Now We Know Why the Late 'King of Pop' Consistently Refused to Allow Prince Michael, Paris and Prince Michael II to be Photographed: Neither of the Children Have Any Biracial Physical Features -- Which, if Jackson Really Was Their Father, Would Be Genetically Impossible, as Jackson Was Black and Their Mother is White
(Posted 5:00 a.m. EDT Thursday, July 2, 2009)
A 'SKEETER BITES REPORT EDITORIAL
I'm not in the habit of writing back-to-back editorials in this space, nor am I in the habit of engaging in celebrity gossip -- especially when the celebrity in question is dead. But in the wake of the latest twist in the bizarre saga of Michael Jackson, I simply cannot ignore it any longer. The well-being of three small children is at stake.
I know that it's not polite to speak ill of the dead, but to be brutally frank, I've lost all respect for Jackson. When I broadcast my weekly radio show at 12 noon EDT/9 a.m. PDT today (Thursday), I will make an on-air comment about Jackson's death, but there will be no musical tribute to him on the program.
I have not come to this decision lightly. Michael Jackson was undoubtedly one of the greatest musical artists of our time. However, after this week's bombshell revelation that he is not the biological father of 12-year-old Prince Michael, 11-year-old Paris and seven-year-old Prince Michael II (nicknamed Blanket) -- and that, in fact, Jackson fooled the world into believing that he was -- whatever regard I had remaining for him is now totally gone.
It's bad enough that Jackson's lifestyle was becoming increasingly bizarre over the course the last 25 years of his life. Now it turns out that he kept a dirty secret: That his paternity was a hoax. The children -- who were all conceived by artificial insemination -- were, in fact, conceived with another man's sperm.
This would be tailor-made for TV talk-show host Maury Povich -- whose episodes about establishing the paternity of his guests via DNA tests have long been a staple of his show. "When it comes to 12-year-old Prince Michael, 11-year-old Paris and seven-year-old Prince Michael II," Povich would likely say to Jackson, "you are NOT the father!"
REVELATION CONFIRMS FACT THAT KIDS DON'T RESEMBLE JACKSON AT ALL
For 12 years, until his death last Thursday at the age of 50, Michael Jackson carried out an elaborate hoax on the world about his paternity -- a hoax that already was beginning to unravel as it became increasingly apparent that Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket (who got his nickname from the headline-grabbing incident in which Jackson dangled the then-infant -- his head covered by a blanket -- from a Berlin hotel balcony in 2002) bear no physical resemblance whatsoever to the late pop megastar.
For years, Jackson refused to allow the children's faces to be photographed and they often appeared publicly with their faces masked. For years, the public thought it was another example of Jackson's bizarre habits, as he often appeared in public with his face shrouded in a mask himself.
But in the week since the "King of Pop's" death, new, previously unpublished photos have surfaced of the Jackson children unmasked -- and they show not only that they bear no physical resemblance whatsoever to Jackson, but they also clearly show the children to be completely Caucasian. An early photo of Prince Michael taken in 2004 when he was seven years old -- the same age his younger brother is now -- even reveals that he had blond hair!
Both Prince Michael and Paris' mom, Debbie Rowe, and Blanket's mom -- whose identity remains a closely-guarded secret -- are white. Given the fact that Jackson was black, it is genetically impossible for the children to not have biracial physical features if Jackson was truly their biological father.
JACKSON'S DERMATOLOGIST IS REAL FATHER OF PRINCE MICHAEL AND PARIS
Rowe reportedly told the London tabloid News of the World in an interview published Sunday that she was inseminated with sperm from an anonymous donor -- not from Jackson. "I was just the vessel," she reportedly said. "It wasn't Michael's sperm. I got paid for it, and I've moved on."
A visit Wednesday to the tabloid's Web site, however, found that its interview with Rowe was removed. But on Tuesday, the identity of the sperm donor -- the real biological father of Prince Michael and Paris -- was revealed by Us magazine to be Dr. Arnold Klein, Jackson's dermatologist, who had treated Jackson for vitiligo, a skin-discoloration disorder.
(The identity of both of Blanket's biological parents remains unknown).
