While he was still alive, Michael Jackson seemed almost paranoid in the lengths he went to in order to protect his three children's privacy. Remember the masks? For years, we had no idea what the kids even looked like. Since his death, we've met Prince, Paris, and Blanket. But this week we got an even more intimate glimpse into Michael's family life. As part of the family's wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live, Jackson's children have been sharing personal photos and videos from their childhood.
Earlier we heard testimony from Michael Jackson's oldest son, Prince, about what life was like with the pop star as his father. Now the prosecution has shown photos and videos of Michael with his children. The images show the family in celebrations, playing games together, and everyday life. Many show the kids with their nanny, but others include Michael -- and you can see how much joy he got from spending time with his children. I almost feel like we shouldn't look at all, but of course I can't resist.
In one snippet of video, Michael asks, "Blanket, what does Christmas mean?" Blanket looks back at the camera with wide, innocent eyes and says simply, "Love." I can imagine Jackson, the idealist, the romantic, telling his children this over and over again. It just smushes my heart to hear Blanket say it because we all know love was something Jackson felt he missed in his own childhood.
In these photos we see Jackson providing his kids with the sheltered, carefree innocence he was denied. It's all the more cruel, knowing how much anguish his death has caused those children, especially Paris. But at least they have that foundation of love from their father. I just wish he could have stayed alive to keep that shield up around his kids a little longer -- and to see his children grow up into strong, happy adults.
What kind of father do you imagine Michael Jackson was?
Image via Yahoo