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Posted at 12:52 PM ET, 06/21/2010

A year later, Michael Jackson's kids still isolated, grieving

By Liz Kelly

Additional coverage: Video archive | Celebritology on Michael Jackson

Paris (left) and Blanket with aunts Janet (left) and LaToya Jackson at last year's memorial service. (AP)
Gallery: Jackson's death, a year later

Like their father's own upbringing, the young lives of Prince Michael (13), Paris (12) and Prince Michael II (aka Blanket, 8) have been anything but normal. And a year after their father's death, Jackson's three children are still having a hard time processing their grief and adjusting to life without dad.

In the wake of Jackson's public memorial in July 2009, at which then 12-year-old Paris made a poignant speech about her father, speculation was rampant that a battle could loom for custody of the three children. But two months after Jackson's death grandmother Katherine Jackson was awarded custody and any rumored challenges to the ruling have long since dissipated. Though the kids' home life has hardly settled into a stable routine. Last week, longtime nanny Grace Rwaramba was reportedly fired after clashing with Paris about homework.

In a new interview with the U.K.'s Daily Mirror, grandmother Katherine Jackson opened up about the sadness and isolation the family is having a hard time shaking off.

Paris, said Katherine, has turned her room into a shrine to her late father and all three kids spend hours listening to his music. And they're still somewhat cut off from the world (For years Jackson kept his children out of the public eye and when they did emerge from his coccoon of privacy they were often shrouded -- literally -- in veils to prevent pix of the three getting into the press.).

"They don't have any friends," she told the Daily Mirror. "They don't go to school, they have private lessons at home."

Though Jackson family attorney Adam Streisand, in an interview with the Associated Press, said the three Jackson kids are "seemingly as normal as normal can be under pretty extraordinary circumstances" and that the large Jackson family has been a big source of support for the children.

And, according to Katherine Jackson, the isolation of the past year will end this fall when all three children enroll in "private college." And over the summer they'll get some time to explore as well. Uncle Jackie Jackson said the family plans to take the kids to visit Disney World and D.C.'s own Smithsonian offerings.

School and wider experience, says licensed clinical psychologist Andrea Bonior, are both steps in the right direction.

"Encouraging new social opportunities by starting a more traditional school experience is indeed wise," said Bonior. "It will help them focus less on whose kids they are, and more on how they can be individuals and part of a community of peers-- very important at their ages."

As the Jackson kids emerge from their protective environment and have more experience as individuals, added Bonior, they will hopefully be able to put their grief for their father in perspective "without them having to be subsumed and defined by him."

On Friday, the family will gather at L.A.'s Forest Lawn Cemetery for a private memorial to mark the anniversary of Jackson's death.

By Liz Kelly  | June 21, 2010; 12:52 PM ET
Categories:  Michael Jackson  
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Michael's children will always grieve for him along with the millions of people all over the world that love and miss him.

May God Bless Michael's children and his mother. And may Michael rest in the peace of Heaven that he was denied on earth.

"Never Can Say Goodbye",

Posted by: Pina1 | June 21, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

She seems refreshingly normal, if a little in the dark on what her kid was up to.

Posted by: jasereraser | June 21, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Why in YOUR words the children "have been anything but normal" but when intviewed by Adam Streisand, the children are
"as normal as normal can be"... let me give you a tip ok. Listen up, you're getting your information from newsoftheworld the UK and from the Daily Mirror...come on - what a joke. They still call Michael the one name he hated the most, Jacko. Any you are getting your information from THAT unreliable source. You women are lazy and pathetic. If you're going to put something on the internet for cryin out loud at least make it the truth will ya. Your column is nothing but a copy and paste nitemare.

Posted by: 111FAS | June 21, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I am very surprised at this article. Grace was fired nearly six months ago, not last week.The reason that the Post gives is taken directly from a tabloid, and by any normal person's observation the reason sounds fabricated, especially when a tabloid is saying it.
I expect better journalistic credibility from the Post than this. Don't become a gossip site, you're better than that.

Posted by: Chante1 | June 21, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

That "speech" by Paris at his funeral was the phoniest, put-on garbage I have ever witnessed in my life..These kids had a heinous pedophile for a "father" and his family is racked with demonic oppression. Anyone with any sense can see that..Those of you who want to glorify that drug-addicted child sex-offender are under the same spell of Satan that he and most of his family is.

