Joe Jackson

Daddy Dearest?

From early on, Michael Jackson’s brothers and sisters appeared to lead charmed and successful lives, rich with opportunity and constant progress. Not until later in Michael’s life would he reveal that Joe Jackson and wife Katherine Jackson were not the role model parents one might have expected. The public first learned of Michael Jackson's father and his appalling behavior when Michael was the subject of an interview by Oprah in 1993. In that interview, Michael said he would sometimes ‘cry from loneliness’ or vomit at the sight of his father. It was not until ten years later on the documentary, Living with Michael Jackson, that the specifics of his child abuse were revealed. Michael's dad was purported to have watched his sons practice for The Jackson Five while sitting comfortably and threatening them with a belt if mistakes were made. Although the cause of Joe Jackson’s outbursts were not known, they would permanently scar Michael Jackson and his way of living.

These confrontations with Michael Jackson's dad would become the first in a disturbing list of Michael Jackson’s scandals.

Another potent story revealed by Michael in an interview for television recalled grossly damaging behavior on the part of Joe Jackson towards his son. One story stated that on one occasion when the young Michael Jackson was sleeping, his father crawled in through his open window wearing a mask and screamed at him. The reasoning for the act was to “prove a point in showing why you need to close your windows.” This prompted nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom for the majority of his life. Other more graphic stories tell of vicious beatings and demoralizing remarks. Adding verity to Michael’s claims, he is backed by many of his brothers and sisters who recall similar events in their childhoods. Despite all the allegations of abuse by Joe Jackson, he was still a critical figure in the rise (and debatably the fall) of The Jackson Five.

Were it for his tortured upbringing and harsh musical and performance training at home, Michael Jackson would likely never have developed into the legend he became later in life.