The BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium last night were notable for one reason: the attendance of Joseph Jackson, Michael’s father. His son died literally 72 hours earlier. He’ s not even buried yet. But everyone mourns in different ways. Joe Jackson’s decision was to go to an awards show.
He walked the red carpet, did the press room, and gave an interview to CNN in which he plugged a new project. He laughed and joked about his 60th anniversary party in Las Vegas recently ‘ 60 years since he and Katherine were married.
“It was the first anniversary party we ever had,” he said.
That’s probably true. Twice in their marriage Katherine Jackson had divorce papers drawn up but was ultimately convinced not to go through with leaving her husband. One reason for their marital problems: Joseph has an illegitimate daughter, Jovanni, who was only recently acknowledged.
Mr. Jackson was accompanied to the show by his publicist, a Michael Jackson lookalike named Ernesto, and Marshall Thompson of the veteran R&B group The Chi Lites. He sat up front in the theater and eventually invited Rev. Al Sharpton to sit with him.
At the end of the show, Janet Jackson appeared on stage. She’d arrived moments earlier. She and her father didn’t get to exchange a word because he and his group left right before she arrived. There is said to be little love lost between father and daughter.
Meanwhile, the Jackson family has a new live-in visitor: Grace Rwaramba, the ex nanny whom Michael fired last year. According to sources, Rwaramba showed up yesterday and decided to make a staycation of it. Only one thing: so far, no one’s had the nerve to show the Jacksons the story Grace sold to a British newspaper about Michael, in which she claimed to have pumped his drug-addicted stomach.
“The minute they see that story, Grace should be gone,” an insider says. If the Jacksons need the link, it is here.