Michael as Parent: Eccentric But Loving

Kids were veiled, surveilled, but seemed happy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2009 10:13 AM CDT
In this Jan. 25, 2006 picture, Michael Jackson, center, wears an abaya and holds the hand of Prince Michael II, also veiled, as they walk toward their car behind a shopping mall in Manama, Bahrain.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Michael Jackson loved his children above all else, but what kind of a father was he? J. Randy Taraborrelli, Jackson’s friend for 40 years, explores the life of the Jackson kids in an ongoing Daily Mail series. The children were not allowed to look in mirrors for any length of time, and their toys were thrown away each night for sanitary reasons—but they clearly loved their father.

“If I could spend all my time with Daddy, I would,” his oldest son told Jackson’s mother. “I think he's the best daddy in the whole world.” Debbie Rowe, the birth mother of the two oldest, was a nonentity, and they were raised by a revolving team of nurses and nannies who were under constant video surveillance. It was as though they “had no mother,” says one staff member.