Klein donated his sperm after Rowe -- who was Klein's assistant -- offered to bear the children as a favor to Jackson, the magazine reported. Significantly, Rowe refused to confirm whether she and Jackson ever consummated their two-year marriage -- a refusal that is sure to reignite the debate (raised in my previous editorial on Monday) on whether Jackson was really gay.
Klein is a member of the board of directors of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR). His attorney, Richard Charnley, said in a statement that Klein "is aware of media reports connecting him to Michael Jackson" but that Klein would not comment, citing doctor-patient confidentiality.
Neither Klein nor Rowe would confirm or deny media reports that they signed an agreement saying they would "never reveal the truth" about who the real father of Prince Michael and Paris was, although the New York Post on Wednesday quoted Stuart Backerman, a former Jackson publicist, as saying that Klein's paternity "was common knowledge and what was assumed by people in Michael's inner circle . . .It didn't really . . . factor into who was raising the children."
ROWE REPORTEDLY CONSIDERING LAWSUIT FOR CUSTODY
Meanwhile, Rowe, who divorced Jackson in 1999, is considering whether to challenge Katherine Jackson, the late pop icon's mother, for custody of Prince Michael and Paris, the Los Angeles Times reported in its Thursday editions -- despite having renounced her parental rights years ago.
Katherine Jackson, who was granted temporary custody of all three children, plans to seek permanent custody. It is not known if the unidentified surrogate mother of Blanket will also seek custody.
Legal experts told the Times that Rowe has a strong claim to the older children by virtue of the fact that she is their biological mother, and if she attempted to win custody now, Jackson's family would have to convince a judge that it would not be in the children's best interest to live with her.
But the 50-year-old Rowe, who lives in Palmdale, California, has not yet made a decision. Her attorney, Eric George, said he will be at a custody hearing Monday to represent her, but did not know whether she would ask for custody or to continue to have visitation rights.
WHY WOULD JACKSON FAKE HIS PATERNITY?
The immediate question that needs to be answered is: Why? Why would the "King of Pop" deceive the world into thinking that he fathered the children when, in fact, he didn't -- and he knew that it was only a matter of time when the truth would finally come out? And in what could prove a strike against any bid by Rowe to gain custody of Prince Michael and Paris, the question must be answered: Why did she perpetuate the hoax by keeping it a secret from the world for the last 12 years?
As the son of interracial parents (My mother was African American and my father was Native American), I can tell you that there is no way that children born of interracial parents -- especially when one parent is black -- can inherit the physical characteristics of one parent but not those of the other. It's genetically impossible.
This prompts me to also call into question the legality of Rowe's decision to sign over custody of Prince Michael and Paris to Jackson when he isn't their biological father in the first place. The same can be said for the unidentified surrogate mother's agreement to turn over custody of Blanket to Jackson.
The revelation that Jackson's paternity was an apparent hoax -- and that all three of the children are white -- is certain to lend credence to claims by critics of Jackson from within the African American community that the "King of Pop" was ashamed of his black lineage.
It's a criticism that has long dogged Jackson ever since he began altering his physical appearance in the mid-1990s, with his skin complexion appearing progressively lighter. Jackson was diagnosed in the mid-80s with vitiligo, a disorder that results in a depigmentation of the skin.
While such depigmentation appears most starkly among African-Americans, Jackson chose to lighten his overall complexion instead of darken the light spots. His cosmetic surgeries to his nose and mouth to make him appear more Caucasian only added to the criticism.
Combined with Jackson's apparent unwillingness -- to this writer, at least -- to come to terms with his sexual orientation, it has become quite clear to me that Michael Jackson did indeed spend the bulk of the latter half of his life running away from what he really was.
And expending all that time and energy in self-denial ultimately contributed to his untimely demise. I really feel sorry for Jackson's family and his legion of fans.
But I feel especially sorry for Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket, who inevitably will learn the truth that their father -- the world's biggest music megastar of the 1980s and early 1990s -- really wasn't their father.
Editor & Publisher
The 'Skeeter Bites Report
# # #
Copyright 2009, Skeeter Sanders. All rights reserved.