Posted by: richnlex | June 21, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

So the Mirror actually interviewed the child (Paris)? They have no friends? Home school in now an unacceptable or unusual way of learning to this psycologist. The young children will now attend a private college? Who can actually believe anything the Mirror puts out?

Posted by: symba45 | June 21, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Shocked how this hater’s language can be published. MJ was not pedophile, If that was the case he would be punished. He has been vindicated and for everyone interested to know more, at least those with brain, can go and read transcripts of the court and all testimonies. I am disappointed with Post that allows such comments knowing that Court decision on this issue is clear.

The world lost a genius, beside other things due to very unprofessional media that did not waste a single ocasion to blame such artists and put dirt on his name

I expect much more from the Post. It should take lead and report facts as well as it can be more open minded to reduce mistakes that can mislead readers. In particular Post can be careful what is placed in blog. Untruth stories should be censored. I am referring to one of the comments where MJ is called pedophile.

Posted by: mjinjustice | June 21, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

mjinjustice , MJ was merely found "not guilty" beyond a reasonable doubt. That's not the same as innocent, and can reflect merely prosecutorial incompetence or MJ's ability to afford the very best legal defense that money can buy (which is, parenthetically, what helped make the Kartra$hian$ so wealthy).

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 21, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

OOPS, let's try this again:

mjinjustice , MJ was merely found "not guilty" beyond a reasonable doubt. That's not the same as innocent, and can reflect merely prosecutorial incompetence or MJ's ability to afford the very best legal defense that money can buy (which is, parenthetically, IN THE CASE OF THE O.J. SIMPSON TRIAL, what helped make the Kartra$hian$ so wealthy).

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 21, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

They might be broken up emotionally but better this than getting molested by the freak.

As for you people who continue to defend the serial pedophile, I imagine it's a case of standing up for your own. Hopefully, you don't have access to kids.

Posted by: grohlik | June 21, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: CupCake1985 | June 21, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who believes that the Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson cases are similar is cognitively inept or downright foolish. First, Simpson had a mountain of evidence against him—bloody glove at crime scene matching one at his home, AA hair in cap, shoe print at crime scene, Ron’s blood on his SUV, fresh wound on finger, laughable alibi & the “piece de resistance”…the DNA! Now, please inform me of the evidence you have on Michael, since you seem to have the video/tape recording, pictures, credible witnesses, confession or some other irrefutable evidence. (No, your opinion doesn’t count because from what I’ve seen, syllogism is not your forte!) The allegations against Michael Jackson were nothing more than extortion as chronicled by Aphrodite Jones in “Michael Jackson Conspiracy”, Larry Nimmer in “Michael Jackson: The Untold Story of Neverland”, Mary Fischer in the 1994 GQ article, “Was Michael Jackson Framed?”, articles by investigative journalist, Charles Thomson and lastly, Geraldine Hughes in her book, “Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations”. Hughes was the legal secretary to the first accuser’s lawyer and witnessed the behind the scenes shenanigans to frame Michael Jackson. If she were lying, how come she hasn’t been sued for libel or defamation in all the years she’s been out there with the book and on Youtube and other media outlets? They didn’t even file an injunction or refute anything. Why? Could it be that the truth is the best defense? I think it was JFK who said: “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought". Heed!

Posted by: SeekTruth1 | June 21, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Jackson was investigated, prosecuted and persecuted for 17 years by the FBI, LAPD, Santa Barbara DA and the media. They found zero evidence of any crime by Jackson. They wanted to nail him badly, so if they had found anything he would have been in jail. After all this he was "MERELY" Not Guilty - shamone. If you whiny little haters have evidence that these people couldn't find either bring it out or go pound sand.

BTW calling Paris' speech at the memorial fake is just ludicrous - she knows the world cried with her.

Posted by: TomJoy | June 21, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The hater's commenting here must have been there. Oh, they weren't there. So then why keep on lying.The only explaination for continuing to slander Michael is that somebody is getting paid. Their comments say more about them than about MJ. Unless they saw it for themselves it is just slander and the Jacksons should sue them. I hope that they do. What is Satanic is their blind hatred and accusations. You know that that's how Satan operates. RIP Michael.

