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January 30th, 2013
09:42 PM ET

Joe Jackson on son Michael's final days: "They treated him like Howard Hughes ... the family couldn't get to him"

On Wednesday evening, "Piers Morgan Tonight" secured a rare, exclusive interview with the patriarch of the famed Jackson family, musician and talent manager Joseph Jackson.

Seated across from Piers Morgan, the 84-year-old father of 10 opened up about the day he learned about the death of his most-famous child, legendary pop star Michael Jackson:

"I got a call from a fan. And he says, 'Mr. Jackson,' he says, 'um, something is wrong.' He said, 'I see a ambulance there at Michael's place. And the ambulance took off. And the fire department is following the ambulance. Something is wrong,'" explained Jackson. "The saddest part about the whole thing was Michael tried to reach me. He says, 'call my father.' This was before he passed, he would know how to get me out of this."

More than three-and-a-half years since the 13-time Grammy Award winner's death, his father described the circumstances surrounding the latter portion of his life:

"They treated him like Howard Hughes," explained Jackson, referencing the late aviator and filmmaker who lived reclusively in his final years, plagued by an obsessive-compulsive disorder. "The family couldn't get to him, you know, like they should have. And that was very wrong for that to happen."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Joe Jackson further reveals the events and conditions that existed as the time of Michael Jackson's death.
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  1. Shejeawil

    Another piece of pathetic interviewing by the tabloid "journalist" P. Morgan. Can this guy EVER bother to do some background work and ask some real questions? Isn't he ever tired of feeding off the bottom?

    January 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. rachel

    Piers, I don't understand. You invite gun enthusiast onto your show and you correctly go after them and challenge their die hard beliefs in gun ownership thereby exposing their faulty thinking and how that thinking stems from the misguided belief guns makes them safer. Yet, you invite Joe Jackson onto your show you interview him about his role as a father to Michael and his siblings revealing the flaws in his thinking on fathering but you failed to challenge him on any of his parenting beliefs. It's clear from the interview Joe was an abusive father and gained tremendous wealth and fame by raising what he called "good" kids. Good for who? Good for Joe and his greedy means. He revealed he punished and hit them. It's clear they feared him. It's clear they over achieved to please him. It's clear Michael hid from him in his last years because his dad was a poison in his life. One truth Joe spoke was that Michael died a child. He died an abused and frightened child. Joe Jackson should be ashamed of himself. He should be in jail for child abuse. But least of all he should have been shamed and exposed on your show as an abusive and manipulative parent. I'm so disappointed in you Piers. An opportunity missed.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ellobern

      You are absolutely right about Joe Jackson; he seems to have deluded himself into thinking that he was a tough father for the good of his kids. But as for Piers withholding tough questions, maybe its because Joe Jackson is a senior citizen now, shrinking in his clothes, too late for a confrontation about his mean parenting style..

      January 31, 2013 at 4:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Kelly

    Do you think that YOU and other tabloidish media personnel can STOP asking if they ever saw Michael do anything with kids??? Why are you hoping for a different answer! Years later you tabloidish media jerks want to keep asking about the 2005 trial...LET IT GO ALREADY, HE WAS FOUND INNOCENT SO DEAL WITH IT, we know its not the verdict you wanted but THAT'S WHAT YOU GOT NOW MOVE ON!!! P.S.....soooo when are you going to have Prince Paris and Blanket on to exploit them further and maybe ask them that effin question "did you kids ever see anything strange?" You're just dying to ask every Jackson family member that stupid question. Why don't you ask Jerry Sanduskys family that years from now over and over and over again.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Allison

    Hey Piers, finally at the end of your show the REAL REASON Joe Jackson was on...to plug his new book he's comin out with...disgusting! Michael wasn't stupid and that's why old money hungry Joe was left OUT OF THE WILL. WE LOVE YOU MICHAEL!!!

    January 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Annie

    Piers, you keep mentioning that you interviewed Michael....well....when EXACTLY was that? And, why don't you play that interview for all of us to see or are you fibbing about that? We know all of MJs interviews and yours doesn't ring a bell at all as one he has done. Soooo, please.....let's see or hear that interview, if you had it you surely would have aired it. Why don't you tell us about it hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm jus sayin.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Nate

    Looks like Tom Arnold was drinking piers cool aid tonight .....

