'I've had to learn how to communicate': Paris Jackson on growing up in a famous family

Prince Michael Jackson, Blanket Jackson and Paris Jackson.
Prince Michael Jackson, Blanket Jackson and Paris Jackson. Photo: Getty Images

There is no doubt growing up with a father as famous as Michael Jackson would be an unusual experience for any child.

Now 18-year-old Paris Jackson has spoken about how isolated her childhood was and the challenges she has faced since her father's death in 2009.

Paris told US Harper's Bazaar magazine that she and brothers Prince, 20, and Blanket, 15, rarely met any other children when they were young.

 Photo: Harpers Bazaar

"The first 12 years of my life I was home-schooled, which means that the only interactions I'd ever had were with family members or other adults," she said. "(I) didn't have social skills. I had to force myself to learn so fast. For the past six years, I've been learning how to communicate. And I think I've gotten pretty good at it."

She went on to explain how she felt when she started venturing out into the world.

"Once I got introduced into the real world, I was shocked," Paris said. "It blew me away. Not just because it was sexist, but misogynist and racist and cruel. It was scary as hell. And it still is really scary."

Paris, who tried to take her own life a number of times and entered treatment when she was 15, was devastated when her father died when she was just 11. "All anyone wants to talk about is my father, and it makes me sad," she said. "Growing up, I was treated as the favourite because I was the only girl. I was the princess; I was perfect in my dad's eyes."

Living in the spotlight has helped her handle the pressures of her fame and she's determined to do some good with her notoriety. "It's a feeling of doing something important, that actually matters, that's going to impact people," she said. "Plenty of times I've thought about not doing anything in the public eye and having my own private life. Then I started seeing how everything in the world is going. And I feel like each year it's getting worse. I know there are a lot of people who would feel very blessed to be in my position, so I want to use it for important things."

However, there are days she retreats from the spotlight. "There are some days when I still don't want to deal with any of it," she said. "There are some days where I'm like, 'Nope, I'm not going to go online.' There are days when I'm too sensitive."

She has recently signed with IMG Models and will make her acting debut in Fox's Star. "Not everybody is going to be happy with what you do. If you're not happy with what you're doing, that's a problem. [But] if you're happy, who gives a f*ck?" she said.