The day the internet exploded, triggered by the death of Michael Jackson, is approaching its one-year anniversary. The outpouring of re-grief in the media — also known as clamoring for stories on sticky summer days — has already begun, ushered in by the Associated Press and their release of a detailed day of death timeline. It is full of detail, and yet quite boring. Britain’s Daily Mirror, on the other hand, has an exclusive interview with Jackson’s mother Katherine, her first since his death, and though equally exploitative and sensational, it is painfully sad, especially with regards to Michael’s children.
The Mirror wastes no time with heartstring foreplay, tugging away from the onset:
His daughter Paris, 12, has turned her bedroom into a shrine to her “Daddy”, where she is surrounded by his photographs.
And his boys Prince, 13, and eightyear-old Blanket bravely talk about wanting to make him proud – and then lapse into silent moments, when they are missing him. All three spend hours listening to their father’s hits.
“They don’t have any friends,” says Katherine. “They don’t go to school, they have private lessons at home – but that will change in September, when they are due to enrol at private college.” How a 12 and 13-year-old attend college is unclear. Maybe it’s a British thing. Or a famous people thing?
“I wanted to hang pictures of flowers or ballerinas in Paris’s room, the sort of things I expected a girl would like,” Grandma Kat, the kids’ guardian, explains. “But she went into a closet and she brought out seven or eight pictures of Michael, and she told me, ‘No, I want daddy hanging in my room.'”
And if that’s not enough, the strange sadness carries over, as it always has with Jackson, to money, family and the uncomfortable space between the two. The piece ends on a somber note, underscoring the type of lives these kids have led so far, and will likely continue to lead, unaware of any other way:
The Katherine Jackson Archives, containing unseen photos of Michael, can be ordered now from Jacksonsecretvault.com. Sunday Mirror readers can claim a 35% discount before June 30 by quoting the code MJMirror. Proceeds to be split between Katherine, Michael’s children and the Voices Against Brain Cancer charity.