    January 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Amelia

    I was disturbed by what Mr. Jackson seemed to say (under his breath) at the end of the interview about being disappointed that he wasn't able to promote something - what was THAT all about? Is that why he did the interview??? If so, how disappointing that Piers would make that promise to Mr. Jackson and not follow through, and how disappointing that Mr. Jackson would be doing the interview to promote himself. I certainly hope I hear wrong.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Toni

    @Amelia, you heard right and this should be NO surprise, he only cares about himself and always has, he only cared about the money Michael or the others could bring in. He is a disgusting person. THANK GOD Michael did NOT turn out like Joe.

    January 30, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amelia

      Yep. I am equally disappointed in Piers for hooking him by leading him to believe that he was going to be able to do so. I think that both Piers and Mr. Jackson need to realize that their public isn't as dumb as they assume we are.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Toni

        They are the dumb ones. Just like Allison said above. Piers makes me sick and so does Joe, I KNEW there was another reason Joe was on the show. Just like 2days after Michael died Joe was on the red carpet pluggin his stupid band or whatever it was he was promoting, I was OUTRAGED that his son just died and he didn't even care. LOSER! He didn't even refer to Michael as "my son", he said "the king of pop", it wasn't until Katherine and clan took him aside and had a talk with him then he started saying "my son...my son"...WE AREN'T STUPID JOE....YOU ARE.

        January 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. babyblack

    Joe Jackson is nothing more than a egotistical liar,how could Micheal Jackson ask someone to call him when he was clearly near death or already dead???this idiot is truly a piece of work(like most of MJ family members who only wanted to ride off of his fortune & fame).This liar was the worst of the bunch by far....all he cared about was how he could make a buck!!!

    January 31, 2013 at 2:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • JeanLovesMJForever

      JOE IS THE LAST PERSON ON EARTH MICHAEL WOULD EVER SAY TO CALL, HE'S SAY "CALL MY FANS OR CALL MY MOTHER"....PHK JOE WHAT A LIAR.

      January 31, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Emma

    So here's a question – how did "a fan" get Joe Jackson's phone number to call him? And Joe just answered and unknown phone number? Hmm...something doesn't sound right.

    January 31, 2013 at 8:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Beanies

    Who the HELL is this gold-digging moron to talk about 'parenting??'

    January 31, 2013 at 8:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. jesussaves_hisownass

    Yo, pimp daddy J. No wonder MJ tried to bleach himself white. Who would want to be mistaken for your child ?

    January 31, 2013 at 9:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • fan

      Michael had a skin disease. Michael had vitiligo.

      January 31, 2013 at 10:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      Our poor sweet Michael had vitiligo but your comment is hilarious!! That bulldoggish money hungry leech is horrible. Its amazing how Michael is even related to them, he was so loving, sweet, caring, talented etc etc etc. LOVE YOU FOREVER MICHAEL. The other siblings have NO talent at all.

      January 31, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Johnny

      On page 5 of the autopsy report under Anatomical Summary the coroner lists as no. 3 Vitiligo. Look it up yourself it's online and available for anyone to read. Just Google "Michael Jackson autopsy report". It talks about how healthy his organs were too. Again anyone can find it online and read it themselves.

      February 2, 2013 at 9:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. fan

    Responsible profession (journalism) should be in the hands of honest people If Michael was treated fair he would still be alive. In the media there was no information about vitiligo. Why?. Media said about vitiligo after Michael's death. Why?. Process in 2005. Michael was acquitted of all charges. An innocent man was attacked by brutal, unfair media. Why?. Michael loved and helped children. Michael Jackson helped children all over the world. Mr. Piers Morgan: Michael was a normal man. He was a normal, good, honest man.

    January 31, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. LongTimeMJFAN

    Piers is a horrible interviewer, I could have come up with better questions but then again, I would not have had this money hungry liar on my show.

