His daughter Paris, 12, has turned her bedroom into a shrine to her “Daddy”, where she is surrounded by his photographs.
And his boys Prince, 13, and eightyear-old Blanket bravely talk about wanting to make him proud – and then lapse into silent moments, when they are missing him. All three spend hours listening to their father’s hits.
Katherine says: “They don’t have any friends. They don’t go to school, they have private lessons at home – but that will change in September, when they are due to enrol at private college. But they have their cousins and aunts and uncles around them constantly, and that’s helped them immensely.
“To them, it’s normal, it’s the life they have known. They have a certain time to go to bed, then they get up and get dressed for lessons. They practise karate and swim, which they love.
It is 80-year-old Katherine’s first interview since her son died of suspected cardiac arrest at his Beverly Hills home on June 25 last year. “Each one of them is like Michael in a certain way,” she says. “It has been a daily battle to cope with our huge loss.”
It is his daughter, she reveals, who is showing real musical talent – and who expresses her sadness in the most poignant way.
“I wanted to hang pictures of flowers or ballerinas in Paris’s room, the sort of things I expected a girl would like,” Katherine says.
“But she went into a closet and she brought out seven or eight pictures of Michael, and she told me, ‘No, I want 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 has that lovely way, just like him, and I see his talent in her. Whatever she does, she is very good at it. She’s a good artist, she plays the piano and she wants to be an actress.
“Prince is serious about a lot of things. He wants to be a camera-man or produce movies.
“He is dedicated to that, like Michael was. And Blanket is very playful, like Michael was.”
In fact, Katherine insists, Michael never wanted them exposed to his pressurised showbiz world. He never told them he was a huge star and they didn’t realise he was, until the day he took them to the show celebrating his 30 years as an entertainer, in 2001. “He said, ‘I never told them what I do’,” she recalls. “He didn’t want them to know… He didn’t want them walking around with egos! So when they went to the 30th show, the two little ones were in the audience. Michael got backstage and they said, ‘You’re a big star! When I grow up, I want to be like you!’ Michael said that gave him the biggest chuckle.”
“Michael was so misunderstood,” she says. “I treasure my memories of him and wanted to share them with his fans in my book. I remember when he brought gifts for me – a watch, a necklace and a ring. I’ll never forget how he smiled when I opened each one. He was so generous. I want the world to know that real Michael Jackson – a loving person.
Read the full article at The Mirror.