Paris Jackson: My Father Was Incredible

Paris Jackson: My Father Was Incredible - Michael Jackson's daughter has spoken of her "incredible father" and defended her upbringing, insisting that the singer only ever wanted to protect her and her siblings.

In her first ever newspaper interview, 15-year-old Paris said the King of Pop battled to give his children a "normal childhood". 

Paris and her brothers Prince and Blanket, now 16 and 11, were rarely seen in public during Jackson's lifetime. 

When they were, the singer made them wear masks to cover their faces - creating bizarre scenes.

But Paris, speaking to The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine, said this was only to try and protect them from the public gaze. 

"He didn't want anyone to see what we looked like. That way we could have what he didn't, which was a normal childhood," she said. 

She added: "I have lots of memories of my father. He was an incredible father. We all loved him to death. 

"He'd try to educate us as much as he could and was always looking out for us. He was very protective." 

Paris and her siblings live in Calabasas, California, with their grandmother Katherine following Jackson's sudden death in 2009. 

After years of home schooling, she is now at an ordinary high school. 

"I'm on a tight leash and I feel that if that leash was loosened a little bit I would definitely have a chance of a normal childhood ..., " she said. 

"I have friends who are completely normal ... they don't even think of me as MJ's kid." 

She talked of her love for music and how her father had taught her to dance - but reveals she has ambitions to be a heart surgeon. 

"I want to be an actress, but just throughout high school. Then I want to go to medical school and be a doctor specialising in heart surgery. I want to help people, that's it," she said. 

The 15-year-old also told of her hopes that the family home, Neverland, would be restored for deprived children to enjoy. 

Paris is shortly due to give evidence in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by her grandmother against the concert promoter AEG. 

She has also recently rekindled her relationship with her mother, Debbie Rowe, and spent her last birthday shopping with her in Hollywood. 

"When I'm with her we don't really have security with us which is really nice," she said. ( Sky News )

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Jackson doctor refuses to testify at AEG Live trial

Jackson doctor refuses to testify at AEG Live trial - Michael Jackson's jailed former doctor refused to testify at a trial in which the singer's mother is seeking massive damages from tour promoters she blames for hiring the medic.

Commenting as jury selection began for the wrongful death civil trial between Katherine Jackson and AEG Live, Conrad Murray said he is appealing his 2011 involuntary manslaughter conviction and does not want to incriminate himself.

"I've not been subpoenaed. I'm not interested in giving testimony in the trial,' he told CNN. "I will invoke my 5th Amendment right, because ... if there is a future trial I don't want to have any issues of self-incrimination."
AFP/AFP - Television crews report April 2, 2013 outside the Los Angeles Superior Court on the first day of a trial in which Michael Jackson's mother Katherine and Michael?s children are seeking massive damages from concert promoter AEG Live. Michael Jackson's jailed former doctor refused to testify at the trial

The interview, his first since he was jailed, came hours after prospective jurors filed into a Los Angeles courtroom to begin the process of choosing the 12-strong panel that will decide if AEG ends up paying billions of dollars.

Judge Yvette Palazuelos started proceedings by reading out the allegations by Katherine Jackson and the late star's children against AEG Live, promoters of the self-styled King of Pop's doomed "This is It" tour.

Opening statements will only begin once a jury is chosen -- likely to take more than a week. After answering an initial questionnaire, prospective jurors were asked to return to court next Wednesday for further questioning.

Jackson died at his Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009, from an overdose of propofol, a powerful sedative administered by Murray to help the "Thriller" legend deal with chronic insomnia.

His 82-year-old mother accuses AEG Live of negligently hiring Murray to look after 50-year-old Jackson as he rehearsed in Los Angeles for the London shows scheduled for that summer.

Katherine Jackson argues that AEG Live pushed her son too hard to prepare for 50 or more performances, in what was seen as an attempt to revive his lucrative career four years after emerging from the shadow of child molestation charges.

