Posted in "Scream", "True You", ABC News, All On The Cover, Blanket, Brotherly Love, Currently Reading, Diane Sawyer, Harper's Bazaar, Janet Jackson, Janet Jackson's Tribute to Michael Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson Tribute, MTV, newstands, October 2009, Paris, photography, photos, Photoshoot, pictures, Prince Michael, Tom Munro, VMA's

All On The Cover: Janet Jackson Covers Harper’s Bazaar

All On The Cover: Janet Jackson
Magazine: Harper’s Bazaar
Newstands: October 2009
Photographed by: Tom Munro
Website: www.harpersbazaar.com
Notes: A surprise October 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, featuring Janet Jackson both on newsstands and the subscriber’s cover. Miss Jackson breaks the silence for the first time since Michael‘s death in a world exclusive interview for Harper’s Bazzar, which is already available at Bazaar’s website. More Janet Jackson images by Tom Munro including a few excerpts from the interview below.

In her first interview since her brother’s death, Janet talks to Harper’s Bazaar about how she coped in the days following Michael‘s passing. In the article, Janet reveals for the first time that she has indeed split with Jermaine Dupri, confirming rumors that they had broken up this summer.

The title of her new book “True You” is also confirmed and will be released next year. The article also states that her new album will come out next spring and that she will go on tour next year, however it does not explain whether the tour simply means a promotional tour or a concert tour.

ABCNews.com posted a photo of the magazine cover along with an article that contains some short portions of what Janet said in her Harper’s Bazaar interview.

Janet Jackson Opens Up About Losing Michael….Brotherly Love: The Pop Star Talks About Growing Up With the King of Pop…

There had always been a powerful bond between Janet Jackson and her brother, Michael. Perhaps this is why she says she hasn’t watched television or read a newspaper in the two months since her brother’s sudden death.

“I’d, I’d just like to say that to you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family,” the pop star told Harpers Bazaar. “And he will forever live in all of our hearts.”

She also opens up about her relationship with Michael and their last day together, and how she’s coped by immersing herself in a new album and book.

The Michael Jackson Only She Knew…

As a 14-year-old, it was Janet‘s job to take care of her superstar brother. “I would shop for him. I washed his clothes and cleaned his room. When mother would go out of town, she’d say, ‘I’m leaving you in charge. Take care of Michael.'”

She knew early on that her brother loved clothes that stood out. For the 25th Anniversary of Motown special, Michael grabbed his famous sparkly black jacket from his mother’s closet.

“If it was shiny, if it had any kind of bling, he loved it,” Janet said. Except for his shoes. He danced them down to the soles. “He would wear his shoes all the way down,” remembered Janet. “His penny loafers would have huge holes in the bottom.”

She recalls the joy of making the 1995 music video “Scream” with her brother. “We had so much fun back then. We would organize our days together.”

She also fondly remembers the last time she saw Michael — a month before his death.

“The last time we were together, he’d laugh so hard, he’d just start crying.”

In 2002, Janet told Diane Sawyer how important her brothers were to her.

“I was close to my brothers growing up, and I missed them a great deal when they would go out on tour,” she recalls. She admits that she used binge eating as a way to cope with the pain of their absence.

“I can be an emotional eater,” she says. “Of late, I have been doing that, yes. It started when I was very little. My brothers were gone on tour a lot, and I would miss them so much.”

Moving On as a Family…

Jackson says that they are going through the ordeal of her brother’s death as a family. She’s especially proud of Michael‘s children, Blanket, Prince Michael and, especially, Paris. She said that people have told her that the way that Michael‘s daughter spoke at his memorial really gave them a sense of how he was as a father.

She says the kids are doing well. “They’re with their cousins,” she says. “That family love will keep them going.”

*Source | Harper’s Bazaar/janet-xone.com

P.S…
Don’t forget to check out the VMA‘s Tonight on MTV for Janet Jackson’s Tribute to Michael Jackson. Check back for more updates.

Posted in Breaking News, Carrie Fisher, Christopher "Kriyss" Grant, Debbie Rowe, Dieter Wiesner, Dr. Arnold Klein, Elvis Presley, J. Randy Taraborrelli, Judge Mitchell Beckloff, Katherine Jackson, KFC, King of Pop, Lisa Marie, Michael Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Michael Joseph Jr., Michael Joseph Jr. (aka Prince Michael), Miko Brando, Neverland Ranch, Paris Katherine Jackson, Paris Michael Katherine, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), Prince Michael Jackson II, Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Prince Michael Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Princess Leia, Raymone Bain, Stephen Price, Stuart Backerman

Breaking News: The Jackson Kids In Full Detail

Michael Jackson‘s sudden death may give his three beloved children something he could never provide — a chance to be themselves.