    January 31, 2013 at 11:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. AnotherFan

    Michael was one of the smartest people on earth. Shame to all that ever hated on him....SHAME.

    January 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Rhonda

    I have always been a Michael fan. And this is not said in hate but its the truth. Michael did NOT have vitiligo. The coroner said "he had patches of light and dark pigmented areas that are consistent of vitiligo" This does NOT mean he HAD vitiligo. You can say someone has symptoms that are "consistent" with the flu and they don't have the flu. Yes, Michael was very smart...he even fooled the coroner....LOVE YOU ALWAYS MICHAEL.

    January 31, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • fan

      Michael had vitiligo. He always told the truth about his skin disease. He said how terrible it is for him (oprah interview). After his death, the report of the autopsy. Dr. Christopher Rogers (he conducted Michael Jackson’s autopsy) testified at the trial Murray. Dr. Christopher Rogers said about vitiligo Michael.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Rhonda

        You are a fool, the coroner did NOT say he definately HAD vitiligo, he said it was "CONSISTENT" with vitiligo, BIG DIFFERENCE. You can have symptoms that are "CONSISTENT" with the flu but you DO NOT have the flu. Michael was very smart and even fooled the coroner. I have been an MJ fan for over 30yrs, I will always love and miss him, BUT I am not fooled by what he did.

        January 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Rhonda you are in no position to call someone else a fool unless you did the autopsy. And there is not a BIG DIFFERENCE between consistent with and HAS in a case like this. They were trying to determine what killed him and they pretty much ruled out skin blotches and moved on; in other words they spent no time trying to "prove" it was vitiligo. However, in order to believe it was the result of skin bleaching you would have to believe he bleached his skin in patches instead of all over which is absurd.

        February 2, 2013 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • fan

      First: You are rude. Secondly, Michael had a skin disease. He had vitiligo. Third, you are not a fan. Every fan knows that Michael was proud of his race. He was black. No one chooses this terrible disease.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Rhonda

        I am not rude, you are an idiot who refuses to see the truth. I AM a bigger fan then you are and for longer, you are probably an "after death" fan who knows nothing. I do know that Michael was proud of his race, you can change your color but you can NOT change your DNA. Michael was very proud of his race and we all know it, but he was NOT happy with what his manager told him about how he would never be bigger then elvis because he was black and elvis was white. facts are facts and you are an idiot who chooses not to see the truth, and that's a FACT.

        January 31, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • fan

        I apologize, I am just upset that Michael was murdered and how the media always attacked him.

        January 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Again Rhonda you are wrong and calling people names won't make you right. Jackson was bigger than Elvis, especially internationally and knew it.

        February 2, 2013 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      You are no fan of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson had Vitiligo. As a fan, you should accept what he says. What position are you in to think or say otherwise? Overall, Michael had Vitiligo since he was a teenager. He would use stage make up to cover it. The Vitiligo didn't grow in severity until the infamous Pepsi commercial. Vitiligo can increase in severity due to many different factors. The most prevalent are (Physical Trauma: Third degree burns), (Physical Exertion: Dance Practice), (Stress: Album sales and life), and (Emotional Trauma: Childhood abuse). Also, Michael's grandfather probably did have it, yet in a less severe form. Vitiligo in general is very common, especially in African American individuals. I have many friends who have Vitiligo on their hands and on their wrists. The Vitiligo hasn't spread since in their case they don't have universal Vitiligo. Overall, their are plenty of pictures of Michael with Vitiligo. There are many pictures of his makeup coming off during concerts due to sweat. There are pictures of the inside of his clothes marked black with dark makeup. Again, as a fan, I believe Michael. I believe that he wasn't a pedophile (Michael wasn't Gary Glitter), yet just a shy naive man whose only happiness in life was helping children and being apart of their childhood. I also believe that he had Lupus and Vitiligo since there is no evidence as to prove otherwise, especially since the coroner and Arnold Klein have both stated that he most likely did have Vitiligo.

      February 3, 2013 at 2:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  17. fan

    Media has never been fair to Michael. Media should be fair, reliable. Is that too much?. Michael was a victim of dishonest media. Media – What are you going to do now?. You wronged an innocent man in the most cruel way.

