Paris Jackson recently sat down with Rolling Stone for her first in-depth interview, in which the 18-year-old touched on everything from her demons, future dreams, and memories of her late father, Michael. Most explosively, she maintains that the King of Pop’s 2009 death was far from an accident, but rather the result of a conspiracy. Here’s everything we learned from the fascinating profile on the up-and-coming member of music’s royal family.
1. She Believes Her Father Was Murdered
While Jackson partially blames Dr. Conrad Murray — the physician who was convicted of manslaughter — for Michael’s fatal dependency on the anesthetic propofol, she believes that there was a deeper conspiracy at play. And so, apparently, did Michael himself. “He would drop hints about people being out to get him,” she remembers. “And at some point he was like, ‘They’re gonna kill me one day.'”
When asked whether she truly believes Michael was killed, the younger Jackson’s answer is immediate. “Absolutely,” she says. “Because it’s obvious. All arrows point to that. It sounds like a total conspiracy theory and it sounds like bullshit, but all real fans and everybody in the family knows it. It was a setup. It was bulls—.” Though difficult to imagine anyone wanting to kill the renowned superstar, Jackson insists that “a lot of people” would have liked him dead.
Jackson aims to seek justice against the guilty parties when the time is right. “But it’s a chess game. And I am trying to play the chess game the right way. And that’s all I can say about that right now.”
2. She Opens Up About Her Multiple Suicide Attempts
“It was just self-hatred,” she says of taking 20 Motrin tablets and slashing her wrist in June 2013 at age 15. “Low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn’t do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore.” The incident proved to be the turning point following a long battle with self-abuse, drug addiction and depression. Jackson admits that she had attempted suicide “multiple times” before, but this final episode convinced her to attend a residential therapy program.
3. She Says She Was Sexually Assaulted at Age 14
Adding to her depression and inner turmoil, Jackson says that she was sexually assaulted by a significantly older “complete stranger” when she was a teen. “I don’t wanna give too many details. But it was not a good experience at all, and it was really hard for me, and, at the time, I didn’t tell anybody.”
4. Despite Rumors to the Contrary, She Insists Michael Is Her Biological Father
Jackson’s light complexion and generally distant relationship with mother Debbie Rowe has led to much speculation about her true parentage. “Most people that don’t know me call me white,” she says. “I’ve got light skin and, especially since I’ve had my hair blonde, I look like I was born in Finland or something.”
Despite superficial appearances, she has firm convictions about her cultural and biological heritage. “I consider myself black,” she continues, recalling how 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.’ And I’d be like, ‘OK, he’s my dad, why would he lie to me?’ So I just believe what he told me. ‘Cause, to my knowledge, he’s never lied to me.”
Though often reluctant to discuss the matter, Jackson used her time with Rolling Stone to dispel any rumors about her relation to Michael: “He is my father. 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.”
5. Michael Was a Phenomenal Cook
MJ’s culinary skills live on through his daughter. “He was a kick-ass cook,” Jackson says. “His fried chicken is the best in the world. He taught me how to make sweet potato pie.”
6. Her Morbid Streak Is a Mile Wide
Jackson is a frequent visitor to the ominously-named Museum of Death — a gory tourist attraction on Los Angeles’ Hollywood Boulevard. “It’s awesome,” she tells the magazine. “They have a real electric chair and a real head!” On this, her ninth visit, she studies rare autopsy photos from famous figures like Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy. “You can’t even find these online,” she marvels.
But the room with the taxidermied pets is too much for her to handle. “I draw the line with animals. I can’t do it. This breaks my heart.”
7. She’s Obsessed with Alice Cooper
If you thought the King of Pop’s daughter listens exclusively to Thriller all day every day, you’d be sorely mistaken. Jackson’s music taste runs the gamut from Mötley Crüe and Nirvana, to early 2000s Brit-rockers the Arctic Monkeys — and, yes, Justin Bieber. But she reserves a special place for the ’70s shock rocker Cooper, whom she refers to as “bae.”
8. Her Father Visits in Her Dreams
Though it’s been more than seven years since losing her father, Jackson believes the pain will never truly pass. “They always say, ‘Time heals,'” she tells Rolling Stone. “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.”
Reminders of her father are all around her. She lives in the memorabilia-laden studio at the former Jackson family home in Encino, California—the same room where her father demo’d “Beat It” decades earlier. She wears Michael’s rope-and-jade bracelet (“It still smells like him.”) and even receives visits from him in her dreams. “I feel him with me all the time.”
Having just turned 18, she admits that she snuck in some body art while underage. Much of the ink honors late music greats — John Lennon, David Bowie and Prince. Naturally, her father features prominently on the list. At present count, she has nine tattoos that honor Michael.
She has images from his classic albums Dangerous and Bad, as well as the phrase “Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust”—a reference to her father’s favorite pet name, Tinker Bell. She also has the words “Queen of My Heart” inked in her father’s handwriting, taken from a letter he penned to her. “He’s brought me nothing but joy,” she says. “So why not have constant reminders of joy?”
10. She’s Embracing Her Musical Legacy
Jackson has yet to determine whether or not she wants to pursue a record deal, but she’s an accomplished multi-instrumentalist. She demonstrated several of her self-penned songs on acoustic guitar — a sound that writer Brian Hiatt described as “more Laura Marling than MJ.”