At the Michael Jackson memorial Tuesday, the world met – and was deeply moved by – the King of Pop‘s 11-year-old daughter, Paris, who gave an unplanned, emotional tribute to her father.

For most of her life, Paris, and her brothers Prince Michael, 12, and Prince Michael II (a.k.a. “Blanket”), 7, were carefully shrouded from the public eye, often emerging with their father wearing colorful masks. So, who are the Jackson children?

According to family friend Gotham Chopra, the late star’s eldest son Prince is a “fun kid” who “has a lot of energy.” He describes Paris as “very thoughtful, very caring, and very sensitive” and quiet Blanket as “a lot like Michael.”

As PEOPLE reported in 2007, by all accounts, the kids are bright, well-behaved and seemingly well-adjusted. A spokesman from the National Zoo, who accompanied the family on a visit, told PEOPLE at the time, “I was struck by how considerate and nice and normal they all were.” Jackson’s longtime bodyguard Miko Brando recently echoed that sentiment. “They are well-mannered, well-behaved kids,” he said. “They are really level-headed.”

A Normal Dad…

It may seem like a contradiction, given their father’s staggering fame and highly scrutinized lifestyle, but many say that as a father, Jackson was nothing but normal and loving. “There were a few times he brought his kids to work,” says tour dancer Christopher “Kriyss” Grant. “You could tell by the way they looked at him that they adored him.”

Adds Jackson‘s former publicist Raymone Bain: “They were Michael’s first priority.”

The King of Pop devoted his life to creating a fairy-tale Never Neverland for his three young heirs, a world where the reality around them was hidden behind masks or the burly frames of professional bodyguards.

Prince Michael, Paris, and Blanket, have never attended a day of school. They’ve never known a neighborhood friend. They sleep together in the same room. And the only outsiders they know are strangers their father would bring in to entertain them.

Last Christmas Eve, Jackson and his dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, — the suspected father of the two oldest children — arranged for Carrie Fisher to surprise the kids by reprising her role as Princess Leia in “Star Wars” at their rental mansion in Holmby Hills, Calif.

“Michael brought the kids down in their pajamas and said, ‘This is Princess Leia,’ ” said family friend Stephen Price. “They were so excited! She did her famous speech for them — the ‘Help me, Obi-Wan’ speech.”

“They are the greatest kids you’ll ever meet,” Price told Us Weekly of the Jackson kids. “They didn’t act like they had silver spoons in their mouths. They are nice and not Hollywood brats. Paris is very polite, a little reserved. Prince is the most outgoing. And Blanket is a sharp kid, but also pretty quiet. When I asked what he wanted for Christmas, he said, ‘I just want a stuffed animal.’ “

To entertain his kids, Jackson would often take them on midnight shopping sprees in stores specially opened just for them. They hopscotched around the globe from California to Las Vegas to Bahrain to Ireland to New Jersey to Switzerland.

He showered the children with indulgences. In 2007, he shut down parts of the New York, New York Hotel in Las Vegas so he and the kids could play video games and ride the roller coaster. And the kids would show up bleary-eyed at bookshops and toy stores around the world for private shopping sprees at 2 or 3 a.m.

They ate Jackson‘s favorite — KFC — for lunch and dinner.

“Prince I, Paris and Prince II were his life,” Michael‘s longtime pal Dieter Wiesner told Life & Style. “He made breakfast for them — a lot of people don’t know this side of Michael.”

Perhaps best of all from a child’s perspective — no school.

“I’m going to build a computer school on the grounds [of Neverland],” Jackson said in an interview. “How can they go into society? He’s Prince Michael Jackson. She’s Paris Katherine Michael Jackson. It would be too difficult.”

He also fathered by example — and showed them how to take responsibility for themselves, one record producer told Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli. Prince Michael once spilled popcorn on the studio floor, and the producer bent over to clean up the mess, fearing Jackson would have a diva-like tantrum.

Instead, the megastar apologized.

“He’s my kid. I’ll clean up after him,” Jackson said, according to Taraborrelli.

The producer recalled, “I looked down and there’s Michael Jackson on his hands and knees picking up his son’s popcorn. I’m not sure you would see Madonna doing that.”

Jackson did his best to prevent his kids from becoming brats, friends said.

