What about the kids?
Michael Jackson dies, leaving behind three children who have a lot to deal with. Can their childhoods be less damaged than his?
The last image that comes to mind of Michael Jackson as a father is of him dangling his baby son off a hotel balcony. For his three children - Prince Michael (12), Paris (11) and Prince Michael II aka Blanket (7) - childhood was never going to be a walk in the park. Well, at least not unless they were fully veiled and accompanied by a phalanx of bodyguards.

Despite the dangling and the veiling and the weirdness, it’s not hard to believe that Michael was a dedicated father. After all, he loved children, loved their company, kitted out his Neverland ranch with a funfair and petting zoo.

The accusations of child abuse were inevitable, unsavoury and a definite blot on the image of the Peter Pan who simply loved to give joy to the boys and girls.

But did he truly love his own children? I believe he did.

Early speculation after his death is that his mother will take over the raising of the children. It seems better that the children stay together than be parcelled out to their two different biological mothers. But. One can only hope that granny Katherine will do a better job of protecting her grandchildren from the glare of publicity that will always follow them than she did for her own children.

Looking at the wild antics of Latoya, the freaky sex interests of Janet, and of course the weirdness of Michael himself, one thing is clear: Katherine Jackson has her work cut out for her to give Michael’s children anything resembling normality and stability.

As they bury Michael Jackson I will be thinking of the children – Prince Michael, Paris, Blanket, and most of all the gifted young Michael, who never stood a chance of a normal life – or death.

What kind of legacy does Michael Jackson leave for his children?

Read more by Adele Hamilton

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