Paris Jackson, the middle child of three and only daughter of Michael Jackson, defended her late music-star father and detailed her multiple suicide attempts and other traumas in an interview published Tuesday.
“He is my father,” the 18-year-old told Rolling Stone in response to persistent rumors about her true paternity. “He will always be my father. He never wasn’t, and he never will not be. People that knew him really well say they see him in me, that it’s almost scary.” She and older brother Prince, 19, are Michael Jackson’s children with Debbie Rowe, a Caucasian nurse to whom the African-American Michael was married for three years but who never lived with him, and who signed over custody when the couple divorced in 1999. Youngest sibling Blanket, 14, was born via an unidentified surrogate mother.
“I consider myself black,” Paris Jackson continued, later adding that her father “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?’ So I just believe what he told me. ‘Cause, to my knowledge, he’s never lied to me. Most people that don’t know me call me white,” she said. “I’ve got light skin and, especially since I’ve had my hair blond, I look like I was born in Finland or something.” But, she noted, her light complexion and blue-green eyes are not unlike those of biracial actor Wentworth Miller (“Prison Break”).
Jackson also revealed that at age 14, she was sexually assaulted by a much older “complete stranger.” “I don’t wanna give too many details,” she told the magazine. “But it was not a good experience at all, and it was really hard for me, and, at the time, I didn’t tell anybody.” As well, she disclosed, her depression and drug use led to her widely publicized suicide attempt at 15, when she overdosed on 20 Motrin and cut herself with a kitchen knife. She now says that had been the latest try of “multiple times . . . It was just once that it became public.”
As to the child-molestation accusations against her father, who was acquitted in a 2005 trial, Jackson upholds his innocence. “Nobody experienced him being a father to them,” she said. “And if they did, the entire perception of him would be completely and forever changed.”