“He wanted them to have a chance at a childhood which he never had,” friend Price recalled. “He wanted to make sure they played, because they are kids first and foremost. He made sure they were taken care of, but he understood the difference between a need and a want. He knew to give them a solid foundation to be good people, and that’s what I saw in these kids: bright, intelligent, good people.”

Others in Jackson‘s inner circle agreed.

“He wasn’t a disciplinarian but he didn’t let the kids run the roost or be spoiled rotten,” Stuart Backerman, a former adviser and publicist for Jackson from 2002 to 2004, told The Post.

He recalled a moment in 2004 when he walked through Neverland‘s kitchen and a 6-year-old Paris spit out her food — drawing a quietly stern reaction from Jackson.

“Michael looked up and told her, ‘We don’t spit out food and we don’t talk badly about other people in this house, and we have good manners,’ ” Backerman recalled.

“It didn’t mean anything to me at the time, but now as I look back, it reminds me what kind of parent he was.”

Jackson insiders say their eccentric father did his best to instill a steely self-confidence in his children.

Jackson‘s 11-year-old daughter, Paris Katherine, exemplified that strength when she took the microphone at his memorial service on Tuesday to say before a crowd of 20,000 — and millions watching worldwide — “Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine.”

“Without getting over-mushy about it, it might have shown Jackson did a pretty damn good job raising those kids,” Backerman said. “She’s no shrinking violet, this kid, as you saw. She might have been hidden by veils and skulking around because of the privacy issues all these years, but she showed herself to be a maturing preteen girl.”

Still, there was much to be concerned about.

Elvis Presley‘s daughter, Lisa Marie, was Jackson‘s first wife and refused to have his babies.

She said that the King of Pop was too emotionally immature to raise a child. The two were divorced within two years of their marriage.

Prince Michael Joseph and Paris Katherine were born after Jackson‘s second wife, Debbie Rowe, the nurse at his dermatology clinic, was artificially inseminated.

Rowe played no part in the children’s lives, but she has hinted at a custody challenge in the wake of Jackson‘s death.

News reports have said the sperm donor may well have been Klein, Rowe‘s boss who has been oddly close to the children, although he denied those reports yesterday.

“We never saw [Rowe],” a Neverland staffer told Jackson biographer Taraborrelli of life after Prince Michael was born in 1997.

“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 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,” Taraborrelli reported.

Another nanny said the air quality in Prince Michael’s room was measured hourly, all utensils were thrown away after every use, and toys were tossed each night to be replaced the next day.

Looking forward…

Prince, Paris and Blanket will continue to be well cared for. “The Jacksons have come together and are really loving the kids,” says Chopra. “Cousins and puppies are [around in] full-force, and the kids are enjoying [it].” And no matter what the public may have thought about Jackson, adds Bain, “his children will be his greatest legacy.”

Next Monday, Judge Mitchell Beckloff of Los Angeles Superior Court will hear Michael‘s mother Katherine Jackson‘s petition for permanent custody of the kids.

Sources: PEOPLE/NY Post

Posted in Anil Kapoor, Brooke Shields, Celebrity News, Chris Tucker, Corey Feldman, Janet Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, Jermaine Jackson, Jesse Jackson, Joe Jackson, Just In, Katherine Jackson, Kim Porter, La Toya Jackson, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Michael Joseph Jr., Michael Joseph Jr. (aka Prince Michael), Paris Katherine Jackson, Paris Michael Katherine, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), Prince Michael Jackson II, Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Prince Michael Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, Todd Bridges, Usher, Wesley Snipes

Just In: Jackson’s Kids in Better Spirits at Post-Memorial Reception

https://i2.wp.com/www.usmagazine.com/files/jackson-b_5.jpgAfter Tuesday’s somber memorial for their father, Michael Jackson‘s three children seemed to be in better sprits at a reception immediately following the service.

Prince Michael, 12, Paris Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael II (Blanket), 7, all sat in the “VIP” area at a kid’s table that included all the Jackson cousins and relatives in The Grand Ballroom at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

There were around 15 kids at the table, with ages ranging from 7-17. (Blanket was probably the youngest in the group.)

Jackson‘s children seemed very close with their cousins, as they all were playing and goofing around.

At one point, Prince Michael pulled out his cell phone. It looked like he was playing a game on it; he then passed it along to one of his cousins.

Blanket – who appeared overwhelmed at the memorial – was in a much better mood. He looked like he was having so much fun chasing around his cousins. The boy – whose hair is almost down to his waist and whose front tooth is missing – appeared playful at the reception, tickling his cousins and tapping others on the shoulder and then running away.

