Paris Jackson Discusses Multiple Suicide Attempts, Boyfriend Michael Snoddy
At only 18 years old, Paris Jackson has overcome self-harm, cyber-bullying, sexual assault, suicide attempts, addiction and finding sobriety.
PARIS JACKSON’S SUICIDE ATTEMPTS
In her first real in-depth interview, Jackson opened up to Rolling Stone about her life after her father Michael Jackson’s death eight years ago. The interview began at the Museum of Death in Hollywood, Paris’ ninth visit there. The carefree teenager has more than 50 tattoos and dons sneakers with Mötley Crüe and Arctic Monkeys Lyrics. Over the course of days, Paris spoke about her childhood, her relationship to her late father and mother Debbie Rowe, her modeling career,and her hopes for the future.
“Basically, as a person, she is who my dad is, the only thing that’s different would be her age and her gender,” says her older brother, Prince Michael Jackson. “In all of her strengths, and almost all of her weaknesses as well. She’s very passionate. She is very emotional to the point where she can let emotion cloud her judgment.”
Paris was extremely close to her father, and until his death, didn’t know anything else. She didn’t meet her mother until she was 13. “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.”
Of the popular idea that Michael was not actually Paris’ biological father, Paris reacts with scorn. While her brother Prince retorts with the argument that it doesn’t really matter, Paris is completely convinced, and will convince anyone who asks as well. “He is my father, he will always be my father,” she said strongly. “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.” She also agreed she sees some of Rowe in her as well – “we’re both very stubborn.”
In June 2013, Paris battled with depression and low self-esteem so aggressively that she tried to kill herself by slitting her wrists and swallowing Motrin pills. “It was just self-hatred,” she said, “low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn’t do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore.” She managed to hide it from her family, but eventually attempted suicide multiple times and wound up in a residential therapy program in Utah.
She was also sexually assaulted by a “complete stranger” when she was 14, and has struggled with that. “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,” she described.
After facing bullying and drug addiction, Paris is now sober and happy. She is very much in love with her drummer boyfriend Michael Snoddy, 26. Apparently he had a now-covered confederate flag tattoo, which raised considerable flags for the Jacksons, “but the more I actually got to know him, he’s a really cool guy,” says brother Prince.
Though the heir of the over-billion dollar Michael Jackson Family Trust, Paris wants to experience life normally and make her own money. So she has turned to modeling, which comes easily to her. “I’ve had self-esteem issues for a really, really long time,” says Paris. “Plenty of people think I’m ugly, and plenty of people don’t. But there’s a moment when I’m modeling where I forget about my self-esteem issues and focus on what the photographer’s telling me – and I feel pretty. And in that sense, it’s selfish.”
But beyond being famous, Paris wants to use her platform to spread the word of noble causes, particularly about animal rights and environmental conservation. “I was born with this platform,” she reasons. “Am I gonna waste it and hide away? Or am I going to make it bigger and use it for more important things?”
Of her childhood, Paris says, “we actually had a pretty normal life.” She was homeschooled most of her life until Michael’s death. Yes, they lived at Neverland Ranch, with it’s own amusement park and zoo, but “we couldn’t just go on the rides whenever we wanted to… we had to be good,” she described. “And if we were good, every other weekend or so, we could choose whether we were gonna go to the movie theater or see the animals or whatever. But if you were on bad behavior, then you wouldn’t get to go do all those things.”
She says Michael raised her in a very open-minded and loving environment, with the main priority that his children were happy and cared for. Education was a major part of this, and “he did not bulls–t us.” He was a fantastic cook and introduced Paris to the great big world of music that she loves.
“My dad would cry to me at night,” she says, as she too starts to cry. “Picture your parent crying to you about the world hating him for something he didn’t do. And for me, he was the only thing that mattered. To see my entire world in pain, I started to hate the world because of what they were doing to him. I’m like, ‘How can people be so mean?'” The 2005 multiple molestation trials caused great strife and agony on the Jackson family, even though Michael was eventually acquitted. “Nobody experienced him being a father to them. And if they did, the entire perception of him would be completely and forever changed,” she said. “You try to give kids the best childhood possible. But you also have to prepare them for the shitty world.”
Paris stood up at her father’s televised 2009 funeral and, at 10 years old, said, “Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine, and I just wanted to say I love him so much.” Reflecting back, she said, “that was the first time I ever publicly defended him, and it definitely won’t be the last.”