And Paris’ childhood was unusual in other ways, too. Her famous father insisted that all of his children wear masks for privacy when out and about with him, for example. Paris would tell Oprah Winfrey in 2012, “When we went out without [Michael], we wouldn’t be recognized, and we could have a normal childhood.” She added, “[Michael] told us when he was younger he didn’t really have a childhood… He wanted us to have that.”
Unfortunately, in the end, Paris’ childhood didn’t pan out the way her father had wanted it. That’s because Michael would pass away in June 2009 of a prescription drug overdose; his daughter was just 11 years old at the time. And while there was a massive torrent of grief from all around the world at the news of the pop legend’s death, perhaps nobody felt the loss more keenly than Paris and her brothers.
Paris went on to speak at her father’s memorial service – the first time that she had ever made a public statement. And while watched by an audience of millions, she cried as she spoke about her dad. “Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. I just wanted to say I love him so much,” Paris said to the crowd, before being comforted by her family members.