Michael Jackson’s children were banned from looking in mirrors and had their toys thrown away each night. So what kind of father was Jacko?
from the Daily Mail Online, July 2, 2009
by J Randy Taraborrelli
They met as children and for 40 years he was Michael Jackson’s confidant. Now, in an intimate account, J. Randy Taraborrelli writes about the Michael Jackson he knew. He reveals what sort of father Jackson was, and explains the great sadness of his mother, Katherine, who has been granted temporary custody of her grandchildren.
His first wife, Lisa Marie Presley, was firmly convinced that Michael Jackson should not be a father. He was too emotionally immature to raise a child, she concluded.
‘I think he needs a parent,’ she said. She refused point blank to have his babies. Undaunted, he hooked up with an old friend, Debbie Rowe, a nurse specialising in skin disorders, and she had his children instead, most probably after artificial insemination – although startling reports this week say that neither Debbie nor Michael are actually the biological parents of their two children.
When Debbie told her own father, he asked about this method of conception: ‘Isn’t he capable of fathering a child like anyone else?’ She laughed: ‘Michael doesn’t do anything like anyone else.’
On the insistence of Michael’s mother, Katherine, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, he and Debbie married after his divorce from Lisa. Six months’ pregnant and wearing black, she walked towards him at his suite in a Sydney hotel while he sat at the piano playing ‘Here comes the bride’.
He had on a creamy foundation that made his face almost stark white, and extra eyeliner. He wore a hat with one long curl framing each side of his face and fake sideburns. His ‘best man’ was a new friend named Anthony, whom Michael claimed was his nephew. He was eight years old.
It seemed that Lisa Marie might well have been right, then. Certainly, everything that happened over the next few years seemed to confirm her opinion.
Prince Michael Jackson, Michael’s son, was born in hospital in 1997, and together he and Debbie cut the umbilical cord. Then, while she stayed put, Michael rushed the baby off to Neverland, his Disney-style ranch home.
‘I have been blessed beyond comprehension,’ he announced to the world.
Six weeks later, the parents posed proudly for photographs with Prince – but it was the first time Debbie had seen the baby since giving birth, and the whole thing was a set-up.
She was smuggled in for the occasion, given the infant to hold for the cameras – then sent on her way.
She was essentially a surrogate and had no part in bringing him up.
‘We never saw her,’ one of the Neverland staff reported. ‘The baby was cared for by a team of six nannies and six nurses, who worked in shifts so that there were always two nurses and two nannies by his side.
‘They were kept under constant video surveillance, which was monitored by members of Jackson’s security team. The nannies all had special training.
‘The day-team did exercise drills with the baby to build up his strength. The night-team read and sang to him. But it was as if he had no mother.’
One nanny said: ‘We had to measure the air quality in his room once an hour. When we fed him, all the utensils had to be boiled and were all thrown away after a single use.’
The same went for his toys, which were thrown away each night for sanitary reasons and replaced the next morning.
Though rarely on the scene, Debbie announced nine months after the birth that she was pregnant with a second ‘gift’ for Michael.
The ‘gift’ he gave her in return – on top of the millions of dollars he was already paying her – was her own house in Los Angeles, which she moved into with her two pet dogs.
A daughter, Paris Katherine Michael Jackson, was born in April 1998. The following year, Debbie asked for a divorce, to which he consented, no questions asked, with a multi-million-dollar settlement.
Another surrogate was found – her identity was never disclosed – who, in 2002, gave Michael his third child, a boy he named Prince Michael II. He was nicknamed ‘Blanket’, as in blanketing someone with love and care, Jackson explained.
Readers, for more on this blog on Michael Jackson, click here.