Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. The King of Pop succumbed to an overdose and died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication after suffering from cardiac arrest. The world continues to mourn the death of the superstar. In life, Jackson was a reclusive celebrity who kept a private personal life. In the aftermath of his death, we've seen his three children—Paris Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. and Prince Michael Jackson II—emerge into the spotlight. Here's where they are now.
At the time of Jackson's death, his children were literally young kids. Fans remember a young Paris tearfully speaking at her father's funeral. "I just want to say ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say, I love him so much." They're all grown up now. Paris is now 19, Prince Michael is 15 and Michael Joseph is 20.
Michael Jackson famously named his youngest son, Prince Michael Jackson II, "Blanket." Since 2015, the young man (seen left) changed his name, after reportedly being bullied, to the name "Bigi."
Standing 5'10" with piercing blue eyes, Paris Jackson made her high fashion debut in 2017. Paris, who many say looks a lot like Michael's friend Madonna, modeled for Chanel. She signed a deal with top agency IMG Models and has been seen in the pages of Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar and Rolling Stone.
Being the daughter of Michael Jackson hasn't been easy. Paris revealed to Rolling Stone in 2017 that she struggled with depression and addiction. She tried to kill herself at age 15, slashing her wrist and downing 20 Motrin pills. "It was just self-hatred," she says, "low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn't do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore." She shared that some of her many tattoos cover her scars, including places she used to intake drugs.
The Jackson children were raised by their large extended family. Drama that affects the Jacksons affects them as well. In 2017, family matriarch Katherine Jackson was in the middle of a heated legal battle with her nephew. Paris and Prince were notably kept away from their grandmother during this time, so as not to reportedly affect her legal testimony.
The Jackson kids grew up largely away from the public eye. As they've gotten older, Paris in particular, has spoken out about being the scion to the superstar. She told Rolling Stone how she copes with his death: "They always say, 'Time heals,' she says. "But it really doesn't. You just get used to it. I live life with the mentality of 'OK, I lost the only thing that has ever been important to me.' So going forward, anything bad that happens can't be nearly as bad as what happened before. So I can handle it." She says her father still visits her in her dreams.
Keeping Michael Alive
The Jackson children continue to keep their father's memory alive. In 2016, Paris honored the superstar with a tattoo. The new ink recreates the artwork of her father's 1991 album, Dangerous. Prior to that, she got the phrase “Queen of my Heart” inked on her wrist, which was written in her father’s handwriting. "To everyone else he was the King of Pop," she wrote on Instagram. "To me, well, he was the king of my heart."
[Photo: Getty Images]