Paris also seemed to be in a better mood. She hugged her cousins and chatted with guests.

At one point, someone brought over the program from the memorial and all three of the kids — including some of the cousins — gathered around to look at the pictures.

Jackson‘s children seemed really poised and polite as they shook guests’ hands and chatted with them. People were coming up and shaking Prince Michael‘s hand a lot. The kids interacted extremely naturally with each other.

Grace Rwaramba, Jackson‘s former nanny, was overheard saying: “The kids are holding up really well. It’s good for them to be around the other kids.”

The reception featured a classical music quartet that played softly onstage. (Food included mini cheeseburgers, spanakopita, mini crab cakes, vegetable plates, cheese plates and fruit.)

Todd Bridges, Corey Feldman, Chris Tucker, Brooke Shields, Wesley Snipes, Rev. Al Sharpton, Kim Porter, Mariah Carey, Jesse Jackson, Spike Lee and Anil Kapoor from Slumdog Millionaire were among the guests.

Usher pretty much kept to himself and still looked sad.

As for Jackson‘s siblings, Latoya made the rounds at the reception, greeting guests. Janet did not really interact with her family, only to chat with sister Latoya momentarily. (Both ladies kept their sunglasses on the entire time.) Janet also carried around Blanket‘s Michael Jackson doll for him. (Her beau Jermaine Dupri did not attend.)

Joe and Katherine Jackson briefly chatted up Brooke Shields, who was smiling but still mourning as her eyes were red.

Jermaine Jackson talked to family members and hugged a lot of the guests.

At the end of the evening, a few guests took photos with Wesley Snipes, Usher and even Joe Jackson.

Feldman, still dressed in his bizarre Michael Jackson outfit, gave Joe Jackson a hug and a handshake on the way out.

Michael‘s three kids left with Katherine Jackson, who remains their temporary guardian until a July 13 court hearing.

Source: US Weekly

Posted in AC360°, Just In, Michael Jackson, Paris Katherine Jackson, Paris Michael Katherine, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), Prince Michael Jackson II, Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Prince Michael Paris Michael Katherine Jackson

Just In: Michael’s Children Will No Longer Be A Secret to the Media

According to AC360°, Judging from the Twitterfall, a lot of fans were reduced to weeping puddles by the words of Paris Jackson. As that young girl stood at the microphone and tried to speak of her love for her father, she was a stark reminder of the simple fact that in the end the King of Pop was also a human being. I watched as the family swept her away from the microphone and hugged her, and heard the audience applaud with praise and sympathy for her courage in a terrible time.

But sadly, there is a legacy of that moment I can not ignore: For the first time, I know exactly what she looks like. I have heard her voice. And millions more…maybe hundreds of millions…did too.

Jackson was certainly not a typical father, and he did some things that defied defense: that horrific baby dangling episode, for example. In addition, there are all those troubling questions about his private conduct that will forever circle his biography like vultures.

But for as long as he was alive he did a pretty good job keeping his children’s faces hidden from the public at large. The masks seemed strange to the point of disconcerting, to be sure, but the alternative could have been worse. So there were the odd snapshots that showed up now and then, but not many, and almost never in the mainstream media.

And now? He has not even been put to rest, and already the hidden children have been paraded before the world. I have no idea whose idea that was, or if it was simply an oversight. I have no idea if Michael Jackson would have objected, although his behavior only a few weeks ago suggests he would have.

What I do know is this: Any hope of them going out for an ice cream cone, or a bike ride, or a visit to an amusement park was complicated before today; but now it is virtually impossible. They will now be met at every corner by fans with cellphone cameras, paparazzi, and curious gazes. In our celebrity crazed culture, the lives of those children just grew immensely more complex and problematic.

Source: AC360°

Posted in Berry Gordy, Breaking News, Funerals/Memorials, Janet Jackson, Ken Erlich, King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Michael Joseph Jr., Michael Joseph Jr. (aka Prince Michael), Music News, Paris Katherine Jackson, Paris Michael Katherine, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), Prince Michael Jackson II, Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Prince Michael Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Wire Talk

Wire Talk: Paris Jackson’s Memorial Comments Wasn’t Planned, It Came From The Heart

https://i0.wp.com/www.usmagazine.com/files/paris-b_3.jpgAs the star-studded tribute to the King of Pop concluded, Michael Jackson’s own children, Prince Michael, 12, Paris Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael II (Blanket), 7, took the stage during a group performance of “Heal the World.”

