Paris Jackson opens up about teenage sexual assault and reflects on 'pretty normal' childhood with late father Michael
Michael Jackson's daughter Paris has revealed she was sexually assaulted when she was a teenager.
The 18-year-old, who tried to avoid the limelight for most of her teenager years, sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss the obstacles she's overcome in her life - including her battles with addiction and depression.
Following the death of her father in 2009, Paris admits that she "tried to grow up fast" and was mixing with the wrong crowd after agreeing to attend a private school after previously being homeschooled her entire life.
"I was doing a lot of things that 13, 14, 15 year olds shouldn't do. I tried to grow up too fast, and I wasn't really that nice of a person," she explained.
During this time, when she was aged 14, the aspiring actress said she was assaulted by a "complete stranger".
"I don't wanna give too many details," she told the publication. "But it was not a good experience at all, and it was really hard for me, and, at the time, I didn't tell anybody."
Paris, who is the middle of the late singer's three children, opened up about attempting suicide "multiples" times, one of which was made public in 2013. At the time, she had also been self-harming and abusing drugs.
"It was self-hatred. Low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn't do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore," she said.
After a third suicide attempt, she was sent to a residential therapy program and finished off her secondary school education at a therapeutic school where she described as "great"
"I'm a completely different person," she says. "I was crazy. I was actually crazy. I was going through a lot of, like, teen angst. And I was also dealing with my depression and my anxiety without any help."
While she is now based in LA, staying at the Jackson family estate and pursuing a career in modelling and acting, she said her father supported her whether she wanted to follow in his footsteps in the spotlight or not.
"If you wanna be bigger than me, you can. If you don't want to be at all, you can. But I just want you to be happy," she remembers he would tell her.
Plenty of people think I'm ugly, and plenty of people don't. But there's a moment when I'm modeling where I forget about my self-esteem issues and focus on what the photographer's telling me – and I feel pretty. And in that sense, it's selfish."
Despite being one of the most famous men in the world and having their every move documented by the paparazzi, she says she and her brothers Prince Michael (14) and Michael Joseph (19) had a "pretty normal" childhood.
"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 behaviour, then you wouldn't get to go do all those things," she said.
"My dad raised me in a very open-minded house. I was eight years old, 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.'cation."
"Nobody experienced him being a father to them. And if they did, the entire perception of him would be completely and forever changed."
As for his death eight years ago, she remains continued that her father was murdered, saying "it's obvious".
"All arrows point to that. It sounds like a total conspiracy theory and it sounds like bullsh**t, but all real fans and everybody in the family knows it. It was a setup. It was bulls**t."