Michael Jackson’s Mother Talks To Oprah: The Highlights

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File this post under “Things that aren’t overtly hip-hop, but still … are hip-hop.”

Katherine Jackson, mother of the late Michael Jackson, talked with Oprah Winfrey on Monday (November 8 ) for a frank discussion about her son and grandchildren. Here are a few highlights from the chat about one of hip-hop’s fallen icons.

“I don’t think I will ever be healed,” Katherine said when asked if she believes that time will make accepting her son’s death easier. “It will get better, but some days it’s like it just happened. … It hurts. It really hurts.”

During the in-depth talk, Oprah also spoke to Joe Jackson, and asked about how he disciplined his Jackson brood. Jackson was apprehensive about saying that he “beat” his children but Mrs. Jackson finally made him come out with it.

“You might as well admit it,” Mrs. Jackson said to Joe. “That’s the way black people raise their children. … He used a strap.”

Oprah followed up by asking if Mr. Jackson would’ve raised his kids differently in hindsight.

“I would punish them by whipping them with a strap when they did something wrong, it would’ve kept them out of trouble,” he said. “My kids never been in jail before, nine kids … never been in jail.”

“I never beat him like the media tried to say,” Mr. Jackson added later in the interview.

Mrs. Jackson also delved into Michael’s experience during the 2005 child-molestation trial, in which he was acquitted of all charges but not before his career, and public image, were irreparably damaged.

“All his life, he had to go through stuff like this, and they were just lying on him,” she said, asserting that she never once questioned his innocence in the matter. “I never thought [he could be guilty of molesting a child], because I know he wouldn’t. He loved children, and he was around children all the time … ‘I’d rather slit my own wrists than to hurt a child’ — he would always say that.”

On the brighter side, the late icon’s daughter Paris recalls her dad making a mean breakfast.

“I’d say he was the best cook ever,” she told Oprah, with a smile. “He made the best french toast in the world.”

Michael died June 25, 2009, of a heart attack caused by an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, and Katherine said she learned of her son’s death from his personal doctor, Conrad Murray, after arriving at the hospital. “He came out, and he was talking, and it took him so long.” Frustrated, Katherine asked, “Did he make it?” and Murray said, ” ‘No, he’s gone.’ That’s all I remember,” she said, tearing up once more at the memory. She called it the worst day of her life.

The first single entitled “Breaking News” from Michael Jackson’s posthumous LP Michael hit the Internet on November 8.

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