I consider myself black: Paris Jackson

Paris Jackson says she has no doubts that late pop star Michael Jackson is her biological father.
Paris Jackson says she has no doubts that late pop star Michael Jackson is her biological father.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Michael Jackson's daughter has hit back at longstanding questions about whether the late King of Pop was her biological father, saying in rare public remarks that she has no doubts.

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine in what was billed as her first and final comment on the issue, model Paris Jackson, 18, said she has often been told she has uncannily similar mannerisms to her father.

"He will always be my father. He never wasn't and he never will not be," she said in an interview published on Tuesday.

Jackson, who has pale skin and greenish-blue eyes, acknowledged that strangers usually believe that she is white.

But she said her appearance makes sense because she is mixedrace, adding that Jackson immersed her in African-American culture, including teaching her to cook soul food. "I consider myself black," she said.

"He 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, 'Okay, he's my dad, why would he lie to me?'"

The pop superstar had Paris and her elder brother Prince with Ms Debbie Rowe, who worked at his dermatologist's office and was married to him for several years. Paris said she has limited contact with Ms Rowe, 58. The star later had a second son, Blanket, through an undisclosed surrogate.

Jackson also alleged that her father's death was a murder, offering no evidence beyond saying the singer often told her that unnamed forces were out to get him.

An autopsy of his body by the Los Angeles authorities found a powerful dose of drugs used to treat anxiety. His doctor Conrad Murray later went to prison for involuntary manslaughter.

Jackson told the magazine she has suffered severe self-esteem issues because of the constant attention to her appearance and had attempted suicide repeatedly - with some scars covered by her body's more than 50 tattoos. But she said she finds modelling therapeutic.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2017, with the headline 'I consider myself black: Paris Jackson'. Print Edition | Subscribe