(LOS ANGELES) — Paris Jackson is no longer hiding beneath the masks her late father once made his children wear to protect them from the prying press.
Paris, 15, is now doing just the opposite, appearing as the cover girl for a British magazine and opening up about her father, her family and her future.
“He didn’t want anyone to see what we looked like,” Paris said about why she and her siblings, Prince and Blanket, wore masks in public. “That way we could have what he didn’t, which was a normal childhood.”
Paris was 11 years old in 2009 when her father died from an overdose, two weeks before the start of his This Is It comeback concert.
“I have lots of memories of my father,’ she tells Event, the Mail on Sunday’s new magazine. “He was an incredible father. We all loved him to death.”
Now under the care of her grandmother, 82-year-old Katherine Jackson, Paris is trying to have the normal childhood her father wanted her to have. She is a member of her high school’s cheerleading squad and told the magazine she is striving to have a “normal high school experience.”
“Paris is very much a normal teenager, or as normal as it can be when your name is Paris Jackson,” Caroline Graham, Event’s Los Angeles correspondent, told ABC News. “She has normal friends. When I was with her she was texting her girlfriends. They go shopping.”
Paris’ family’s private life will be back in the spotlight soon with the $40 billion wrongful death suit filed by the Jackson family against the concert promoters who sponsored Michael Jackson’s This Is It tour.
Jury selection begins Monday in Los Angeles for the trial, which is expected to last three to four months.
The civil suit claims that Anschutz Entertainment Group was aware that the King of Pop was “not psychically well.” The suit also alleges that AEG put “its desire for massive profits over the health and safety of Michael Jackson.”
Paris tells the magazine that she only recently took down a shrine to her father that she’d kept on her bedroom wall, and that she has no desire to follow him into showbiz. In fact, she wants to become a heart surgeon.
“I want to help people, that’s it,” she said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Kayla Nelson, Idaho State University Marketing and Communication
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News