Michael’s mother and kids on Oprah’s show
I’ve been fighting the need to address several different issues all at once and for some reason Oprah’s show with Katherine and Michael’s kids took the upper hand over the rest.
So let me post the videos of that interview and select only a couple of things which struck me most while I was beating back tears that kept breaking all the time and was scribbling the text (sorry for the mistakes). There will be very little comment as I hope things are speaking for themselves in this conversation:
OPRAH: I spoke to Lisa Marie Presley recently. It was a beautiful interview because I felt for the first time that she really-really loved him.
KATHERINE: She did.
OPRAH: Really-really loved him…
KATHERINE: My heart dropped. They called me and said, “Go to the hospital. Michael is in hospital”. He was dead but they didn’t tell me.
OPRAH: Did you know in your heart?
KATHERINE: I’ve kind of felt it.
OPRAH: Who told you at the hospital?
KATHERINE: They made the doctor tell me. He didn’t want it either… The doctor had to tell us – Dr. Murray.
OPRAH: Dr. Murray told you?
KATHERINE: Uhuh. …
KATHERINE: And he came out, and he was talking. It took him so long, and I say, “Well, what happened?” He kept saying–and I said, “Well, how is he? How is he? Did he make it? Or how is he?” And he said, “No. He’s gone.” That’s all I remember. I’m sorry.”
KATHERINE: The children were there. They were in another room. They were crying. I thought Paris would pass out. She was just saying, “I can’t make it without you.”
KATHERINE: Paris was saying, “I want to be with you”.
OPRAH (with her legs crossed): Uhuh. Who told the children?
KATHERINE: Somebody had told the children. When they came in they were crying.
OPRAH: So somebody had told them. And Paris was saying… “I want to be with you”?
KATHERINE: “I want to go with you. I don’t want to live without you”.
OPRAH: Uhuh. That’s very, very, very hard.
OPRAH: Were you aware that he had been taking prescription drugs?
KATHERINE: Remember when he got burned in the head? He had been taking these drugs and it was a long time before I knew he was addicted to them.
KATHERINE: Pain-killers, [that’s what it was].
OPRAH: When Janet was on she said there had been an attempt to have an intervention with him. Were you aware about it?
KATHERINE: Yes, they had told me about it… Take and put him in a rehab or some kind of clean him up. …I spoke to him about it once, when I had heard it and he denied it. I was telling him I didn’t want to one day hear that he had overdosed because it would break my heart and kill … He kept saying, ‘My own mother don’t believe me.’ He kept saying me that. But I had heard that they would be in denial when they tell you that. …Part of me wanted to believe him, but I didn’t believe him.
Well, with all my due and really great respect for Katherine I think she is both correct and wrong here. At the initial stage of taking those painkillers Michael didn’t really know that the addiction was forming (he was probably never told by his doctors about a possible dependency) and when she finally learned about it he could have already been fighting the habit and could be quite right in denying it.
Let us remember that the drug-taking period of Michael’s life started only after the allegations in 1993 and it was a way to dull his horrible mental and psychological pain. He eventually managed to beat the habit as the autopsy report showed that his system was fully clean of Demerol or any other opiate containing drugs. The only thing which remained was that damned Propofol taken for his insomnia…
Haters sometimes imply that Michael could have been ‘stoned’ in the 90s and thus could not have realized what he was doing, but let me stress it again that the addiction to Demerol (which Dr. Klein openly admits he prescribed to Michael) started only after the 1993 allegations – and this was something he desperately tried to check, control and fight, and fight so successfully that most people who were around him at the time remember him as “a very controlled addict”. Beginning with 1996 he was already having his own children by his side and this was a tremendous incentive for him to shake over his life and start it anew.
Only today I’ve read Dieter Weizner’s story about Michael who actually sued him for $40 mln. and so is no friend of Michael’s, but as regards the drugs issue he is being quite emphatic in denying it:
„The fans should know one thing. Michael wasn’t a drug dependant. Sure, there were times when he took painkiller in the 90ties and during the trial he also had to take medicine to soothe his pain. But those were painkillers. This doctor had given to him a anesthetic. This is absolutely another kind of story!”
