of mother figures,” she continued, “by the time my mom came into my life, it wasn’t a ‘mommy’ thing. It’s more of an adult relationship.” Nonetheless, Paris still sees herself in Debbie, admitting “We’re both very stubborn.”
Even though being homeschooled protected Paris and her siblings for knowing a real education, she never once regretted it. She said “When you’re at home, your dad, who you love more than anything, will occasionally come in, in the middle of class, and it’s like, ‘Cool, no more class for the day. We’re gonna go hang out with Dad.’ We were like, ‘We don’t need friends. We’ve got you and Disney Channel!'” Paris added that her father highly encouraged education in their home.
Back On Track
In 2015, Paris was in a much better place in her life. In tribute to her father, Paris went and had nine tattoos inked to remind her of Michael. These tattoos are just some of her 50 in total, with others dedicated to David Bowie and Prince. In addition, Paris struck up a romance with Michael Snoddy, a 26-year-old drummer and Paris said of her new beau, “I never met anyone before who made me feel the way music makes me feel.”
Upon turning 18, Paris found herself ready to move out of her grandmother Katherine’s house, now that she was considered a legal adult. Paris chose to move back into the old Jackson family estate and renovate the brick studio building where her father demoed “Beat It.” The space was transformed into a perfect-sized apartment for the teen, and she spends most days there with her boyfriend. Despite having a huge family trust worth an estimated $1 billion, Paris wanted to make her own money.
True To Her Roots
Paris has never once forgotten her background and was adamant in saying, “I consider myself black.” She recalled how Michael, “would look me in the eyes and he’d point his finger at me and he’d be like, ‘You’re black. Be proud of your roots.’ And I’d be like, ‘OK, he’s my dad, why would he lie to me?'” However, the famous teen was not naive and conceded that she knows most would consider her to be white who are none the wiser.
Paris’s famous name and striking features led her to venture into modeling after being signed with top agency IMG Models. She admitted the experience is therapeutic, explaining, “I’ve had self-esteem issues for a really, really long time, plenty of people think I’m ugly, and plenty of people don’t. But there’s a moment when I’m modeling where I forget about my self-esteem issues and focus on what the photographer’s telling me – and I feel pretty.” The new model already landed the cover of Vogue.
Having had years to reflect on her father’s death and being one of the closest people to him, Paris insisted that Michael Jackson was murdered. She convinced, “All arrows point to that. It sounds like a total conspiracy theory and it sounds like bull***t, but all real fans and everybody in the family knows it. It was a setup.” When asked if she wanted revenge, Paris stated “I definitely do,” likening the steps to a chess game, adding that she was playing it.
Macaulay Culkin’s controversial relationship with Michael Jackson did not stop Paris from maintaining a close bond with her Godfather. Macaulay often defended Michael Jackson and called him “unique”, explaining that he just acted like a kid. Paris and Macaulay were regularly seen spending quality time together and in 2017, they decided to cement their relationship with matching tattoos. Given Macaulay and Paris’ mutual struggles in their lives, they found a common ground and comfort in one another.
Michael Lives On In Paris
Paris has often explained how her father is her biggest inspiration and how similar they are. Her older brother Prince echoed her admissions saying, “Basically, as a person, she is who my dad is, the only thing that’s different would be her age and her gender.” Paris added to his comments explaining that their close bond didn’t fade when Michael passed, noting how he still visits her in her dreams, poignantly mentioning, “I feel him with me all the time.”
Living At Neverland
Paris spent the first seven years of her childhood growing up on her father’s Neverland Ranch. The 2,700 acre fantasy world contained its own amusement park, petting zoo, and movie theater. The amazing estate was described by Michael as “everything I never got to do as a kid.” However, despite growing up in every kid’s dream home, Paris explained that not every day was fun and games and she said “We couldn’t just go on the rides whenever we wanted to.”
Reality Inside Neverland
The budding model insisted that although they had an amusement park in their backyard, “We actually had a pretty normal life. Like, we had school every single day, and we had to be good. And if we were good, every other weekend or so, we could choose whether we were gonna go to the movie theater or see the animals or whatever. But if you were on bad behavior, then you wouldn’t get to go do all those things.”
Returning To Neverland
In 2017, Paris returned to the infamous Jackson home, the Neverland Ranch, with her boyfriend, to reminisce on her memories with her brothers and late father. Paris wandered the grounds she once lived on and visited the petting zoo containing llamas, which Michael named Rickie, Survivor, and Kyle. Paris looked back with fondness and warmth and posted a picture of Neverland on her Instagram with the heartfelt caption “felt so good to be home even for a little bit.”