Speaking during Piers Morgan Tonight, which aired on Wednesday, Joe Jackson has admitted to physically disciplining son Michael and the rest of his family, claiming that he doesn’t regret “being tough”.
Joe Jackson, 84, also claimed that he doesn’t believe that there’s any such thing as beating a child but that they “will remember” being punished.
Although many of his children have spoken out about what they claim to have been an emotionally and physically abusive upbringing, Joe Jackson believes that he did right by his children.
“I’m glad I was tough, because look what I came out with. I came out with some kids that everybody loved all over the world. And they treated everybody right,” he said.
“There’s no such thing as beating a kid. You whip them or punish them over something they did and they will remember that,” Joe Jackson said when questioned by the British host.
“I had to be like that way because during those times, it was hard, and you have a lot of gangs there, you know, in the area where we were living,” he added.
Discussing his late son, Michael Jackson, who had spoken about his strict upbringing, he said: “You know, Michael, he was a nice guy. … The world [doesn’t] know anything too much about Michael as far as how he was brought up. But he was brought up. I made sure that he respected the older people.”
Addressing Janet Jackson’s claims that she wasn’t allowed to call Joe “Dad” at any point during her childhood, he said: “You had all those kids running hollering around. They’re hollering, <<Dad, Dad, Dad>>, you know, and it gets to be – it sounds kind of funny to me.
“I didn’t care too much about what they called me, just as long as they [were] able to listen to me and what I had to tell them, you know, in order to make their lives successful. This was the main thing.”
As the interview turned in the direction of his megastar son’s death, Joe Jackson admitted that it was a fan who alerted him to the news: “I was in Las Vegas. I got a call … from a fan. And he says, <<Mr. Jackson>>, he says <<Something is wrong>>. He said, <<I see an ambulance there at Michael’s place and the ambulance took off. And the fire department is following the ambulance. Something is wrong>>.”
“The saddest part about the whole thing was Michael tried to reach me,” said his father.
Joe Jackson seemed resentful about the fact that he felt pushed out of his son’s life towards the end: “They treated him like Howard Hughes, you know? They couldn’t – the family couldn’t get to him, you know, like they should have.”
Discussing Michael’s 2005 trial on child sex abuse charges, Joe Jackson described Michael as “a big old kid himself”, adding: “Well, you know that there was a reason why that happened. They were trying to take control over Michael’s life. Michael has paid out a lot of money, you know, what is it? Something like $22 million, you know, to keep this thing hushed down.”