In the media you can clearly read that Michael was addicted to medicine/drugs, so that many fans got it as a matter of fact. Is that wrong?
„Absolutely. Michael wasn’t addicted to medicine/drugs. Of course, the fans hear about it and they hear about it again. They hear it and they forgive him because they love him. But there’s nothing to forgive – as he never was that way!
You should know, there are some doctors – and I have some of their names in my mind – they come to you and say: Oh, you don’t feel good? I have something for you and you feel better. There’s no big deal. You cannot sleep? Here, take this. You will sleep well. Sleep is important!“
Wasn’t Michael strong enough to decline?
„You must not forget, what this man had dealt with in his life. He was such a sensitive, vulnerable and proud person. And he had been humiliated and ridiculed from the whole world. And at the end he was all alone. Nobody was there by his side. The best person among us would get weak then.“
KATHERINE: I know he was innocent. The hardest thing was – would the jury believe it? And I prayed for the truth. If only they knew the truth he would walk out of the court house. And it happened. …I can’t talk about it, it was a trying time. All his life he had to go through stuff like this.
OPRAH: Did you ever for one instant, ever think of a possibility that he might be guilty of m-g a child?
KATHERINE: No. I never thought. Because I knew he wouldn’t. He loved children, and he was around children all the time, and that’s the only way that these people, the ones out there that did it.
They know who they are. I’m not calling any names – they know who they are. That’s the only way they can make people believe that he did something, because he was around those children all the time. And Michael would always say, “Mother, why are they accusing me of something I love the most? I’d rather slit my own wrist than to hurt a child.” He would always say that.
KATHERINE: You know what broke my heart more than anything else in this world? When people at the hospital told us “You can leave now”, Paris said, “Grandma, where are we going?” That tore my heart. It tore me up. I said, “You’re going home with grandma. Don’t you want to do that?” She said, “Yes. That’s where we want to go.” When she said, “Grandma,” oh, God, I couldn’t take it.
OPRAH: Do they talk about their father?
KATHERINE: What they talk about is, “Daddy would do this, daddy would do that”, they would always say. “Well, that’s how daddy did it”.
OPRAH: Do you think he was afraid of you?
JOE: I don’t think he was afraid of me. I never beat him. That never happened.
OPRAH: He told me you were beating him.
JOE: Beat or whip?
KATHERINE: You might as well admit it, that’s the way black people raised their children. He used a strap.
JOE: I don’t [regret the beatings]. It kept them out of jail and kept them right. My kids have never been in jail.
WINFREY: Do you think it`s good for the children to be out in public and not veiled? Do you think that`s good?
KATHERINE JACKSON: I didn’t approve of that. But I didn’t say anything about it to him. But then I heard that their mother – their biological mother – she told me it was her idea, not Michael’s.
OPRAH: To cover them?
WINFREY: What is it you love to do?
PRINCE JACKSON: Videogames and sports.
KATHERINE JACKSON: Tell her what you’d like to do when you grow up.
PRINCE: Produce movies and direct.
PARIS: I`d like to be an actress when I`m older.
OPRAH: Really? Good. Are you going to study it, take it seriously?
PARIS JACKSON: Yeah. I sometimes do improvs.
OPRAH: Oh, do you? Where?
PARIS: Well, I used to do them with my dad.
PARIS: My friend, she didn`t know – she didn`t know who I was until we went on after…
OPRAH: And then what happens? What happens when people discover who you are?
PARIS JACKSON: She didn`t care.
OPRAH: Don’t you like that?
OPRAH: Did you know at the time why you were putting on the mask?
PRINCE JACKSON: Yeah.
PRINCE: Because then when we did go out without our dad, then nobody would really recognize us.
PARIS: He tried to raise us without knowing who he was, but that didn’t really go so well.
OPRAH: It didn’t really go so well. Did you appreciate or like being behind the veil or mask at the time?
PARIS JACKSON: I appreciated it.