    January 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. rickp530

    My question is: How did Michael Jackson tell anyone to call his father. He would know what to do? When the singer was not breathing and possibly dead before the ambulance ever arrived.

    January 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • thirdeye

      I believe Joseph was referring to a few months prior when Michael met with Joe and Leonard Rowe to try and alter the agreement for 50 shows with AEG.

      February 1, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  19. fan

    Media persecuted and attacked Michael for so many years. .How can you live now?. He was innocent. Always. He helped so many people. What he received in return?.. Attacks, humiliation, persecution. Dimond, Sneddon and others – an innocent man was attacked by you in the most cruel way. This is a big sin.

    January 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Sue

    @Rhonda, you are correct with what you say and many don't want to believe it. Also, they need to remember that while michael said his grandfather had it, there are NO pictures anywhere of ANYONE in his family line with it, and they won't ever show any because none exists. Back in his grandfathers day there was no "covering up" with makeup, I don't believe he had it either or the family would have been quick to show proof of pics of the grandfather. Also, I don't blame Michael for wanting to appear white, look at how his horrible father treated him.

    January 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • fan

      Michael had vitiligo.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Rhonda

        Nope.

        January 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • fan

        Rhonda, after reading what you said again, it does make sense and I have to change my opinion and agree that Michael did not have vitiligo. I guess I wasn't looking at it like that but now I do see what you're saying and I don't think he had it. I was just being stubborn.

        January 31, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sue

        @fan, glad you finally realize it. People don't like to look at the truth but Michael didn't lie to be mean, I also read the book by taraborelli and, michael had to do whatever it took to be the ultimate star that he was, no one can ever take his place, the rest are just imitators, michael was an innovator and biggest star we will ever see. We will never see that greatness again :(

        January 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Yep Jackson had vitiligo. Read the autopsy report and get over the fact that you are wrong. Unless you believe he bleached himself spotted skin, which is absurd, you have to believe he had vitiligo.

        February 2, 2013 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      Taraborelli wasn't even a friend of Michael's.

      February 3, 2013 at 2:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Carol

    When Michael was in his early 20s, he was told by a manager that he would never be bigger then Elvis. When Michael asked why, the manager told him "because you are black". Michael was really upset at this and didn't understand why color should make a difference. But the manager told him that he won't go far because he is a black man. This is in the book by Randy Taraborrelli and its true, this is the real reason Michael changed his skin color. I LOVE MICHAEL NO MATTER WHAT HE LOOKED LIKE AND ALWAYS WILL.

    January 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kellie

    Michael fooled everyone, he didn't have vitiligo, his grandfather didn't either, and people just don't want to believe it....they can't concieve it. Michael was a genius and this proves it.

    January 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • tommy

      Don't be ridiculous death is the great leveler he did not fool the coroner.

      February 2, 2013 at 9:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Dave

    Did anyone else notice how Joe was smirking when he was watching Paris' lil speech?? I was disgusted by that!

    January 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  24. MJJRules

    Michael knew how hard the media was on him, that's why he came up with the vitiligo thing and I also read Taraborrellis book and what was said about Elvis and its true. The black artists back then were never given credit, Chuck Berry is VERY underrated as a performer, he is great, but you mainly only saw white artists on the cover of magazines, hardly ever black, this hurt Michael greatly, I don't blame him for changing his color. He was a genius.

    January 31, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sure

      That'st why he came up with the autopsy thing right?

      February 2, 2013 at 9:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  25. fan

    Michael had a skin disease. Michael had vitiligo.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  26. fan

    I mean Michael had a skin disease that he created, vitiligo didn't exist in his family line.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Louis

      Vitiligo doesn't have to exist in your immediate family line though. If a far off ancestor had it, you can still have it. There are many individuals with Vitiligo who do not or can not find any immediate/close relative that have Vitiligo.

      February 3, 2013 at 2:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  27. fan

    I don't really believe Michael had vitiligo due to the coroners findings.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  28. fan

    @ fan 15: 48, 16: 03
    You are a fraud !!!!!!!