But AEG says Jackson had a history of drug abuse long before the singer met Murray, who was hired to care for him before and during the shows at London's O2 Arena.

Murray has always maintained his innocence, and did so again Tuesday.

"I am an innocent man ... I maintain that innocence," he told CNN. "I am extremely sorry that Michael has passed. It's a tremendous loss for me."

"He was very close to me ... we were absolutely great friends," he added.

While Murray says he will not testify, Katherine Jackson herself, as well as the late pop star's two elder children, are expected to give evidence in the trial, which could last more than two months.

No Jackson family members were in court for the initial jury proceedings Tuesday. There were also few Jackson fans, such as those who turned out day after day during Murray's trial two years ago.

According to celebrity news website TMZ, Jackson's mother and his three children -- Prince, 16, Paris, 14 and 11-year-old Blanket -- want more than $40 billion from AEG for loss of future earnings and other damages.

But Jackson family attorney Kevin Boyle rejected the report, telling CNN: "No demand has been made by the Jackson family for $40 billion from AEG. That is just not true."

Before jury selection began in the LA Superior Court, the judge heard arguments by both sides over a request by CNN for live television coverage of the proceedings. She did not immediately rule on the issue. AFP )

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Jackson Trial: Mum 'Seeks £25bn' From AEG

Jackson Trial: Mum 'Seeks £25bn' From AEG - Michael Jackson's family is taking the promoter of his ill-fated comeback tour to court, reportedly claiming tens of billions of dollars from AEG Live.

The civil proceedings in downtown Los Angeles will focus on the Jacksons' claim the company was guilty of the "negligent hiring" of Dr Conrad Murray, the physician now in prison for killing Jackson.

One of the headlines in the US promises that this will be "The Wildest Jackson Trial Yet" - as the life and death of the King Of Pop is about to get another airing in court.

Jackson's mother Katherine and children are believed to be seeking £25bn, including £5bn loss of future earnings - figures which are staggering even to seasoned US legal analysts.

As the court begins the task of selecting jurors for a trial that could last nine weeks, the media war between the two sides has stepped up a notch.

The Jackson family were already thought to be planning to call the star's 16-year-old son Prince to give evidence. The teenager is expected to testify about witnessing his father's last moments.

Now we hear that another Prince, the pop star of that name, could also be called by the Jacksons to testify about his experiences with AEG.

Already many of the emails the Jacksons will rely on in court - electronic conversations between senior figures at AEG - have been leaked to the media.

It is understood AEG will argue they were not responsible for Murray or what happened to Jackson.

As part of their evidence, the judge has ruled they can bring up details of Jackson's child molestation trial.

It has been reported they will also seek to show that the star had drug issues well before he met Murray.

Murray himself is said to have refused to give evidence in the case while his own appeal against conviction is ongoing.

One of the most significant moments will come before the trial even starts: the judge Yvette Palazuelous will rule on an application for live television cameras to be in court.

She has refused so far but those challenging that ruling say the very principle of justice for the millions who will not have a seat in court means them being able to watch it on TV.

They point to the massive global television interest in the trial of Murray and the importance of the public seeing justice at work.

It is an argument that holds a lot of sway in the US and especially in California, with decades of precedent for televising court proceedings.

Her ruling is eagerly awaited by the media and by Jackson's millions of fans around the world, many of whom have lingering questions about his death. ( Sky News )

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Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. may not campaign ahead of election

Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. may not campaign ahead of election - The wife of Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. said on Wednesday the nine-term congressman - who has not made any public appearances since going on medical leave in June - may not appear in public to campaign ahead of the November 6 election, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In late July, after a series of statements from Jackson's office and doctors that raised more questions than they answered, the Mayo Clinic announced it was treating the congressman for bipolar disorder. He was released last month and is now convalescing at home, according to his office.