OPRAH: What kind of dad was he? Was he a strict disciplinarian or could you get away with anything with him?
PARIS: He was strict.
BLANKET: He could get away with anything (pointing at Prince).
OPRAH: He could get away with things? You could get away with it?
PARIS: I kind of felt like no one understood what a good father he was. He was like – I`d say he was the best cook ever.
OPRAH: A cook, really?
PARIS: Yes. Everyone is all – a cook? Like they`re surprised to hear it.
OPRAH: Yes, I am.
PARIS: He was just a normal dad. He was like the best dad. He made the best French toast in the world.
OPRAH: Dipped in egg, right?
PARIS: Yes. He just made the best breakfasts in the world.
OPRAH: Would he cook for you guys a lot?
PARIS JACKSON: Yes.
OPRAH: What do you miss the most?
PARIS JACKSON: Everything.
Here are the first responses to the interview:
CNN, November 8, 2010
A.J. HAMMER: The world today got to hear new music from Michael Jackson, a song called “Breaking News” that made for plenty of breaking news. And that`s because there is a great debate over whether that really is Michael Jackson singing or an imposter.
And at the very same time, Michael`s mother Katherine and his children made their own breaking news today in an unbelievable tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. Michael`s mother making revelations to Oprah about his addiction to drugs and plastic surgery, his kids revealing their struggles to live a normal life.
Katherine`s now raising Michael`s three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket. She`s doing things differently from her son, who had his children wear veils to hide them from the public. Katherine Jackson tells Oprah she wants Jackson`s kids out in the world.
And in their first-ever television interview, Jackson`s kids were shocking in their own right, in how normal they seemed. They told Oprah what they want to do when they grow up.
But one thing is clear. No matter how happy these kids seem with their lives and family, they really miss their father.
PARIS JACKSON: I kind of feel like no one understands what a good father he was. He was just a normal dad. He was the best dad.
I think that is so cool. Michael Jackson, the pop star, simply known as the best dad to his three kids. And this is really the first time we`re actually hearing from Michael`s kids since he died over a year ago. This leads to our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint, Michael Jackson`s kids on Oprah – do you think Michael would have approved?
With me, right now, in New York, Midwin Charles who is an attorney with the law firm, Midwin Charles and Associates. And in Hollywood, it`s Jim Moret, who is the chief correspondent for “Inside Edition” and author of a great book – check it out – it`s called “The Last Day of My Life.”
JIM MORET, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, “INSIDE EDITION”: I have to admit I hate to say I did not expect Michael`s kids to appear so normal. Obviously, I`m happy that they are. And hearing Michael`s daughter Paris explain to Oprah that she feels no one really knew how great a father Michael was to his kids, I thought it was just heartbreaking. Take a look.
HAMMER: Yes. No question, it`s great for us to see that. We love it. But Jim, to the SHOWBIZ Flashpoint, do you think Michael would have approved of his kids being on “Oprah”?
JIM MORET: Maybe at this age. You know, he did his best to protect them. We know that he veiled them when they went out because he really wanted to cloister them.
But you know, you look at what Katherine is doing, their grandmother, and really exposing them to the world and they look normal. And what a fitting tribute. They love their dad. They love the silly little things like making French toast. What a sweet tribute.
Yes, I think he would not be unhappy to see how well they`re turning out.
HAMMER: I agree with you on that but I`ve got to say I doubt he would have been thrilled on them going on “Oprah.” You know, we never saw much of the kids at all until after he died.
I can only presume that he would have continued to shield them from the public for better or worse had Michael lived. So Midwin, what do you think? Would he have been happy with this appearance?
MIDWIN CHARLES, ATTORNEY, MIDWIN CHARLES AND ASSOCIATES: Listen, I think Michael Jackson is rolling over in his grave right now. I mean, remember, let`s face it, we had no idea what these kids looked like until he died. It had to take him dying for us to see what they looked like at all.
CHARLES: And so I don`t think he`d be happy with this. You know, I understand Katherine`s reasoning for doing it. Perhaps she feels, you know what? They`re old enough now. They`re more comfortable with being out in the public.
