How the Jackson kids are struggling to cope after 'Leaving Neverland'
New York - One of them has stopped talking, another has reportedly tried to slit her wrists. How the third is feeling has yet to be revealed, but he can’t be that happy.
The effect that any public scandal has on the children of those involved is often ignored but usually devastating.
In the case of Michael Jackson, who has gone from being an object of international showbusiness veneration to a despised paedophile whose legacy is being torn down, the fallout must have been particularly crushing.
On Saturday, Paris Jackson - the star’s only daughter - was taken to hospital. Los Angeles police told news outlets they were called to her LA home at around 7.30 am following a suicide attempt.
According to showbusiness news website TMZ, she was placed on what is called "5150 hold’ - the California state code for the temporary psychiatric commitment of someone whose mental state indicates they pose a danger to themselves or others.
Citing members of the Jackson family as sources, TMZ claimed the 20-year-old model had attempted to slit her wrists largely because of the backlash to the new documentary Leaving Neverland, which provides testimony from two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who say the superstar sexually abused them for much of their childhood.
Her sudden hospital visit this weekend came shortly after she became embroiled in a heated social media exchange with zealous Michael Jackson fans who had criticised her for not doing more to defend her father’s reputation.
Paris has repeatedly referred to media "lies" about accusations levelled at her father, but this was not enough to avoid the wrath of Jackson ‘Truthers’ -fanatical fans who will hear no ill word said against their icon.
They must have expected Jackson’s children - and most of all Paris, who was particularly close to him - to have leapt to his defence. But on Thursday, Paris insisted it was ‘not her role’ to champion her father, although she did praise her cousin, Taj (son of Jackson’s brother, Tito), for standing up for the singer.
"There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said in regards to defence. Taj is doing a perfect job on his own," Paris tweeted.
Amid claims she is worried the new furore will kill off the aspiring actress’s plans for a film career, Paris last week told militant Jackson fans to "calm down" and "smoke some weed".
The reported reaction of her younger brother, Blanket, to the bombshell documentary has been equally dramatic.
According to Taj - now the singer’s cheerleader - 17-year-old Blanket Jackson (who nowadays calls himself ‘Bigi’) has retreated into an uncommunicative, shocked state since Leaving Neverland was released.
Taj Jackson told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show recently: "Bigi is one of the most talkative kids at school. He’s not talking now and people are worried about him because he’s sensitive just like his dad was."
Asked about the impact of the allegations against Jackson on his children, Taj said: "It’s beyond devastating because... seeing what they’re going through, it really upsets me." Taj said each of the children was "handling it different".
We have yet to hear what Jackson’s eldest child, aspiring film-maker Prince, 22, thinks.
But a source close to the family claimed last week that Prince and his siblings were considering suing Jackson’s accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, for fraud, emotional distress, slander and misrepresentation.Daily Mail