Posted by: Bronxlady1 | June 21, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I forgot this in my first post. No one on this post actually knew Michael Jackson and the children when he was alive. People who did know them have all said the children were very normal, smart and happy. I'm sure they will be ok; they're still grieving having lost a father they loved very much.

Posted by: TomJoy | June 21, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

SeekTruth1 - thankyou so much. I too have read Aphrodite Jones's book and what a revelation it was compared to the usual printed TRASH about poor Michael. No wonder the jury reached the verdict they did. High time that both the Arvizos and Tom Sneddon were investigated. And Christine Hughes book as well!!! The world's media just never want to admit they got it all wrong about Michael. This article suggests that by sending the three youngsters to normal school they will be made less aware of who they are. I reckon the opposite will be the case and they will also have to cope with cruel remarks about their dad. I know they have to go out into the big wide world sooner or later but would it not be better when they are older and perhaps more able to cope? Also wonder if Katherine is right to bring Debbie into their lives. SHE thinks they ought to get to know her but she must NOT forget that she tried three times to have them removed from their beloved dad and I fear she may take this chance to launch a further custody battle despite what she may say to the contrary. Be very, very careful Katherine. I notice by the way that LaToya has expressed concern about sending the three to school.

Posted by: paininneck64 | June 27, 2010 5:15 AM | Report abuse

The DA spent more money trying to convict Michael than any other case IN CA HISTORY. It’s a FACT u can look up. The DA interviewed HUNDREDS of families that visited Neverland looking for victims & found NONE. In fact, they stated that MJ was kind & generous. The DA set up a website soliciting victims. NO 1 ever responded. They flew to 2 countries looking for victims & couldn’t find 1. They surprised searched his Neverland home 2x & condo in LA & found NOTHING. They examined his computers & found NOTHING. These are all facts for your reading pleasure in the transcripts which u can GOOGLE. What was found? The Arvisos were CONVICTED of welfare fraud. The mother was caught shop lifting from JC Penny WITH her kids. A week later, she returned to JCP & claimed she was molested in front of her kids who lied to corroborate her story. She also said the security guards threw her to the ground & did belly flops on her -belly flops - at the store. JCP settled. Then they moved onto Chris Tucker whom they suckered into buying lots of stuff b/c he felt bad that Gavin was dying of cancer. MJ met the Arvisos thru Tucker b/c Gavin told him it was his dying wish to meet MJ. They suckered George Lopez out of a lot of money & lied to him about not being able to pay for Gavin's cancer treatment. They told Lopez that the dad’s health insurance didn’t cover Gavin's treatment. It came out @ trial that his dad had excellent coverage & paid for ALL of Gavin's treatments. The final straw came for Lopez when the dad accused Lopez of stealing $300 from his wallet. I know this because Tucker & Lopez testified @ MJ’s trial along w/McCauley Caulkin, Larry King & Jay Leno. Leno testified that he felt Gavin was trying to play on his sympathy so he would help the family out. Jay cut the strings quickly. Tucker later warned MJ that he was getting a bad feeling about the Arvisos & warned him to be careful. By the time MJ took Tucker's advice, it was too late. The Arvisos became very upset when MJ distanced himself from them. MJ distance himself because the Arvisos were coming over uninvited & wrecking his home when MJ wasn't home. The brother Star even pulled a knife on MJ’s chef. This family is ON tape saying what a good person MJ was, stating they call him Daddy & crediting him w/curing Gavin’s cancer. W/in 2 months of knowing MJ his doctors pronounced Gavin cancer free & couldn’t explain it b/c the treatments weren’t working. Janet Arvisos said MJ treated her kids like they were his own & that they loved him. They also said that Michael never harmed any of them. It's on film & on record with CPS. Michael was innocent - 100%. To top it off, by the time the trial came around, Janet was divorced & remarried. Her new last name became “Jackson”. So, while she was being cross examined she insisted that MJ’s attorney call her “Janet Jackson”. MJ’s attorney refused. AND the Arvisos got caught in lies re: the actual allegations–on the stand. Funny how the press NEVER covered ANY of this.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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