In the weeks since Michael Jacksonâ€™s death, fans have seen his father Joe on the red carpet, at Michaelâ€™s memorial and even in interviews â€“ but not until now has he shown the anguish of a father who has lost a son â€“ and, as he believes, gained a grandchild.
NewsOne Chief Content Officer, Smokey Fontaine, sat down for two hours with Joe, who said the King of Popâ€™s memorial was difficult for him.
â€œI woudnâ€™t go and see him laying up in the casket. I did not want to remember him like that,â€ Joe said, getting emotional. â€œI wanted to remember himâ€¦ alive and dancing on stageâ€¦ Heâ€™s my son.â€
According to Smokey, the interview showed Joeâ€™s softer side â€“ and explained why Joe hasnâ€™t shown it before.
â€œI saw a grieving man,â€ Smokey told Access Hollywood. â€œI saw a man whose pride didnâ€™t let him reveal the hurt he had inside.â€
But amidst his grief was a happy moment â€“ the revelation that he believes Omer Bhatti, the young man who sat with the Jacksons at the memorial, is Michaelâ€™s son. According to reports, Omer, 25, spent time at Michaelâ€™s Neverland Ranch and was close with the late musician, and has been rumored to be the starâ€™s illegitimate son, a claim Joe seems to believe. Bhatti has reportedly denied that Michael is his father.
â€œI knew that he had another son,â€ Joe said. â€œYes I did. He looks like a Jackson, he acts like a Jackson, he can dance like a Jackson.â€
Previously, Ricky Harlow, a musician whose band was signed by Michael to his label in the mid-â€˜90s, told Access that Omerâ€™s connection with the pop star was â€œan affectionate, loving type of relationship.â€
â€œHe imitated Michael in every possible way,â€ Ricky previously told Access, explaining that Omer and his family lived at Neverland at one point. â€œI definitely felt that even if it wasnâ€™t really Michael Jacksonâ€™s son, Michael Jackson treated [him] as if he really was his son.â€