In Paris Jackson's first-ever in-depth interview, she spoke to Rolling Stone's Brian Hiatt about her life with father Michael Jackson. The story has received considerable attention for many of the claims Paris made about her father's untimely 2009 death as well as her own personal teenage travails.
But the story is also filled with endearing anecdotes of a family that loved each other. As 18-year-old Paris, who was home-schooled before her father's death, explains: "When you're at home, your dad, who you love more than anything, will occasionally come in, in the middle of class, and it’s like, 'Cool, no more class for the day. We're gonna go hang out with Dad.' We were like, 'We don’t need friends. We've got you and Disney Channel!'"
Here, five things we learned:
1. As a child, Paris didn’t know Michael Jackson was a global superstar
"I just thought his name was Dad, Daddy. We didn't really know who he was. But he was our world. And we were his world."
2. Michael had strict rules at his famous Neverland Ranch
"We couldn't just go on the rides whenever we wanted to. We actually had a pretty normal life. Like, we had school every single day, and we had to be good. And if we were good, every other weekend or so, we could choose whether we were gonna go to the movie theater or see the animals or whatever. But if you were on bad behavior, then you wouldn’t get to go do all those things."
3. He also valued education and taught them a broad worldview
At age 8, Paris told her dad she was "in love with this female on the cover of a magazine. Instead of yelling at me, like most homophobic parents, he was making fun of me like, 'Oh, you got yourself a girlfriend.' … His number-one focus for us, besides loving us, was education. And he wasn't like, 'Oh, yeah, mighty Columbus came to this land! He was like, 'No. He fucking slaughtered the natives.'"
4. The pop icon was quite the chef
"He was a kick-ass cook. His fried chicken is the best in the world. He taught me how to make sweet-potato pie."
5. Her famous father is gone, but never forgotten
When the 13-time Grammy winner died, he was wearing a rope-and-jade bracelet from Africa, and now Paris never takes it off. "It still smells like him." Michael still visits her in her dreams, too. "I feel him with me all the time."