Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris has opened up about her “emotional damage”, saying she wants to use music to help others find courage and self-acceptance.
Paris – just 11 when her father died of a drug-induced cardiac arrest – has kept away from the limelight, fearing comparisons that are impossible to live up to.
Now 22, she says she has realised music is “what I was born to do”.
Her late father Jacko, known as the King of Pop, is regarded as one of the greatest singer-songwriters ever.
In a six-part documentary about her life, called Unfiltered, Paris talks about her childhood and about feeling “pressure to follow in my dad’s footsteps, [to be] compared to him and scrutinised.”
She says in a trailer for the series: “You see a kid grow up in the public eye, you forget that I’m a human.
“I was against letting the world in, because it wasn’t a choice. I wasn’t ready then. I feel like I’m ready now.”
As part of that process, Paris allowed cameras to follow her as she prepared to launch an album with her musician boyfriend Gabriel Glenn.
The couple play together as folk band The Soundflowers.
She met Gabriel – her “muse” – in a rock ’n’ roll bar on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip.
Paris explains: “When I met Gabe, I immediately just vibed and started making music.
“I feel like we’re the same level of damaged. Gabe understands the pain I’ve gone through, and he’s helped me realise this is what I was born to do.”
The trailer promises the documentary will “pull back the curtain” with “honest conversation surrounding topics central to their lives, like spirituality, sexuality, music, family and more”.
A source says the show, to stream on Tuesday on Facebook Watch, aims to promote Paris’s talent “while giving a moving insight into her trials growing up as Michael Jackson’s kid”.
But an associate of the Jacksons made clear it will not go into detail about sexual abuse allegations against her father.
They said: “Her management and lawyers have kept a keen eye on protecting her from delving too much into Michael’s demons.
“It feels like the right time for Paris to share with the world her own journey, especially during her teenage years.
“And it is incredibly brave to take these steps discussing mental health and issues she contended with.
“But the subject of the allegations about Michael abusing two of his former child companions is not being raised in any detail.”
Jacko died in 2009 – 11 years ago this week – at the age of 50.
He had faced a string of allegations of abusing young boys he had befriended.
In 1993 he was sued by 13-year-old Jordan Chandler. That was settled out of court for £18million, with no admission of wrongdoing.
A trial in 2005 found him not guilty of abusing another boy, Gavin Arvizo, who had claimed he was also assaulted aged 13.
Two others, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, made similar allegations after the singer’s death.
The family associate added: “Paris going into a detailed discussion or defence of her father would potentially overshadow all the positivity of the show.
“Her manager and the estate are keen to protect her interests. They feel she has a bright future in this industry.”
Paris began making music at the age of 12, a year after her father died.
Although it has taken her 10 years to follow in his footsteps, it was always clear she would.
Another promo includes clips of rare family videos made at Neverland – the sprawling Jackson estate with an amusement park and zoo, where Paris and brothers Prince, 23, and Blanket, 18, spent their early years.
He left there after his 2005 trial and never returned, but it is still part-owned by his estate. Showing her as a wide-eyed kid, in one clip Michael asks: “What does Paris want to be?”
When she replies: “I do what you do”, he asks: “What do I do?” Paris smiles: “You dance and sing.”
At that age she had no idea he was a global superstar with 13 Grammys.
But she knows she has big shoes to fill. His 1982 album Thriller is still the bestselling album of all time, with sales of more than 66 million. Worldwide sales of all his albums are estimated at 750 million.
And while he was worth around £215million when he died, his estate has made another £1.7billion since.
Paris and her brothers are each worth around £90million.
So she knows she can afford to try new things. And the indie rock, folky sounds and spiritual, hippy vibes she has created are certainly that.
Paris says: “A Jackson doing folk indie? Not what they expect.
“I want to influence self-acceptance and courage. I’ll love it if my music connects with someone and helps.”
Boyfriend Gabriel tells how Paris speaks candidly about her family – something she has previously avoided.
He says supportively: “For the first time, she’s letting her honest voice come out. It’s something to work on.”
It is a bold move for Paris, who has fought drug addiction and depression.
After a sexual assault by a stranger when she was 14, she struggled with her mental health for years.
She has twice attempted suicide, once when she was just 15.
But after extensive therapy, she now uses music as an outlet for her trauma.
Going by the stage name PK Dragonfly – her middle name is Katherine – her haunting songs include such lyrics as: “I can never stop those demons that enter my dreams.”
She has said previously that her father visits her in her dreams, adding: “I feel him with me all the time.”
Prince – whose mother, like Paris, was Jacko’s second wife Debbie Rowe – has turned to charity work, saying his father would be proud “not only to spread his message of positivity but to see it enacted in his kids”.
Jacko’s youngest son – known as Blanket when his dad dangled him over a hotel balcony at nine months old to show fans in 2002 – now uses the name Bigi, but shuns the limelight.