    HEAL THE WORLD.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  29. fan

    @ fan 15: 48, 16: 03 05 11 41 15
    You are a fraud !!!!!!!

    HEAL THE WORLD

    January 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  30. fan

    @fan 16:09, 16:10

    You are a fraud !!!!!!!

    HEAL THE WORLD.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  31. fan

    @fan 16:09, 16:10 11 05

    You are a fraud !!!!!!!

    HEAL THE WORLD.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  32. fan

    I must apologize for my playin on here, I know Michael really didn't have vitiligo.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Cindy

    @ fan, get out of this forum!! Children should NOT be in this forum playing!

    January 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  34. fan

    .For the second "fan"-go to the hell.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  35. fan

    I am only joking everyone, I am the first and second "fan".

    January 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Tesla

    Anti-gun, pro-abusive father of suspected pedophile.

    I love it. There's just nothing more to say.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Tesla

    I should add that Michael was found innocent and not a pedophile, I said suspected because of the way media still crucifies him over it.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  38. MJYVV

    I feel I have to share this fact with other fans here who do not believe that Michael had vitiligo.
    I have a copy of the Coroner's Report and on page three it covers Consultation obtained with Dr Chandrasoma, Professor of Pathologyat USCKeckSchool of Medicine. It is a Microscopic report.
    Diagnosis:-1. Colon, tubularadenoma. 2.VITILIGO. 3.Nodular Prostatic hyperplasia. 4.Evidence of Resuscitation A)Lung,Alveloar Hemorrage. B)Stomach, Transmural hemorrage. That to me is proof that they found he HAD VITILIGO.

    January 31, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carol

      That's awful funny, because page 3 doesn't list that at all, it lists the scene description and body examination, and ONLY states that he had light and dark patches nothing...about vitiligo at all, so you must have someone else's report. LOL

      January 31, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Tommy

        That's awful funny on page 5 to the autopsy report under Anatomical Summary the coroner lists as No. 3 Vitiligo. You are looking that the scene description and that was not written by the coroner who cut him open and examined him. This report is online for anyone to research all you have to do in Google "Michael Jackson autopsy report". Vitiligo.

        February 2, 2013 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  39. icecoldmj4life

    If you want to know why Michael lightened his skin listen to the song "Black or White" DERRRRRR.... He addresses it very clearly! smh.

    February 1, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  40. icecoldmj4life

    Just kiddin' Michael was a genius and the most talented person on this planet, I miss and love him so much. I love you Michael Jackson!

    February 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Reginald Garcia

    Michael Jackson is going to be remember by using his star power to heal the world, look at the end of "This is It" he said it all. I was with Michael all day at Gower studios in Hollywood as the photographer, I'm now willing to show the whole collection on this show We all Loved you Michael and what you were doing ..a big fan Reginald Garcia 90 Black & White 60 Color slides of Michael in 1977 All of Them,

    February 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yeah...Right

      ROFLMAO, YEAH RIGHT!!! HAHAHAHAHA!

      February 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  42. DMR

    Joe Jackson literally has nothing to say about Michael Jackson or his estate. He was nothing but a leech. He saw Michael as a meal ticket and nothing more. There is more than ample evident Michael wanted nothing to do with the low life Joe Jackson was and is. How much did CNN pay Joe Jackson for this so-called interview?

    February 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Angelica

    MJ was murdered by the Hollywood mafia they took over his estate with a fraudelent will. They have hidden the real truth and Murray is the fall guy. They always stole his business idea's and made sure he didn't succeed with allegations of the most ridiculous kind.. Always bring up the same old questions to try and paint him as bad person which was a set up. They were always jelous of him because he was smart and talented and always one step ahead of everyone. Why don't they interview the family and ask them about what really happened and who put them up to it.. Dont worry the truth will come out. You can only hide for so long but in the end the truth always prevails.
    We will always love you MJ and will never be forgotten..

    February 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Luv4MJ

      What are you...like 15yrs old, you're a complete idiot and don't know ANYTHING about Michael.

      February 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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