which was a normal childhood’: Paris Jackson on growing up with the King of Pop
He was the most iconic pop star of the late 20th century. Now Michael Jackson’s daughter, who was just 11 when he died, gives an unprecedented insight into her extraordinary life
Paris Jackson wants to see part of her father’s billion dollar legacy used to restore his Neverland estate for sick children to enjoy, she has revealed.
The schoolgirl has spoken of the happy times she shared at the ranch with her father who died when she was just 11.
She made an emotional pilgrimage to her childhood home two years ago and was dismayed to see its famous Ferris wheel had been removed.
‘I cried and cried,’ said Paris. ‘It’s beautiful there. It still has good energy.’
She said it should be restored for the benefit of less privileged children.
Paris said she plans to start the project as soon as she is an adult herself.
Her declaration will stun the superstar’s millions of fans around the world who have seen Jackson’s dreams for a place of eternal childhood fall into decay.
Paris, now 15, also plans to pay tribute to her father by having the words of a loving note he wrote her tattooed on her wrist when she is old enough.
And until recently she kept a ‘shrine’ to him on the wall of her bedroom in the sprawling home where she now lives with her brothers Prince, 16, and Blanket, 11, in the hills above Los Angeles.
The youngsters are cared for by the Jackson family matriarch Katherine, 82.
‘I have lots of memories of my father,’ says Paris.
‘He was an incredible father. We all loved him to death.
‘He’d try to educate us as much as he could and was always looking out for us. He was very protective.’
She explained why Jackson made his children wear masks when they were out in public.
‘He didn’t want anyone to see what we looked like.
‘That way we could have what he didn’t, which was a normal childhood,’ she said.
She spoke movingly of her father’s attempts to give his family an ordinary childhood even when he was on tour.
This included turning hotel bedrooms into home cinemas with a portable projector and a bed sheet
The adoring anecdotes cast new light on the singer’s complex private life and underline the depth of his devotion to Prince and Paris, who were born to his ex wife Debbie Rowe, and Blanket who was by a surrogate mother.
The teenager is funded by the Michael Jackson Family Trust which pays out on landmark birthdays and settles family expenses.
It also pays for 15 full-time staff, including bodyguards, a personal chef, two nannies, maids, maintenance men and gardeners at the $26,000-a-month home. Neighbours in the heavily protected, paparazzi proof complex include Justin Bieber and Britney Spears.
Despite her wealth and family name, Paris has started attending an ordinary school, she says: ‘I want to have a normal high-school experience.’
She has been a cheerleader and played women’s football, and has also dabbled in photography.
She has inherited her father’s passion for music and revealed that he used to give her dance lessons. But she has no plans to follow him into show business.
Her ambition is to be a heart surgeon.
‘I want to help people, that’s its,’ she said.
Paris spoke to Event as the Jackson family prepares to bring a staggering $40 billion wrongful death civil lawsuit against AEG, the promoter of the Thriller star’s ill-fated ‘This Is It’ concerts in London’s O2 arena.
In court documents Katherine Jackson accuses AEG of ‘putting its desire for massive profits from the tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson’.
She and her elder brother are expected to take the stand to reveal further details of their father’s private life when the case comes to court.
Paris and Prince, with Blanket in front, at the memorial service held for their father in July, 2009 in Los Angeles (left); Paris looking up to her grandmother, Katherine Jackson (right)