Once a mystery hidden under a mask, Paris Jackson has been a full-fledged celebrity since her father’s death four years ago, though with Wednesday’s news of her possible suicide attempt, it appears the fame has come at an price. With that, we’re taking a look back at Michael Jackson’s daughter, with hopes she recovers soon from whatever is causing her pain.
Paris is born into the venerated Jackson family, though her father’s career is an afterthought by that point, plagued by scandals related to the singer’s bizarre lifestyle, and molestation accusations five years before. Michael spends the better part of the next 11 years hiding his children under masks, in a presumable effort to shield the tots from the spotlight.
“I was like, ‘This is stupid, why am I wearing a mask?’ But, I kind of realized the older I got, like he only tried to protect us and he’d explain that to us too,” she told Ellen Degeneres of the masks in 2011.
Following Michael Jackson’s June 25 death, Paris emerges at his Staples Center service in Los Angeles with an emotional speech that left the country in tears, launching her into the limelight.
“Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine,” said the then-11-year-old. “And I just want to say I love him so much.”
After a brief custody dispute with biological mother Debbie Rowe, the Jackson family retains custody of Paris and her siblings Blanket and Prince Michael.
Scattered reports indicate trouble at the Jackson Southern California compound — including minors playing with Stun-Guns on the premises — but officials clear the family in a subsequent investigation.
Still very much taken with her father’s death, Paris decks her room out with images of the late King of Pop.
“I wanted to hang pictures of flowers or ballerinas in Paris’ room, the sort of things I expected a girl would like,” Katherine told London’s Daily Mirror. “But she went into a closet and she brought out seven or eight pictures of Michael, and she told me, ‘No, I want my Daddy hanging in my room’. So she goes to bed looking at him and wakes up looking at him. She said, ‘I always want to be able to see him’.”
Paris seems to be taking to her adolescence and fame like a fish to water, cheerleading, playing softball, football and soccer at her exclusive private school, while expressing interest in an entertainment career.
Houston, we have a problem. Paris is at the forefront of her family’s well-publicized fiasco after Jackson family members mysteriously whisk her grandmother Katherine away to an Arizona resort, with limited contact with the kids. After a series of disturbed tweets, a spat with her superstar aunt Janet, and a legal fiasco that winds up awarding some guardianship power to cousin T.J. Jackson, things calm down in the land of glimmering gloves and moonwalks.
At 15, Paris seems to be in full teen angst mode, changing her look and growing a tad rebellious, spurning practiced tied to her family’s Jehovah’s Witness faith. With a darker, short ‘do, Paris had recently taken to spending time at Rowe’s Palmdale, Calif. ranch.
Paris reportedly tries to kill herself via prescription drug overdose, and rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital by ambulance early Wednesday.