Now a successful model, Paris, who turned 18 last April, spoke to Rolling Stone about her childhood at Neverland Ranch, the allegations of molestation against her father, those face masks she and her siblings were once forced to wear, and Michael’s controversial death.
Michael still visits her in her dreams, and she lives with the belief that he is her biological dad—who shared Paris with former nurse Debbie Rowe, her biological mom.
“I feel him with me all the time,” Paris says. "He is my father. 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.
“I consider myself black," she adds, saying 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?' 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. I’ve got light skin and, especially since I've had my hair blond, I look like I was born in Finland or something.”
Her relationship with Debbie is more complicated.
“When I was really, really young, my mom didn't exist,” Paris says, adding that her dad eventually revealed a first name, “Debbie.” After some online research, Paris, then 13, located Debbie Rowe and reached out.
“I’ve had a lot of mother figures, but by the time my mom came into my life, it wasn't a 'mommy' thing. It's more of an adult relationship,” she says.
After a tumultuous time as a teenager, Paris is now sober and lives in the old Jackson family estate with her boyfriend Michael Snoddy, a 26-year-old drummer. She sleeps in the private studio where her dad recorded “Beat It.” She is heir to the Michael Jackson Family Trust, which is worth more than $1 billion.
But Paris is looking to make her own money.
“If you wanna be bigger than me, you can,” her dad would tell her. “If you don't want to be at all, you can. But I just want you to be happy.”
Paris discussed life growing up with Michael for the first time, saying Neverland, her dad's 2,700-acre amusement park, was her world.
“We couldn't just go on the rides whenever we wanted to,” says. “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.”
Michael taught her how to cook, mostly sweet potato pie and gumbo. “He was a kick-ass cook,” she says.
But there is also a dark side to missing her father, she says, calling her father’s death a murder.
“[It’s] obvious,” she says. “He would drop hints about people being out to get him. …And at some point he was like, ‘They’re gonna kill me one day.’ …’It sounds like a total conspiracy theory and it sounds like bullshit, but all real fans and everybody in the family knows it. It was a setup. It was bulls**t.”
And Paris protects her father over the molestation allegations against him.
“Nobody but my brothers and I experienced him reading A Light in the Attic to us at night before we went to bed. …Nobody experienced him being a father to them. And if they did, the entire perception of him would be completely and forever changed…My dad would cry to me at night..Picture your parent crying to you about the world hating him for something he didn't do. And for me, he was the only thing that mattered. To see my entire world in pain, I started to hate the world because of what they were doing to him. I'm like, 'How can people be so mean?’”
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