Paris Jackson's Exclusive Interview With The Daily Mirror's "Event" Magazine

Michael Jackson's 15-year-old daughter talks about growing up with the King of Pop, reconnecting with mother Debbie Rowe, bickering with Grandma about hair-cuts and tattoos, her dreams for the future of Neverland, and more!



The Jackson family home in the secluded hills above Los Angeles is a rented 12,670sq ft Mediterranean-style villa. Somehow, by superstar standards, it is surprisingly homely. The black iron-and-glass front doors are 12ft high, but a tattered "Welcome" mat sits in front of them.

Inside, two large staircases curve away from the marble hallway. On the walls of the "children's wing" on the second floor are two giant framed portraits of Michael Jackson, and a caricature of him dressed as Peter Pan surrounded by his three children.

On the bed of 11-year-old Blanket's bedroom is a stuffed toy shark. A complicated half-completed Star Wars spaceship model is on the floor of 16-year-old Prince's room, in front of a glass aquarium, which houses a boa constrictor called Athena -- named, Paris Jackson later informs me, "after the Greek goddess". Both the boys' rooms have memorabilia -- Michael Jackson dolls and posters.

Paris' room could belong to any 15-year-old. Clothes and shoes lie across the floor and a stack of magazines, make-up and homework is piled on the mirrored bedside table.

But there are also four expensive guitars propped up against one wall, and the label on one casually discarded vintage jacket is by the French couturier Balmain. There is a gray rabbit named Vinny, after Vince Neil, leader singer of the "totally rad" rock group Mötley Crüe.

Paris herself is sprawled on the floor in front of me, gently caressing her brother's pet snake. She is coltish; all gangling arms and legs. She recently chopped off her long dark hair into an edgy "punk" cut and looks very different from the girl we all saw for the first time at her father's memorial service, when toward the end, the family gathered on stage to offer the final eulogies. Jackson's then-11-year-old daughter, Paris Katherine, tearfully told the crowd, "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. … I just wanted to say I love him so much."

Now she says shyly: "Please come in. Make yourself at home, if you can find somewhere to sit. Welcome to my world."



(ABOVE: Paris Jackson photographed in front of her family's Calabasas mansion.)


On being raised by the King of Pop:

"I have lots of memories of my father," says Paris, tapping the side of her head. "We were privileged because we had our dad and we had our house that we were living in [Neverland]. We knew he was a singer. I guess I got used to it. It just seemed normal to me at the time.

"He was an incredible father. We all loved him to death. He had that good energy where you just didn't want to leave. Like, you're always just comfortable with him.

"He wanted the best for us. He always made sure we were healthy. He made sure we stuck to school. He'd try to educate us as much as he could and was always looking out for us. He was very protective."

Paris also recalled a childhood habit of telling her father "I love you" every time he would leave the room: "I'd be scared of what could happen. You know, I've seen way too many movies!"


On wearing the masks and veils:

"The masks were [my dad's] idea," Paris explains. "He didn't want anyone [in the media] to see what we looked like. That way we could have what he didn't, which was a normal childhood."

Prince Jackson similarly told Oprah in a 2009 interview that he and his siblings "appreciated" wearing masks when in public with their father, because "[then] when we did go out without our dad, nobody would really recognize us."


On traveling the world as a child:

Often, as Paris recalls, she and her family were far from the nucleus [of Neverland], traveling on faraway legs of her father's concerts.

"We were used to being on the road," she explains. "My dad would try making the hotels we'd stay in like home. He had this little projector that he would bring around, and he'd take a white sheet off the bed and pin it up. Then he'd put pillows all over the ground and we would watch DVDs and movies all the time. We had our own home theater. It was really cool!

"One of my favorite places to visit was Tokyo. It's just beautiful there, especially in the spring. I do remember visiting London a lot. I love London, I love being there. It's beautiful."


On her dreams for the future of Neverland:

Paris revisited her childhood home two years ago, and noted sadly the ferris wheel had been removed. (The family left Neverland in 2005.)

"I cried and cried," Paris says. "It's beautiful there. It still has good energy. I think it should be restored to how it used to be, so that the children who couldn't have a childhood could have fun there. That was [my dad's] goal -- like kids in hospital. They should restore all the rides and everything. As soon as I'm an adult" -- she snaps her fingers -- "I am on it. Count on it."



(ABOVE: Home video of Michael Jackson celebrating daughter Paris' 4th birthday at Neverland.)


On her musical tastes & being taught to dance by her father:

Music is a passion. Paris points to an old-fashioned record player and pulls down a box of vinyl records:

"The quality is better with vinyl," she says. "It just sounds better.

"I love everything from the Eighties. I definitely was born in the wrong era. I love the Arctic Monkeys, the Pixies, AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper, the Smiths. I love Nirvana too -- I have their whole collection. We grew up listening to everything. We listened to a lot of classics, like Motown. Dad was a really big Queen fan. Oh my God, I love Freddie Mercury so much!"

[...] Gratifyingly, Paris has charm and impeccable manners. And just like her father, she comes alive in front of the camera. During the 48 hours Event Magazine spent with her, for interviews and a photoshoot, there were no nerves. During one shot, she brandished a guitar and danced around with abandon to Billy Idol's Rebel Yell, singing the lyrics with perfect sync.

