Michael Jackson’s only daughter has spoken out for the first time since his death seven years ago to say that she believes her father was murdered.
In her first in-depth interview, Paris told Rolling Stone she was convinced Jackson’s 2009 death was “a setup”.
Paris Jackson, now 18, said that she is convinced that Jackson’s 2009 death was not accidental. He was found with a cocktail of drugs in his system, and his doctor Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in November 2011 and sentenced to four years in prison.
But Paris believes there is more to the story. “He would drop hints about people being out to get him,” she said.
“And at some point he was like, ‘They’re gonna kill me one day.’
Asked by interviewer Brian Hiatt if she thought her father was murdered, the 18-year-old replied: “Absolutely”.
“Because it’s obvious. All arrows point to that. It sounds like a total conspiracy theory… but all real fans and everybody in the family knows it. It was a setup.”
She went on to say “a lot of people” wanted her father dead, and that she was playing a “chess game” to bring them to justice. The teenager did not name specific people, and did not implicate Conrad Murray in her accusations.
The youngster recently hit headlines for complaining about a Sky Arts comedy drama series, in which her father was played by white actor Joseph Fiennes.
Writing on Twitter, she said she was “incredibly offended” by the show, and that the episode made her “want to vomit”. Sky subsequently pulled the show.
In her Rolling Stone interview, Paris spoke glowingly of Jackson’s parenting techniques – describing him as a “kick ass cook” who “cussed like a sailor” – and dismissed speculation that he was not her biological father.
“He is my father,” she said. “He will always be my father. He never wasn’t, and he never will not be. People that knew him really well say they see him in me, that it’s almost scary.
“I consider myself black,” she continued, adding that her father would “look me in the eyes and he’d point his finger at me and he’d be like, ‘You’re black. Be proud of your roots.’”
Paris was just 11 when Jackson died on 25 June, 2009. She told Rolling Stone she still wore an African bracelet her nanny had retrieved from his body that day.
“It still smells like him,” she said.
Paris also revealed she had been sexually assaulted by a “complete stranger” as a teenager, and spoke openly about depression and her 2013 suicide attempt.
“I was crazy,” she said. “I was actually crazy. I was going through a lot of, like, teen angst. And I was also dealing with my depression and my anxiety without any help.”
After a spell in hospital, she is now sober and only smokes menthol cigarettes. She is pursuing parallel careers in modelling and acting, and says she shares her father’s passion for environmental activism.
Since the interview was published on Tuesday, Paris has taken to social media to ask for privacy.
“I will not be answering any press regarding the Rolling Stone article whatsoever,” she wrote on Twitter. “If you have questions then read it, it’s crystal clear.”