The late Michael Jackson has been a huge part of Oprah Winfrey’s 25th season. And on Monday he became the focus once again when the Queen of Talk interviewed his parents and children at the Jackson family home.
Already this season, Oprah has featured Jackson’s ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, for an hour long interview that went into depth about her complicated relationship and 2 year marriage to the King of Pop. And last week, Winfrey went on a “dream date” with Jackson’s older brother, Jackie, with cameras in tow.
But the coup of all coups was Oprah’s rare interview with MJ’s mother, Katherine Jackson, his father Joe Jackson, and her backyard chat with his kids, Prince, Paris and Blanket.
During a visit at the Jackson family home, “Hayvenhurst” in Encino, Katherine Jackson told Oprah she did indeed confront her son about his rumored drug use.
She said, “I was telling him I didn’t want to hear one day that he had overdosed, because it would break my heart and it would kill me too.”
But Katherine told Oprah that Michael denied any drug use, saying, “He said he wasn’t on it. He said, ‘Mother you don’t believe’, he kept saying that ‘my own mother don’t believe me.'”
“Part of me wanted to believe him, but I didn’t believe him,” Katherine told Oprah. She revealed that he began taking painkillers after he was seriously burned while filming a Pepsi commercial in the 1980’s.
As for Michael’s 2005 trial for child molestation, his mother said, “I knew he was innocent.”
Mrs. Jackson told Oprah that dream for all of her sons was for them to be “good citizens, good fathers.”
Katherine Jackson may not have been entirely in the know when it came to her son’s drug addiction, but she did say that she thought he was addicted to plastic surgery. She revealed that she even confronted his plastic surgeon and asked him to trick Michael if he asked for any more surgeries. As for his skin treatments for vitiligo, Katherine admitted she didn’t know exactly what he did to lighten his skin.
Later, Oprah and Katherine Jackson were joined by patriarch Joe Jackson. Oprah feigned surprise at seeing Joe, saying, “The word in the world is that y’all are divorced.”
Deny, deny, deny.
And leave it to Oprah to get Joe Jackson to admit- after years of denial- that he hit his kids. Although he would not admit to ever “beating ” or “whipping” his kids, Katherine set the record straight by calling him out with , “You might as well admit it, that’s the way black people raised their children.” She clarified things for Oprah, saying, “He used a strap.”
Joe Jackson said he didn’t regret the strappings, saying it kept his kids out of trouble: “Nine kids, never been in jail.”
Next it was time to meet the Jackson family kids and cousins. A slew of them live at the family compound, including the interestingly named Jermagesty.
Michael Jackson’s kids- Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket, seem amazingly well adjusted. Prince revealed he liked the usual teen stuff- “video games and sports” – and aspires to “produce movies and direct.”
Daughter Paris wants to be an actress.
When Oprah asked the kids what their favorite memories of their father were, they rattled off tales about sitting on hotel rooftops munching Snickers, going to art museums and playing tag.
Paris gushed that her father made “the best French toast in the world.” And when asked what she missed most about him, the 12 year old simply said, “Everything.”
Meanwhile, not all of the Jackson’s were happy to welcome Oprah into the family home. Older brother Randy Jackson took to Twitter last month to announce his feelings, tweeting, ” I found out Oprah was at our family home, my stomach ached and it still hasn’t gone away…. I know how Oprah feels about my brother and family. I also know that he would not have wanted this. In fact, she is the last person on earth he would want around his children.”
Katherine Jackson has published a book about her son, titled Never Can Say Goodbye.