"My dad taught me how to dance. I would always dance. And yes, he did teach me the moonwalk!"


On being home-schooled & transitioning to private school:

"[Home-school] was kind of boring," she says. "I was in the same room with my brother all day."

Both Paris and her older brother Prince now attend an exclusive private school in near-by Sherman Oaks, California. The youngest, Blanket, is still home-schooled.

The 15-year-old says that while she "pretty much has the hang" of private school now, her initial introduction was a bit difficult: "Oh my God! You know how everyone has an awkward phase? I had these glasses, the short hair, I was chubby..."

Grandma Katherine Jackson pipes up, "You were never chubby, my dear."

At her new school, Paris says, she's been trying out different things. "I did photography for a bit, then I did cheerleading. Then I did football. I'm trying to find myself, find out what I'm most comfortable with. ... I want to be an actress, but just throughout high school. Then I want to go to medical school and be a doctor specializing in heart surgery. I want to help people, that's it."

But the teen claims that she's more of a creative, "right brain" type of person, while her brother Prince (an all-A student, his grandmother recently boasted on CNN) is more of a "left brain."

"Academic subjects come much easier to Prince. I don't know how he does it!"


On reconnecting with her mother Debbie Rowe & the pains of 24/7 security:

Paris continues, "I want to have a normal high-school experience, [but] it's hard to hard to have a normal childhood when you have security with you all the time. I'm on a tight leash and I feel if that leash was loosened a little bit I would definitely have a chance at a normal childhood, because I have friends who are completely normal, and hey -- they don't even think of me as MJ's kid. They think of me as who I am, you know?"

The teenager adds: "When I'm with my mom, we don't really have security with us. Which is really nice."

Paris recently rekindled her relationship with her biological mother Debbie Rowe, the former nurse who was married to Michael Jackson from 1996 to 1999 and gave birth to his eldest two children. She spent her 15th birthday (April 3rd) with Debbie; the two went shopping around Hollywood, visited Amoeba Records, and drank Boba tea. Paris says the outing was "really fun."

A "friend" of the Jacksons told Brit tabloid The Mirror that Paris wants to learn more about Debbie’s relationship with her father: "Paris is very inquisitive and found Debbie easy to bond with."

Paris previously expressed her affection for Debbie on Twitter, wishing her a happy Mother's Day in May 2012.

"#iLoveMyMomBecause she gave my father love (: <3" the teenager wrote.

A few months later, Paris posted an old photo of her father kissing Debbie's cheek, captioned with the words, "mommy and daddy <3"



(ABOVE: Michael Jackson and his children photographed with Star Wars actor Carrie Fisher on Christmas Eve 2008.)


On growing apart from her brothers:

During this interview, both Prince and Blanket are away in Las Vegas on a trip to a robotics convention. Paris clearly relishes her time alone: "It's lovely and quiet without them."

She says she and her brothers "don't really have a lot in common. But when I do hang out with them, we play video games a lot. Mortal Kombat gets pretty competitive in my house!

"Me and Prince are very different. When we were younger we were two peas in a pod. Now we don't have anything in common any more."


On bickering with Grandma over hair-cuts, piercings, and tattoos:

Paris certainly looks suddenly a lot more grown-up than the 11-year-old girl we all saw for the first time at her father's memorial service. Her new hair-do is a bone of contention between her and her granny. Katherine gently chides her for cutting her hair.

"But Grandma, I'm letting it grow," Paris insists. "It's actually getting longer."

Katherine rolls her eyes. "She thinks I'm dumb," she shrugs. "Last week she came out of the kitchen and said 'Ta-da! Surprise!' And she'd only gone and dyed the tips of her hair red with food coloring. I don't understand the younger generation at all. She looked so pretty before with her lovely long natural hair. Now look at it!"

"But Grandma -- it's edgy," Paris says, to which Katherine replies: "I don't care what it is, it looked better before."

Tattoos are another bone of contention between the two. Katherine says, "I pray she doesn't ruin her body with tattoos. Why do young people get them -- and piercings too? Paris had some earrings in earlier that looked like those ones that stretch your earlobes. I made her take them out straight away."

Paris has other plans, though; a more permanent tribute to her dad. She treasures a note he wrote to her in which he expressed his undying love: "I want to get that tattooed on my left wrist and my grandma's name tattooed on my right wrist -- when I am old enough, of course."


On the dangers of social-networking:

"I usually get into trouble because I tweet a lot of stuff that I shouldn't tweet and there's a lot of drama," Paris says.

"I used to have Instagram but the comments kind of got a little bit wild, so I deleted it. People would start fights in the comment section and then people would get mad at me for deleting the comments. They'd start calling me names. It was just annoying.

"On Twitter I used to take everything personally when people would tweet me [negative] stuff. So, I'm like, 'I need to stop.' I was very upset. I try not to look at my mentions all the time because there's so much hate there. I've stopped reading it. I try not reading about my family."


More pics from the Event Magazine photoshoot:

Click on the photos to view full-size.











Sources - 1, 2