Paris Jackson turns 18 on April 3. As the second child and only daughter of the late pop sensation Michael Jackson, Paris' unconventional upbringing and seemingly strange childhood raised eyebrows and attracted media attention worldwide. She's been in and out of the spotlight since her famous father's untimely passing in 2009, but the King of Pop's daughter has definitely been living life on her own terms. Take a look back on her early years, her life post-MJ, and what she's up to now at 18.
Growing Up Jackson
Paris Michael Katherine Jackson was born on April 3, 1998, and is the second child of Michael Jackson and his second wife, Debbie Rowe. Michael first met Rowe, a dermatology nurse, in the mid-1980s while undergoing skin treatments for vitiligo. The two then married in 1996. Much speculation has surrounded the circumstances of their short-lived marriage. Rowe once publicly admitted that the sole purpose of their union was for her to bear Michael's children, despite the fact that his paternity of Paris and her older brother, Prince, has been called into question time and time again. After their divorce in 1999, Rowe signed over all of her parental rights to Michael.
Paris, Prince, and their younger brother Blanket had childhoods that most people only dream of having. The trio grew up on Michael's famed Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California. With amusement park rides, a petting zoo, and even a steam locomotive on the property, there was no shortage of magic, adventure, and make believe for Jackson's three kids. It's believed that Michael wanted them to live normal childhoods and experience all the things he was unable to, but their fairytale upbringing seemed to be anything but normal. The eccentric pop star famously kept his children out of the limelight during their early years, even going so far as to cover their faces up with masks or veils every time they stepped outside.
By 2004, Michael notoriously stood accused of several counts of child abuse, including sexual abuse of a minor. The allegations and subsequent court case brought Rowe back into the picture as she sought to reinstate her parental rights over Prince and Paris. By 2006, however, the custody battle had fizzled.
Life Without Michael
Michael died unexpectedly on June 25, 2009, after experiencing cardiac arrest brought on by acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. Paris spoke publicly for the very first time during a televised memorial held shortly after her father's death at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The 11-year-old expressed grief for her father's passing with an emotional eulogy, famously saying, "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine." Michael's mother, Katherine, became the permanent legal guardian to Paris and her siblings after his death.
In 2010, Paris attended the Grammys to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on her father's behalf and also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss life after his passing. By 2011, Paris and her brothers joined the ranks of other celebrity children when they began attending the prestigious Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California. Paris also signed on to star in a children's fantasy film called Lundon's Bridge and the Three Keys.
Everything seemed to be on the up and up for Paris until a whirlwind of controversy erupted within the Jackson family in 2012. With tensions mounting at home between Paris and her grandmother, an altercation on the Jackson family compound made headlines when Janet, Randy, and Jermaine Jackson tried to forcefully remove the children from Katherine's home. Paris and Janet reportedly engaged in a physical altercation, which ended in a police investigation. To make matters worse, Paris attempted suicide in 2013 when she cut her own wrists with a knife and swallowed more than 20 over-the-counter painkillers. Although Paris received treatment and intense in-patient therapy, she continued to struggle with depression and alcohol abuse over the next several years.
Turning 18 and What Lies Ahead
On the cusp of turning 18, and in a much healthier state, Paris is slowly stepping back out into the limelight. She dated Real So Cal soccer player Chester Castellaw in 2015 and was recently spotted out and about with friends in Beverly Hills. Now embracing a new rocker chick persona, Paris has chopped off her hair, fashioned herself a pixie cut, and dyed her tresses a bright bleached blonde to go along with her ripped jeans and ragged t-shirt look.
Nowadays, the young star is particularly active on social media. Paris has posted numerous videos on YouTube that highlight her natural charisma and showcase her impressive singing voice. And with possible aspirations of following in her musical father's footsteps, Paris has been approached by several record companies and is reportedly close to striking a deal with one of the top labels. Of course, her plans to launch an acting and modeling career in Hollywood aren't far off, either. With a renewed sense of confidence, a healthy outlook on life, and a bright future ahead of her, there's no telling what Paris will do next!
What do you think of the famous teen's new do? Let us know in the comments!