HAMMER: And it`s showing Michael in a different light, which is terrific. I do want to get Brooke Anderson`s take on this. Brooke, what do you think? You know, we`ve been following this story all along. Do you think he would have been OK with this appearance?
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: I do, actually. Listen, they`re not toddlers anymore. And I think, like Jim, you know, it was a fitting tribute. And it was really an outlet for these kids to speak openly and speak lovingly of their father.
And if nothing else, Michael Jackson always wanted his kids to be happy. So if this made them happy, then, yes, I think he definitely would have approved.
Thanks to our David Edwards we can read some other parts too:
OPRAH WINFREY: Vitiligo.
KATHERINE JACKSON: He didn’t want to start looking like a spotted cow, he said, so he just had everything done. I don’t know how he did that, but he had everything–but except under his clothes. They were still, you know, changing, his legs and things.
OPRAH WINFREY: Were spotted?
KATHERINE JACKSON: Yes. But he got it on this part of his body and his arms and things. He changed that. But what–I don’t know what in the world he did to do that, to change it, but he did.
OPRAH WINFREY: But as his look, you know, as a person in the public, we saw him transform himself, and what it looked like to us is that he was continuing to have surgeries, and I think when I interviewed him, he told me he’d only had two. I think he said…
KATHERINE JACKSON: He had more than two.
OPRAH WINFREY: I know. I thought…
KATHERINE JACKSON: He was just embarrassed.
About marriage to Lisa Marie Presley:
KATHERINE JACKSON: It was a surprise to me. He called me after he had married her. He called me, and he said, “Well, I’m going to put her on the phone.” And he put her on the phone. I said, “That’s not her.” “Oh, yes, it is. Honest to goodness it’s her,” he said. It didn’t sound like her. She has a heavy voice, and I didn’t know that. And she sounded like a black girl.
OPRAH WINFREY: Sounded like a black girl. You can say that out loud.
KATHERINE JACKSON: Okay.
OPRAH WINFREY: She sounded like a black girl.
KATHERINE JACKSON: Yeah, when she was–but I said, “That’s not Lisa Marie.” He said, “Oh, yes, it is, Mother.”
OPRAH WINFREY: Did that trial change him?
KATHERINE JACKSON: Yes, it did.
OPRAH WINFREY: Tell me how.
KATHERINE JACKSON: Because he used to trust people. His problem was he trusted too much. And after that trial, he didn’t trust anybody.
OPRAH WINFREY: Really?
KATHERINE JACKSON: He would always tell me, “Mother, I don’t trust anybody. The only person I trust is you.”
OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. So you brought them home. You already had some of Jermaine’s children and some of Randy’s children were living here in the house. And so how were you able to integrate them? Was that just something that just happened…
KATHERINE JACKSON: Just happened.
OPRAH WINFREY: Just happened.
KATHERINE JACKSON: They just bonded the minute they got here. The children bonded. They had a lot of fun, and they did a lot of things that the kids hadn’t done before. They wanted to–they call it going camping, and so we went and bought tents for them, and they camped out on the yard. They did a lot of things together. And whatever they wanted to do at the time, I did for them because their father, their whole world was gone. They only knew Michael, and the whole world was jerked out from under them. It just tore my heart up.
OPRAH WINFREY: Mrs. Jackson, I think it’s incredible that you have these children who have literally lived in their own Michael Jackson world. So was it you who decided that they should be integrated into regular school and not home school?
KATHERINE JACKSON: Yes. Well, they talked to me about it. We talked about that, and we talked to the children about it. And Paris had said she didn’t want to go. And Prince was the one that wanted to go. And then after Prince decided he wanted to go, then she went to see the school, and she fell in love and she wanted to go. So now the youngest, which is Blanket, he’s never going. That’s what he said. And now the kids come back and talk about what a good time they’re having and all their friends, and the friends come over, and now he wants to go. So maybe next year he’ll be going.
OPRAH WINFREY: What grade will he be in next year?
