Update 1/30: Paris Jackson has released a video statement on the repercussions of her Rolling Stone interview— see bottom of article for details.
Paris Jackson has had her first ever in-depth interview, revealing the truth about her mental health, her father's death and her concern for Justin Bieber.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the 18-year-old model admitted the full extent of her struggle with depression, which she largely attributes to the public backlash she's faced since the death of her father, #MichaelJackson, who also suffered from the same mental health issues.
Paris explained that in early 2016 that she had been suicidal after a slew of online bullying through her social media account. She's since revealed that she'd attempted to take her own life not once but multiple times, leading to a mandatory stint in a recovery programme. Her teenage years were rife with substance abuse and self-harm, and at 14 she was sexually assaulted by a stranger.
Fortunately, those days are behind her, and she's feeling stronger than ever. Now, Paris wants to use her celebrity status to make a change, aiming "to make it bigger and use it for more important things"— like exposing those she believes are responsible for her father's 2009 death.
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"He's Brought Me Nothing But Joy"
To say that Paris adores her late father is an understatement. She lives her life in tribute to his memory, with nine MJ memorial tattoos and a keen interest in creating her own music. At the age of 11, she spoke at his public memorial service, telling the crowd that her father had "been the best father you could ever imagine" since the day of her birth. She now refers to that moment as "the first time I ever publicly defended him, and it definitely won't be the last".
It's been eight years since Michael Jackson's death, but his daughter is still determined to make the "obvious" truth known about what really happened. She claims he was murdered in order to gain access to his assets, and any number of people could be responsible— though promoters AEG Live are pretty high on her list of suspects.
"It Was A Setup"
Paris' belief that AEG had a large role in her father's premature death is a belief that's mirrored by much of the rest of the Jackson family. Michael Jackson was set to perform in 50 live shows as part of his This Is It concert, an event promoted by AEG. He died from cardiac arrest three weeks before the first show.
The company had placed the performer under the care of Conrad Murray, a doctor who later served a short prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter after prescribing the 50-year-old performer a large amount of prescription drugs. The Jackson family sued AEG in 2013, but lost the case.
But it's not just Murray's treatment that raised suspicions. Paris has openly criticized the company's operations, saying she'd noticed he'd "looked tired" during the weeks of rehearsal:
"AEG Live does not treat their performers right. They drain them dry and work them to death".
She's desperate for those she believes responsible to answer for their actions, but it's not as simple as it sounds. She refers to her search for justice as a game of chess, dropping cryptic hints that she's "trying to play the chess game the right way. And that's all I can say about that right now."
Concern For Justin Bieber
Getting revenge is a pretty massive and potentially unachievable task for Paris. In the meantime, she's got another worry on her mind: The wellbeing of artists currently associated with AEG Live— particularly Justin Bieber.
Paris is a big fan of Bieber, and recently saw him perform live. However, she noticed something was a little off with his performance— "He was tired, going through the motions". It was a familiar sight to her, and a quick glance at her ticket confirmed her worst suspicions:
"I looked at my ticket, saw AEG Live, and I thought back to how my dad was exhausted all the time but couldn't sleep".
Justin Bieber is also a massive fan of Michael Jackson, and his posts on social media indicate that he's close with the King of Pop's outspoken daughter. AEG will be promoting Bieber's upcoming tour, which will span eight weeks and 10 concerts. Paris says his lacklustre performance during his last tour left her feeling "scared".
AEG & The Death Of Michael Jackson: A Timeline
AEG has a complicated history with Michael Jackson. Here's a brief timeline of the events leading up to and following the pop star's death during the preparations for his This Is It concert:
- 2008— Financial Trouble
Millions of dollars in debt, Michael Jackson transfers ownership of his Neverland Ranch to a separate company, relinquishing the majority of his shares.
- March 2009— This Is It Concert Announced
Jackson announces his last ever London performances, with a planned 10 live shows. AEG announce another 40 dates after more than one million tickets are sold. It's suggested that Jackson would retire soon after, though AEG later suggest that there may be a multi-continent international tour following the London shows.
- April 2009— Rehearsals Begin
Jackson begins rehearsals for This Is It, which would involve 20 sets and just as many songs per show, as well as aerial dance stunts.
- June 23rd 2009— Death Of Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson dies in his home from a cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of prescription medication, 18 days before his first London concert. AEG gives fans the option to choose a souvenir ticket over a refund for This Is It, leading to a saving of $40 million out of anticipated $300 million lost.
- July 7th 2009— Michael Jackson Memorial Service
AEG organize a memorial service at their own Staples Center. The costs are funded by the City of Los Angeles, which equates to around $4 million profit for the company.
- 2013— Jackson Family Lawsuit
Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, takes AEG to court in order to receive compensation for his death. During the trial, AEG's lawyers claim that they had no control over how Michael Jackson chose to handle his health outside of his time spent in rehearsal, meaning he was the only one who could have prevented his own death. Exactly six months later, the court rules in favor of AEG, and no damages are paid to the Jackson family.
Update 1/30: Paris Jackson has released a self-confessed "rant" on her Instagram account following the backlash from the Rolling Stone article:
"I personally didn't expect to open up about some serious issues that are very personal and close to me, and then to get hated for it... maybe find, I don't know, some other kind of hobby, as opposed to constantly worrying about what a teenage girl's doing, when I'm kind of just trying to make a living and do what's right and make a positive difference."
Do you think AEG is to blame for Michael Jackson's death during his preparation for This Is It?
(Source: Rolling Stone)