Jackson’s con’s tragic ‘trance’ as Dad lay dying, Thought Jackson was joking; ‘No, Daddy, No!’ screamed Paris as manager broke news of death; Michael Jackson had been working on a new song with his three young children – and said they were “The Jackson Four”
Amid the circus that surrounded Michael Jackson, his three children sat in a room off to the side in a neon-lit hospital corridor, waiting anxiously for news of their father. As Michael Jackson’s manager, Frank DiLeo, walked into the family waiting room at the UCLA Medical Centre as he prepared to deliver the hardest news of his life. Facing him was Michael Jackson’s three children: Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II.
DiLeo sadly told the children: ‘I’m sorry children; your father has passed away.’ A split second of silence followed before Paris screamed: ‘No, no, Daddy. No, no!’ DiLeo said the ‘outpouring of emotion is something I shall live with for the rest of my life’. He went on to say: ‘It was the single most painful moment of my life. I cannot tell you how difficult it was. Those children just fell to pieces. The emotions poured forth. Michael’s mother Katherine was with them. They were waiting there together for news. I think she feared the worst, but the children had no idea their whole world had ended. Whatever anyone thought of Michael, he was loved by those children, truly loved. They were – and are – in pieces.’
Jackson’s eldest son, Prince Michael, was with his father as the events unfolded on Thursday and thought he was joking around when he collapsed on the living-room floor. Quickly realizing this was not a joke, the young boy stood “in a trance” as the King of Pop’s personal doctor frantically tried to revive him. “The horror of it all is that Prince thought his dad was just being his dad and clowning, but it was real, and he watched as they worked on him,” said Stacy Brown, a Jackson family biographer who has spoken extensively to the Gloved One’s relatives since he died Thursday. “Prince was stunned — in a trance — just watching,” Brown said. “There was no movement, just looking around and not really processing what was really happening.”
After paramedics arrived and transported Michael Jackson to UCLA Medical Center, Prince was picked up from the house by a Jackson cousin and taken to the hospital where his grandmother, Katherine, met him. Jackson’s other children, Paris and Prince Michael “Blanket”, were home at the time of his collapse, but did not see their father die.
Today, those three children are in the custody of Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, in the home in the Los Angeles suburb of Encino that Jackson bought for his mother. Katherine, 70, was granted temporary custody of her three grandchildren yesterday in the first of a string of court hearings certain to be held in the aftermath of the singer’s death. The Jackson children, at least, now know who will be taking care of them until August 3, when their grandmother will make her case to be their permanent guardian. Family friend Helene Arthur, 75, said: “They seemed cheerful and happy. I don’t think it has fully hit them yet.” Many have speculated about the children’s future and the possibility of a bitter custody battle between 79-year-old Katherine and Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of the two eldest children. There is also the possibility that the mother of the youngest child, Prince Michael II, nicknamed Blanket by Jackson, may emerge to reclaim the boy. The surrogate mother, thought to be from Europe, has never been identified and the box for the mother’s name on the legal petition was marked ‘none’. The Jackson family said there was still no sign of a will, making protracted and costly court battles a virtual certainty as lawyers try to unravel the King of Pop’s multi-million pound assets and debts and the plight of his children.
People who spent time with Michael Jackson have revealed his devotion to his children, who were the center of his world. ‘Michael’s whole life was a mess except for those kids,’ said another source. ‘He loved them. They didn’t have a ‘normal’ life but Michael was always there for them. When you talk to them, they are extraordinary people. They are not at all what you’d expect. They are very innocent, quite naive, in fact. They are good kids. Michael was a good father. He was always with them. They are lost now. They have lost the only father they’ve ever known.’
Jackson was said to be working on a new song with his three children and they were said to be called “The Jackson Four.” Michael recently writing the number, titled River Ripple, after a day spent playing traditional games with his three children. The King of Pop had hoped to perform the emotional ballad with an African choir on the final nights of his 50-date concert run in London.
The Sun was shown a copy of the unfinished lyrics, which include the chorus: “Ripples in my River; Flow on, Child, flow free; Love is King, we waded in; You three, you three and me.” Jackson decided to write the song after his children moved him to tears by singing “like Earth Angels”. River Ripple is now set to join more than 200 unreleased songs, with titles including “Children’s Hour” and “In the Valley,” as a money-spinning legacy for the kids.
“It was also Michael’s wish that his sons and daughter feel part of his London gigs – that the event be a family adventure. I don’t think he intended to bring the children on stage with him, but Michael wanted to announce to the crowds that his kids had helped him to write a song. “