The climactic moment of Tuesday’s Michael Jackson memorial service came when after the song, 11-year-old Paris Jackson gave an impromptu speech from the stage surrounded by the Jackson family. Paris stepped to the mic and spoke through tears: “Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine,” she said. “And I just want to say that I love him so much.”

Her aunt Janet Jackson then took her into her arms for a hug before the entire Jackson family left the stage, closing the service that lasted more than two hours. The moving tribute was especially startling because it marked one of the first times Michael’s daughter has ever been heard publicly.

Ken Erlich, the producer of the memorial, has told EW that the moment was in no way planned. “A lot of the show was not scripted,” he says. “A lot of the speakers spoke from their heart. We told them we’d be happy to work with them, but a lot of them — the Smokeys, the Berry Gordys, the people who knew Michael all his life — wanted to speak from the heart, on their own. When [the Paris moment] happened, I had asked the family to come up if they wanted to and say something. I thought, frankly, that we were going to get the brothers and the sisters. This went way beyond that, obviously.”

Erlich also reports that the moment when Usher left the stage to sing “Gone Too Soon” next to Jackson‘s casket was similarly impromptu. “He did that on his own and it was wonderful,” says the producer. “All we had time to do with this show is create the sense of it. The rest of it happened because we allowed it to happen. We didn’t want to get in the way.”

More photos of the kids below…

.¸¸.·`¯`·.¸¸.ஐ:

Singing to “We Are The World”Above: You notice that Blanket dresses like Michael used to dress, with the high-water pants, white tube socks and penny loafer shoes. Check out the photo I put below to compare.

Michael - Blanket

Prince Michael:

Paris:

Blanket:

Posted in Debbie Rowe, Just In, Katherine Jackson, King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Michael Joseph Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Prince Michael Jackson II, Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Prince Michael Paris Michael Katherine Jackson

Just In: Michael Jackson Update

Massive demand for Jackson memorial tickets…

https://i0.wp.com/www.hotgossip.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/michaeljacksontour.jpg

More than half a million fans from around the world applied for 17,500 free tickets to Michael Jackson‘s public memorial service next week, organizers said on Friday as a massive security operation got underway.

The life and music of the self-proclaimed “king of pop,” who died of sudden cardiac arrest last Thursday, will be celebrated on Tuesday at the Staples Center, a basketball arena in downtown Los Angeles.

Officials on Friday unveiled an ambitious online lottery that will allow fans to attend either the televised service at the arena or watch the proceedings on a big screen at the nearby Nokia Theater.

But within minutes, the staplescenter.com server crashed. Officials warned additional disruptions were likely as fans logged on ahead of the Saturday deadline at 6 p.m. PDT.

“You might want to consider watching this from the comfort of your own home,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who is doubling as the city’s acting mayor.

The ceremony will also streamed online.

A wide area around the venues in downtown Los Angeles will be blocked off for the 10 a.m. event. Both local and state law-enforcement agencies have been marshaled for duty.

A local news-radio station reported that more than 1,400 officers from the Los Angeles Police Department alone have been asked to volunteer for duty on Monday and Tuesday. The LAPD, which has about 9,000 officers in total, declined to comment on the report or to reveal a staffing number.

A Jackson family spokesman also declined to provide details of the memorial service, but said there would not be a funeral procession and Jackson’s body would not be at the memorial.

Funeral arrangements have not been disclosed, but security has been beefed up at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills mortuary, where his body is believed to be held.

Officials were also tight-lipped about the cost of the memorial service, and who would pay for it.

Like other U.S. cities, Los Angeles is strapped for cash in the global recession and similar questions about public tax revenues being spent for such an elaborate ceremony surfaced last month when a $2 million celebration was given for the champion Los Angeles Lakers professional basketball team.

That event, which attracted over 500,000 people, was eventually funded through private donations.

The city has already budgeted for LAPD overtime, Perry said, adding that officials would “deeply appreciate” help to offset incremental costs, such as transportation, sanitation and staging.

Winners of the tickets will be contacted on Sunday and directed to pick up a pair of tickets and wristbands on Monday. No tickets will be sold. The massive demand raised the question of counterfeiting or scalping, drawing pleas from organizers for fans to act responsibly.

“For those that would try to take advantage of this, shame on them,” said Tim Leiweke, the president and CEO of AEG, the closely held entertainment concern that owns the venues and was backing Jackson‘s planned comeback concerts in London.

