Saturday, April 20, 2024

Michael Jackson’s Kids: Biologically No, But In Every Other Way


TMZ is all excited today about some papers that were filed in the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit. The papers say the Jacksons want to exclude discussion of the paternity of Michael Jackson’s kids. Listen: I wrote about this on May 31, 2005– during the child molestation trial one of Jackson’s attorneys, Robert Sanger, said to Judge Rodney Melville: “The circumstances that relate to the birth of the children wouldn’t be admitted for the truth of the matter. Only his love of the children.”

We made a big deal at the time out of my scoop– that Prince and Paris were carried by Debbie Rowe after she’d used a sperm bank. Later, Michael did use his DNA and chose a surrogate for Blanket. Prince and Paris are not stupid kids. and they know they don’t look anything like the Jacksons. I’m sure this has all been explained to them.

But they are Michael Jackson’s kids, no matter whose DNA they are carrying. He raised them. And crazy as we thought he was — with the masks and keeping them out of the public— those kids have turned out to be extremely bright, well behaved, sophisticated, literate, and considerate. Last year they saved their grandmother from the greedy clutches of relatives. They were heroes.

They are one half Debbie, and one half Michael. And the combination worked. Anything else is meaningless now. Just read Paris’s Twitter feed. She never ceases to impress. And she’s funny. Prince is already working. They comport themselves beautifully. So let’s concede that they are Michael’s children, and that he did a much better job than anyone could have predicted.

My column from May 31, 2005:

When the defense rested in Michael Jackson‘s child molestation case on Friday, a very important issue that had been raised was lost. Defense attorney Robert Sanger as much as conceded that the pop star’s children may not be his own.

Just before playing a taped police interview with Jackson’s then 13-year-old accuser, both sides debated several motions in front of Judge Rodney Melville.

One of them involved what is known in court as the “Outtakes Tape.” This is the video that Jackson’s cameraman Hamid Moslehi made of Martin Bashir as he was filming his documentary, “Living With Michael Jackson.”

During breaks in the Bashir filming, Moslehi let the cameras roll. With his guard down, Jackson discussed his children and his plastic surgery with Moslehi.

In each case, courtroom observers got to hear Jackson tell Bashir that not only were his children born of his own DNA, but that he had slept with Debbie Rowe to conceive the two oldest, Prince and Paris. He said for the third child, known as Blanket, he had used a surrogate whose egg had been fertilized with his own sperm.

As we told you in our April 27 column, our sources have confirmed a tabloid story that Jackson’s children are not his biologically. But in court, this suddenly became critical, as the prosecution and defense argued about allowing the “outtake” statements to be entered as evidence.

That was when Sanger, quite startlingly, uttered these words on the record: “The circumstances that relate to the birth of the children wouldn’t be admitted for the truth of the matter. Only his love of the children.”

In a veiled threat, District Attorney Tom Sneddon told the judge that if statements made by Jackson from the “outtakes” were allowed in, he would call “experts” during the rebuttal stage of the trial.

He didn’t specify, but certainly Sanger and anyone who was paying attention knew that Sneddon might show that Jackson had lied not only about his paternity, but also about his cosmetic surgeries, of which he says he has only had two.

There was, however, little question what Sanger meant about “the births of the children.” If the circumstances as Jackson had described them could not be held out as true, then there could be only one other explanation: They were false.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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