On Wednesday, Jackson's wife Sandi Jackson, a Chicago alderman, told reporters at City Hall, "I know he's eager to (campaign) ... But he's also under doctor's orders to stay very calm, very quiet, and he's going to do that," the newspaper reported.

She added that Jackson had no plans to step aside and make way for another Democratic candidate.

"He is on the ballot and he's going to stay on the ballot," she said, according to the newspaper. "And I'm looking forward to him coming back to work after his re-election. No last minute switcheroos. He would never do that and I would never want that for him."

Jackson, 47, the son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson Sr., has served in Congress since 1995 and in March won the Democratic primary to seek a 10th term.

But he has not made any public appearances since June, when his office said he had taken a leave from office to treat what was initially described as exhaustion, even though he is running again to represent Illinois's 2nd Congressional District in Washington, D.C.

Jackson has been the subject of a congressional ethics committee probe over an alleged bribe offered to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich by a Jackson supporter in 2008.

The offer was intended to entice Blagojevich into appointing Jackson to President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has admitted to lobbying for the seat but has denied knowing about any money offered to Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption charges and is in prison. ( Reuters )

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Jesse Jackson Jr. target of criminal probe

Jesse Jackson Jr. target of criminal probe - Jesse Jackson Jr. Is the Target of a Criminal Investigation for Home Decorating - In what's shaping out to be a pretty dreadful year for Jesse Jackson's Jr., the Chicago congressman who has been on medical leave for bipolar disorder is now the subject of a criminal investigation for misusing campaign money to spruce up his house.

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The Wall Street Journal's Devlin Barrett and Evan Perez report that a FBI probe of Jackson is in its "final stages ... according to people familiar with the matter," with the possibility of an indictment coming before the November election. The paper reports Jackson's attorneys tried to get assurances that an indictment wouldn't come before Nov. 6, but Justice Department officials refused to make any promises. He's alleged to have "misused campaign money to decorate his house," reports the Journal. Evidence of a probe's existence first appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday, but the paper didn't report why the congressman was being investigated. Sources did tell the paper, however, that it involved Jackson's finances. After the Journal leapfrogged the Sun-Times last night, the paper followed up with details of some unusual activity involving the sale of Jackson's home, which seems to have tipped off investigators:

The Jacksons put their Washington, D.C., home on the market last month at a price of $2.5 million. The listing was public and included the property’s address as well as multiple photos of the inside of the home. A campaign spokesman said at the time that home was put on the market to pay for mounting medical bills... A day after the D.C. listing was made public, the couple subsequently took it back off the market, citing a security issue.

If you're keeping track of Jackson's legal problems at home, this probe has nothing to do with an earlier investigation into Jackson and disgraced ex-Gov. Rod Balgojevich who was accused of scheming to sell off Barack Obama's old Senate seat. (Jackson denied any wrongdoing in that matter.) When it comes to this current investigation, no one knows if it was slowed down by Jackson's surprise disappearance in June which was later attributed to treatment for bipolar disorder and intestinal problems at the Mayo Clinic.

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Whatever the case, Jackson's intestinal problems aren't preventing him from having a drink at DC watering hole Bier Baron, according to Gawker's John Cook.

According to two independent sources, Jackson was spotted drinking at Bier Baron Tavern ... on Tuesday and Wednesday nights last week. Each night, he was accompanied by a different woman. According to both sources, Jackson was drinking. "They were laughing and very focused on each other," one source said of Jackson's demeanor on Wednesday night. "Not sure when they left but I saw them there around 10:30 p.m. They didn't appear intoxicated or loud, but were definitely enjoying themselves."

The establishment formerly known as the Brickskeller, is a basement/restaurant bar famous for its huge selection of international beers. That may win him the respect of craft beer drinkers but not the Chicago Tribune. Last week, the newspaper withheld its endorsement from him, saying it's an "open-ended question" as to whether he'll ever get back to work, listing Republican Brian Woodworth as a "viable alternative." (

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