Jackson‘s last performance was at the Staples Center. The night before he died of sudden cardiac arrest last Thursday, he rehearsed for the tour at the venue.

Plus More>>

Jackson was loving and attentive father, many say…

https://i1.wp.com/www.mikepaulblog.com/blog/media/_38493705_jackson_children300_reu.jpg

When Rabbi Shmuley Boteach brought his children to play with Michael Jackson‘s kids at Neverland Ranch some eight years ago, the rabbi‘s youngsters naturally made a beeline for the fabulous rides — the Ferris wheel, the roller coaster, the bumper cars.

But when Jackson‘s own kids asked to go on the rides, he gently reminded them of the family rules, according to Boteach: The rides were only for birthdays or special occasions. “He was very concerned that the kids grow up with the right values,” says Boteach, Jackson‘s former friend and spiritual adviser.

They are the children of one of the most famous men to have walked the planet. But unlike other children of mega-celebrities, whose faces are recognizable around the world, those of Jackson‘s three kids — 12-year-old Michael Joseph Jr., known as Prince Michael; 11-year-old Paris Michael Katherine; and 7-year-old Prince Michael II, known as Blanket are barely known.

Home-schooled and often isolated in mansions or hotels, the children have appeared only in rare paparazzi shots, their faces usually covered by scarves or brightly colored masks.

That fact alone — that Jackson sought to hide his children’s faces — would seem to speak of a dark, strange life. But those who’ve witnessed the family up close paint a brighter picture: a trio of engaging, intelligent, well-adjusted youngsters who adored their father. A father who, despite his eccentricities and the terrible controversy that surrounded him in later life, lived for his children and tried to make their lives as normal as — well, as normal as Michael Jackson could.

“To the extent that Michael Jackson’s kids COULD have a normal life, he wanted them to have it,” says Boteach, who eventually fell out with Jackson.

“Listen, I’m not here to whitewash the sins of Michael Jackson— he was accused of some abominable things,” says the rabbi, referring to the pop star’s trial and acquittal on molestation charges. “But when it came to being a father, there was much to admire.”

Dr. Tohme Tohme, a close friend and adviser to Jackson over the last year of his life, said he had “never seen a better father.”

“He was the father and the mother,” Tohme said. “He washed them and dressed them. I’m a father but I’m not sure I could do what he was doing with his children. They loved him so much.”

Of course, even Jackson‘s closest friends are at a loss to explain what for many is the single most memorable image of Jackson as a father: the shocking moment when he dangled Blanket, then an infant, over a hotel balcony in Berlin, showing the baby off to fans with a delighted grin.

“What made that incident so inexplicable was that he was an OVER-protective father,” Boteach says.

Others who’ve been close to Jackson in the past agree. When the children stayed in hotels, says one photographer who spent several years working for Jackson, his handlers had long lists of all the foods the children could and could not eat. He was afraid of allergies but also poisoning, says the photographer, Ian Barkley. At the ranch, Jackson would not let the children roam far for fear of coyotes, he says.

When Barkley spoke to the kids himself, he was impressed. “Paris and (the older) Prince really blew me away with how smart they were. They were really well-mannered and nice.” And Jackson made sure they kept up with their studies. “Once I heard him ask the nanny if the kids had done their homework that day, and they hadn’t yet and he was really not happy.”

Yet Jackson also indulged his children in extravagances — he was known to rent out entire movie theaters so he and his kids could see a first-run movie in peace, said close friend Uri Geller, the entertainer, who accompanied the family on one such outing.

“The times I’ve seen Michael with his kids, he was simply a great father,” says Geller. “When I saw him alone in London, the first thing he said is how much he missed them. I know he loved them, and they loved him.”

US Weekly editor Janice Min, whose magazine reported on Jackson‘s children this week, was surprised to discover how positive an outlook many Jackson associates had on the kids and their lives. “I would have thought it was a very gloom-and-doom picture, but across the board, everyone talked about these nice and seemingly normal kids,” she says.

Still, for many people, the hardest thing to get past about Jackson‘s parenting style was those facial disguises. Geller, for one, is convinced the family saw it as a game. “It was a private joke on the media between Michael and the kids — the kids loved it,” Geller says. “That’s what Michael told me.”

But others speak of more serious reasons. Stacy Brown, a former Jackson family confidant who fell out with the family at the time of the 2005 molestation trial — he was a prosecution witness — says Michael was truly afraid of kidnapping. But also, Brown notes, there was a strategy: If the kids wore masks when they were with Jackson, they could go safely unmasked when they weren’t with him.

