Joe Jackson was on Larry King Live last night, acting like his usual bastard self. Nothing is ever his fault, everybody is always telling lies about him, et cetera. Typical abuser, actually. Nevermind that we’re just quoting accurately. It was actually a doozy of an interview, and Larry was sharper than I’ve seen him in a while, asking Joe about everything from abusing Michael, to Joe’s relationship with his wife, to those quotes from two weeks ago about how Michael’s kids should be in showbiz because “Blanket can really dance”. CNN has the video, and they also have an extensive breakdown of the interview:
Michael Jackson’s father told CNN’s Larry King Monday night that he never beat his son or made any mistakes in raising him. Joe Jackson also said the rumor that he wanted to take the singer’s children on tour as the Jackson 3 was “a bunch of jive.”
Jackson repeated his suspicion that foul play was involved in his son’s death last month, but he conceded he did not know what happened. He said he had been blocked from seeing or talking to his son in the days before his death.
Jackson denied that he was legally separated from Katherine Jackson — his wife of 60 years — although he did say he spends most of his time in Las Vegas. His wife lives in the family home in Encino, California.
He denied a report that he had agreed to sign a document saying he would not be involved in helping raise Michael Jackson’s three children as a way to help his wife retain custody of them. “I’ve never said I was going to sign any papers to that effect,” he said.
Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson’s ex-wife and mother of his two oldest children, has not said yet whether she will challenge Katherine Jackson for custody. Joe Jackson appeared careful to avoid any hints that he might encourage the children to enter show business, saying “they have to be what they are, kids, at the moment.”
“I can’t get into that right now, Larry, because, I mean, I just can’t,” he said.
King asked him to respond to a media report quoting an unnamed family source that said Joe Jackson, who turned his sons into the Jackson 5, had approached Michael Jackson’s children about touring next year as the Jackson 3.
“Not true. That’s a bunch of jive. That’s a bunch of — I wish I could say what I should say. That’s a bunch of bull.” Asked about stories that he was abusive to his son as a child, Jackson said “Oh, that’s a bunch of bull S. That’s a bunch of bull S.”
“You never physically harmed him?” King asked.
“Never. Never have. And I — and I raised him just like you would raise your kids, you know? But harm Michael, for what? I have no reason. That’s my son. I loved him and I still love him,” Jackson said. He said he made no mistakes in raising his children.
“Michael was raised properly,” he said. “He didn’t run the streets like most of those other kids that was in his neighborhood.”
While denying any child abuse, Joe Jackson’s explanation did leave the question of spanking: “The media keep hollering about saying that I beat Michael. That’s not true. You know what this beat started — beat started in the slavery days. Where they used to beat the slaves and then they used to torture them. That’s where this beating started. These slave masters, and that’s where that come from. But, hey, there’s a lot of people in America, Larry, a lot of people in America spank their kids, you know? They say they don’t, they’re lying. They’re lying. Now, Michael was never beaten by me, I’ve never beaten at all.”
Joe Jackson said he was not surprised or hurt to learn Michael left him out of his will.
“That’s the way he wanted it,” he said. “And it’s not going to hurt me that I was left out of his will. But it happened.”
The will, written in 2002, places all of Jackson’s assets into a family trust that benefits his mother, the three children and various charities. Joe Jackson showed frustration at being cut out of his son’s life in his last days.
“Larry, I’m going to cut through the chase on this. I could never get to him. I tried all I could and I could never get to him because he — I was barred away from him by securities and all that type of thing. I could not get to him,” he said.
Not only do I think Joe Jackson is a lying old bastard, I think he’s a pretty bad liar. Truth expert Eyes for Lies thinks the same thing – she writes:
When Joe Jackson answers Larry King about whether or not he was abusive to Michael, and Joe answers, “I never been abusive to him”, you need to take a closer look at the words being spoken here. Joe Jackson clearly skirts the issues by playing with words, if you want my opinion.
Notice how convoluted Joe’s answer is? He talks about slavery and torture, and then ends up saying a lot of people spank their kids and don’t admit it. Why doesn’t he answer the questions directly? Then Joe ends his somewhat non-nonsensical answer by saying he’s “never beaten at all”. I think the key word here is “beaten”. It’s all semantics, if you want my opinion.
A man who abused his children and who is denial about it is likely to diminish his actions, and I believe that is what Joe Jackson is doing here. Notice how he doesn’t deny “spanking” Michael? And how he justifies everyone else must be doing it?
When I’ve seen Michael Jackson talk of how afraid he was of his father, I absolutely believed him.
One of the most interesting parts (for me) was Joe’s hedging on the whole issue of how much he’s involved in Katherine’s life. It sounds like they’ve been separated for a while, but that they’re still involved in each other’s lives. This is a key point, and I hope it’s a major part of the custody hearing. I don’t think that Katherine should be appointed guardianship if she’s in any way involved with Joe.
Joe Jackson is shown on 7/10/09 at Michael Jackson’s hometown memorial. Credit: WENN.com