KATHERINE JACKSON: Blanket? Blanket will be in fourth next year.
OPRAH WINFREY): Do you think it’s time for him to go? Would you want him to go?
KATHERINE JACKSON: I don’t think it’s time for him to go, because he’s still shy, very shy.
OPRAH WINFREY: Do they talk about missing their father? Are they able to share that with you, or do they think it would make you too sad?
KATHERINE JACKSON: Well, what they talk about is, Daddy would do this, and Daddy would do that, and they always say, “Well, that’s how Daddy did it.” Paris, she’s very emotional, and she talks about him all the time, and she’s a strong one. All the pictures on her walls in her bedroom are Michael. I don’t see how she could sit, look at him like that without crying. I can’t…
OPRAH WINFREY: What are you most proud of about Mrs. Jackson?
JOE JACKSON: She’s a wonderful person, you know? I think she’s too easy with people, you know? She’s just like Michael.
OPRAH WINFREY: What do you miss most about Michael not being here?
JOE JACKSON: I think about him every night, you know, look like this, and I just keep picturing him gone, and then every time I go into some place, a restaurant or a casino or something, his music is playing. … It brings back memories because I remember the songs. I was at every recording session he ever did, and it just brings back memories.
OPRAH WINFREY: He told me–you know, I did that interview with him in 1993, and he told me that you beat him.
JOE JACKSON: Well, I’m glad that he was raised in such of a way he was liked all over the world. He could’ve been like some of the other kids from Gary, either dead or doing a lot of drugs and in jail or something.
OPRAH WINFREY: So let’s just establish this. I was raised–I was beaten as a kid because that was the culture. That was the way we were raised, and so was that the way you raised your children?
JOE JACKSON: Beat or whipping?
KATHERINE JACKSON: Same thing.
OPRAH WINFREY: It’s the same thing when you have welts on your back.
JOE JACKSON: It don’t sound right when you said “beat.”
OPRAH WINFREY: I know. So you’re taking issue with the word “beat,” right?
JOE JACKSON: I’m taking it with the word “whip.”
OPRAH WINFREY: With the word “whip.”
JOE JACKSON: Yes.
OPRAH WINFREY: So what would you say that you used to discipline your children?
KATHERINE JACKSON: You might as well admit it. That’s the way black people raised their children.
OPRAH WINFREY: Yes. I’m just asking you. You can answer that for me, can’t you, whether or not he used…
KATHERINE JACKSON: He used a strap. Yes.
… OPRAH WINFREY: Let me just ask you this. Knowing what you know now, would you do it differently? Do you think you would be a different kind of father?
JOE JACKSON: I would’ve punished them by whipping them with a strap or something when they did something wrong. It would’ve kept them out of trouble and out of jail. My kids never been in jail before. Nine kids never been to jail.
OPRAH WINFREY: That’s a good.
JOE JACKSON: And that’s great.
OPRAH WINFREY: Do you regret those strappings on your children?
JOE JACKSON: No, I don’t.
OPRAH WINFREY: What is your favorite memory of your father?
PARIS: That’s really hard.
OPRAH: I’ll let you think about it while I ask you the same question, yourfavorite memory.
PRINCE: When we were on Bahrain, we used to wake up early and walk the beach.
OPRAH: When you were in Bahrain?
PRINCE: With a Coke.
PRINCE: Yeah, Coca-Cola and Skittles or Snickers.
OPRAH: Waking up and walking the beach.
OPRAH: That’s a good one.
PARIS: I just have to say spending some “quality time” away from the two, just me and him. The one time we went on the roof when we were in Las Vegas–of our house–and we just saw the Luxor lights. We just saw all the city of lights. We were eating Snickers, and we had some soda, and…
PARIS JACKSON: Sometimes he would take me to an art museum because we both loved art, and we would do a lot as a family. We would play tag outside, and he got us Kenya four years ago.
OPRAH: Kenya the dog, the lab?
PARIS: Come here, Kenya. Here you go, baby.
(thanks a lot, David for more transcriptions!)