Still, says Brown, who co-wrote “The Man Behind the Mask,” a Jackson biography, “mentally, it was just not right. Why put a mask on these beautiful children?”

There may be another, more poignant reason. “He detested the media interest in whether he looked like his children,” says Boteach, the rabbi. “I think that was another concern. Those rumors were hurtful to them.”

Such discussion has only increased since Jackson‘s death, as the world wonders not only who will get custody of the children but also whether Jackson is their biological father. Jackson‘s ex-wife, Deborah Rowe, the mother of the two older children, says the children were conceived by artificial insemination. The surrogate mother of the youngest has not been revealed.

For now, Rowe is weighing whether to seek custody of her two children, while Katherine Jackson, the singer’s 79-year-old mother, has temporary guardianship of all three. Jackson‘s will asks that permanent custody go to his mother.

Brown, the biographer, recalls running into Jackson and the kids in a town near Neverland shortly before the trial.

“They were the most well-behaved, well-mannered, immaculately groomed children,” Brown says. “It was all ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ and ‘excuse me.’ Little Blanket was wearing a kilt, and Prince a three-piece suit, and Paris a white dress with blue flowers. We chatted. I’m telling you, the guy was tremendous with those kids.”

Whatever happens, Boteach says, it was Jackson‘s greatest wish that his children know how much he loved them.

“Michael often said he knew that when the kids grew up, they’d be asked by biographers what kind of father he was,” Boteach says. “He wanted the kids to know that he always put them first.”

Plus>>

Jackson kids face hurdles to coping with his death…

https://i1.wp.com/img.metro.co.uk/i/pix/2009/04/jacksonfamilyBAR_450x370.jpgNo matter how unusual their lives may have been so far, Michael Jackson‘s children now face a universal trauma felt by all kids who suddenly lose a parent.

How the three young Jacksons fare is up to the remaining adults in their lives and whether they can create a sense of stability and security for the grieving youngsters, mental health experts say.

The challenges are particularly daunting for the Jackson kids, with no mother in the picture, custody issues, and unanswered questions ranging from Jackson‘s suspected drug use to whether he was even their biological father.

That’s not to mention the eccentricities before Jackson‘s death, such as his Peter Pan fixation and drastic cosmetic surgeries, plus unproven allegations of sexual behavior with other children.

The public knows little about the sheltered children_ Michael Jr., 12; Paris, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7. They were all born long after Jackson‘s heyday, and he kept them veiled — sometimes literally — from prying eyes. Whether they are resilient or particularly vulnerable to emotional trauma is unknown.

One thing is certain: “The loss of a parent is a catastrophe” for any young child, and the Jackson kids will need help coping, said Dr. Stuart Goldman, a psychiatrist with Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.

“The kids need to be removed from the limelight and any exposure to television or media needs to be greatly minimized,” said Dr. Louis Kraus, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “The distortions of what they see there is not going to be healthy.”

Jackson‘s will names his 79-year-old mother, Katherine Jackson, as the children’s guardian. Since Jackson‘s June 25 death, they have been staying with her and other relatives at the family compound in Encino, a Los Angeles suburb.

An attorney for Jackson‘s cardiologist said the children requested and were allowed to see Jackson‘s body, after a psychiatrist was consulted.

Specialists say that isn’t necessarily traumatizing. It can give children a chance to say goodbye after a parent’s sudden death, and allow the permanence of death to sink in, said Demy Kamboukas, a trauma expert and scientist at New York University’s Child Study Center.

Kamboukas and other mental health experts recommended counseling for children who’ve experienced a parent’s death. It gives them a chance to talk about their feelings with an objective observer who isn’t also grieving and who can assure them that feelings of fear, anger and loss of control are normal.

Many kids get over profound grief and end up handling a parent’s death pretty well, said University of Chicago psychiatrist Dr. Sharon Hirsch.

The Jackson children may be able to, also, she said, “as long as the family rallies around them and helps to continue to love and support them.” But, she added, “It isn’t going to be easy.”

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Just In: Michael Jackson at Neverland will not happen

A plan to bury Michael Jackson at his sprawling Neverland Ranch fizzled Wednesday, leaving details about his funeral undecided as another mystery was solved: His newly unveiled will says his mother should raise his children, or failing her, Diana Ross.

