Paris Jackson's tragic life: How MJ's daughter struggled with drug abuse and suicide attempts before ‘Wilted’
From modeling to acting and music, the now 22-year-old has been through a constant inner battle and with the outside world as well
Pavember ris Jackson was just 11 years old when her musician father and King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died at the age of 50 in 2009. Life was far from smooth post the tragedy. Speaking about the loss of her father in an interview with the Rolling Stone magazine in 2017, she asserted, “They always say time heals, but it really doesn’t. You just get used to it. I live life with the mentality of 'OK, I lost the only thing that has ever been important to me'. So, going forward, anything bad that happens can’t be nearly as bad as what happened before.”
Paris Jackson’s debut album, ‘Wilted’, will hit the Internet on Friday, November 13, via Republic Records but her journey till here hasn’t been a cakewalk. From modelling to acting and now music, the now 22-year-old has been through a constant inner battle and with the outside world as well. More than her career aspirations, Paris always stayed in the headlines for either multiple suicide attempts or apparent drug abuse. We take a look at how her tragic life has been marred by drug abuse and suicide attempts.
Drug abuse, multiple suicide attempts
It was four years after Michael Jackson died when Paris first tried to kill herself with drugs overdose. It was reported by various media outlets how she was heavily dependent on drugs and had spiralled into depression at the age of 15. But before we jump into conclusions, she had also revealed how she got sexually assaulted by a stranger at the age of 14 which had affected her deeply.
Revealing about her depression and multiple suicide attempts in an interview with the Rolling Stone magazine in 2017, she had said, “It was just self-hatred, low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn’t do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore,” as published by Grazia. In her same interview, she had spilled the beans how that was not the first time she had attempted to end her own life, but it was the first time it was made public. In March 2019, TMZ had published an article stating Paris had attempted suicide by cutting her wrists earlier in the month and was placed on a psychiatric hold. The story was picked up by a number of other media outlets. An irked Paris denied the suicide attempt, replying to TMZ on Twitter in quite an abusive manner while adding, “lies, lies and lies,” the tweet which is now unavailable, as published by Billboard.
Paris also opened up about her mental health struggles and revealed she had attempted suicide “many times” in an episode of her June 2020 Facebook Watch series, titled ‘Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn’, as reported by the Independent UK. The 22-year-old musician admitted, “There's a lot of things that cause a dopamine release. Self-harm was one of them, tattoos were one of them and so there was that and then also it was a distraction from emotional pain and transferring to physical pain and the need for control.”
Road to recovery
Paris, as we just read, went through hell but also came back stronger. According to USA Today, she was sent to a therapeutic school in Utah by the age of 15 after her suicide attempt in 2013. Talking about the same she told Rolling Stone magazine in 2017, “It was great for me. I'm a completely different person. But up to that point, I was actually crazy and I was going through a lot of, like, teen angst. And I was also dealing with my depression and my anxiety without any help.” However, as most recent as October 2020, Paris came out in support of Paris Hilton when the latter revealed in her documentary that she was verbally, physically and sexually abused at Provo Canyon School, a theraputic school in Provo, Utah. Paris Jackson then took to her Instagram sharing a story, “I stand with Paris Hilton and all the survivors” adding that she was “a girl who went to behaviour modification in the boarding school for almost two years as a teenager,” as reported by Elle UK.
If we further speak about her recovery, Paris had also called modelling therapeutic. According to USA Today, she had told Rolling Stone magazine, “I've had self-esteem issues for a really, really long time. Plenty of people think I'm ugly, and plenty of people don't. But there's a moment when I'm modelling where I forget about my self-esteem issues and focus on what the photographer's telling me – and I feel pretty.”
After modelling and acting, Paris has now decided to take a new journey with music. She had dropped an EP, 'The Sunflowers', with her pop duo in June 2020, however, her new album will be her very first full-length project. She spoke to news agency AP how her debut full-length album helped her heal. “I found so much healing through creating this and there are moments where I’ll listen back to certain songs and I’m like, ‘Wow I was so naive',” adding that, “for the most part, it’s just like so much gratitude and joy that I get from listening to these songs and just seeing the development and the evolution,” as published by NME.