Raised wearing masks and losing her father at a young age, the troubled 15-year-old hasn't lived a life of normalcy
Despite her best efforts to lead a normal life, Jackson, who in 2009 lost her father, the iconic Michael Jackson, has faced situations that would test any person. Last Wednesday, she attempted suicide.
Here’s a look at a very full life compressed into 15 years.
Paris and her siblings – Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr. and Prince “Blanket” Michael Jackson II – were never spotted in public without masks. Although she later realized her dad “only tried to protect us,” Paris told Ellen DeGeneres in 2011 that growing up she thought the face coverings were “stupid.”
Wed to Michael from 1996-1999, Debbie Rowe was initially given visitation rights with her two children – Paris and Prince – every 45 days. After Rowe surrendered those rights entirely in 2001, a judge voided the order in 2004 at Rowe’s request. The exes reached a settlement in 2005, and Paris was left solely with her father.
The then-11-year-old’s beloved father died at age 50 of cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home – a moment Paris witnessed with her own eyes. With tears, Paris screamed out, “Daddy!” as Michael’s doctor unsuccessfully tried to revive him.
As the star-studded tribute to the King of Pop concluded at his funeral, Paris gave an impromptu speech that left few dry-eyed, as she called Michael “the best father you can imagine.”
A year after Michael’s passing, Paris and her brothers eased into what seemed like a normal life. When the children were photographed on a Hawaiian vacation, Michael’s brother, Jermaine, told reporters that they enjoy hanging out with their cousins, playing video games and going to see animated movies. “They love the film business, and they love being behind the scenes,” he said. “Blanket loves to dance and sing. Prince and Paris love movies. They can tell you about directors and producers and all that stuff.”
A year and a half later, Paris got her wish. Then 13, the teen was cast in the mixed live-action and animation movie Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys – as a human character who survives being brainwashed by a jellyfish queen in the ocean. “She wants to be an actress,” producer Stephen Sobisky told PEOPLE. “She wants to take on her dad’s legacy and do something good for the world, and our product does that.”
The highs continued for Paris, who couldn’t hold back energetic smiles while sporting her softball uniform, as she took the field and cheered on her teammates.
[IMAGE “2” “” “std” ]JULY 2012
But just six months later, turmoil struck the Jackson family once again. Just days after Paris’s guardian, her grandmother Katherine Jackson, was reported missing – and then found in Arizona – the L.A. Sheriff’s department responded to a family disturbance call at Katherine’s home after Michael’s siblings Janet, Randy and Jermaine Jackson reportedly tried to take Michael’s three children from the compound. Katherine was temporarily stripped of her guardian rights, which were handed over to Michael’s nephew, T.J. Jackson. The drama eventually settled the following month, and Katherine’s rights were renewed, leaving Paris pleased.
Sporting a new look – a dark, short, cropped hairdo and piercings – Paris still appeared to be a smiling teen while donning her school’s cheerleading uniform and rooting for the boy’s basketball team.
Paris reconnected with her estranged mother. The teen, who seemed to take to rural life, proved an adept hand and was seen helping with Rowe s horses.
But just a few months later, Paris is hospitalized for a suicide attempt, following a lengthy bout with depression. PEOPLE confirmed from a source that the teen, who “misses her father greatly,” said a source, cut her wrists with a kitchen knife and took as many as 20 ibuprofen tablets. A day later, Paris was said to be “doing well” and “smiling again,” according to a source close to the family. She was visited in the hospital by Katherine, Rowe, Prince, her aunt La Toya Jackson and her former nanny Grace Rwaramba.