The investigation into the singer’s death, meanwhile, deepened late Wednesday when the Drug Enforcement Administration was asked to step in by the Los Angeles Police Department, a law enforcement official in Washington told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

The changing funeral circumstances thwarted many Jackson fans who had descended on the estate in the rolling hills near Santa Barbara with the hope of attending a public viewing.

We’re terribly disappointed,” said Ida Barron, 44, who arrived with her husband Paul Barron, 56, intending to spend several days in a tent.

“We were going to listen to music and watch Michael Jackson DVDs and party all night long, not just to have fun, but in memory of Michael Jackson,” Paul Barron said. “Now we’re going to have to just go home.”

Jackson‘s 7-year-old will, filed Wednesday in a Los Angeles court, gives his entire estate to a family trust and names his 79-year-old mother Katherine and his children as beneficiaries. The will also estimates the current value of his estate at more than $500 million.

Katherine Jackson was appointed their guardian, with entertainer Diana Ross, a longtime friend of Michael Jackson, named successor guardian if something happens to his mother. Ross introduced the Jackson 5 on the Ed Sullivan Show in the late 1960s and was instrumental in launching their career.

Meanwhile, Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine said a public memorial was in the works for Jackson but wouldn’t be held at Neverland. In addition, it appeared more likely that a funeral and burial would take place in Los Angeles, a person familiar with the situation told the AP.

But the person, who is not authorized to speak for the family and requested anonymity, said nothing was planned for Neverland, at least through Friday.

The person said billionaire Thomas Barrack, who owns Neverland in a joint venture with Jackson, sought an exemption to bury the singer at the ranch. But the person says it’s a complicated process and it couldn’t be done for a burial this week.

“The family is aware a Neverland burial is not possible. They are expected to make decisions about whatever funeral and memorial service” will take place, the person said.

Heavy construction equipment and workers were seen passing through the wrought-iron gates of Neverland on Tuesday. It wasn’t clear what they were doing. The property is about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

At once a symbol of Jackson’s success and excesses, Neverland — nestled in wine country — became the site of a makeshift memorial after his death.

In Los Angeles, Jackson’s lawyer John Branca and family friend John McClain, a music executive, were named in the will as co-executors of his estate. In a statement, they said the most important element of the will was Jackson‘s steadfast desire that his mother become the legal guardian for his children.

“As we work to carry out Michael’s instructions to safeguard both the future of his children as well as the remarkable legacy he left us as an artist, we ask that all matters involving his estate be handled with the dignity and the respect that Michael and his family deserve,” the statement said.

The will doesn’t name father Joe Jackson to any position of authority in administering the estate.

The executors moved quickly to take control of all of Michael Jackson‘s property, going to court hours after filing the will to challenge a previous ruling that gave Katherine Jackson control of 2,000 items from Neverland.

Paul Gordon Hoffman, an attorney for the executors, told Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff his clients are the proper people to take over Jackson‘s financial affairs. He called Katherine Jackson‘s speed in getting limited power over her son’s property “a race to the courthouse that is frankly improper.”

Judge Beckloff urged attorneys from both sides to try to reach a compromise.

“I would like the family to sit down and try to make this work so that we don’t have a difficult time in court,” the judge said. A hearing on the estate was set for Monday.

The will, dated July 7, 2002, gives the entire estate to the Michael Jackson Family Trust. Details of the trust will not be made public.

The documents said Jackson‘s estate consisted almost entirely of “non-cash, non-liquid assets, including primarily an interest in a catalog of music royalty rights which is currently being administered by Sony ATV, and the interests of various entities.”

Jackson owns a 50 percent stake in the massive Sony-ATV Music Publishing Catalog, which includes music by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers.

Jackson was recently in shaky financial health. In the most detailed account yet of the singer’s tangled financial empire, documents obtained by The Associated Press show Jackson claimed to have a net worth of $236.6 million as of March 31, 2007.

Jackson, who died June 25 at age 50, left behind three children: son Michael Joseph Jr., known as Prince Michael, 12; daughter Paris Michael Katherine, 11; and son Prince Michael II, 7. Debbie Rowe was the mother of the two oldest children; the youngest was born to a surrogate mother, who has never been identified.

Katherine Jackson was granted temporary guardianship Monday. A judge held off on requests to control the children’s estates.

Rowe, who was married to Jackson in 1996 and filed for divorce three years later, surrendered her parental rights. An appeals court later found that was done in error, and Rowe and Jackson entered an out-of-court settlement in 2006.

Neither Rowe nor her attorneys have indicated whether she intends to seek custody of the two oldest children.

Source: Yahoo!