Paris Jackson joined Willow Smith's first Red Table Talk Takeover on Facebook Watch for an honest, oftentimes heartbreaking, conversation about growing up in the spotlight. Paris, the only daughter of Michael Jackson, also discussed the status of her relationship with the Jacksons and her mother, Debbie Rowe.
"How did you find the strength to keep going after losing your dad?" Smith asked on Wednesday's episode.
"I don't know, it kind of just happened. I was so young," Paris, 23, replied, explaining it "wasn't a conscious" decision to keep going. "I was just going through the motions and didn't really understand what was happening and so I just went with what I was told to do… I didn't really have much guidance."
After Michael's death in 2009, Paris went to live with her grandmother, Katherine Jackson. Life drastically changed as she went from being homeschooled to enrolling in a traditional school. Many of her relatives are strict Jehovah's Witnesses.
"I'm still very close with my brothers and I see my family during family reunions," she added. "I tell them all the time if you want to call me, call me. I got love and respect for all of you guys. I just saw my cousins for Thanksgiving and Christmas — even though we don't call it that." (Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate holidays or birthdays.)
Paris, who has dated men and women, said some family members don't approve of her sexuality.
"My family is very religious and a lot of, like, homosexuality is very taboo so they don't like to talk about it, it's not really accepted. But I've gotten to a point where I respect them and I have love for them. I respect their beliefs, I respect their religion," she said, noting how she doesn't expect them to put aside their culture when it comes to accepting who she dates. "What people think about me is none of my business."
Paris said her brothers, Prince and Prince Michael II, have been "super supportive."
As for her mother, the "Freckles" singer only met Rowe when she was 15, but the two have maintained a relationship in recent years.
"It's cool, like, getting to know her, seeing how similar we are," Paris explained. "Getting into what kind of music she likes — she really likes country and folk — I send her some of the stuff I'm working on… We look a lot alike."
Paris added, "It's just cool having her as a friend. It's very chill, which I love, that's the perfect word to describe it."
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