One of the most moving moments of yesterday's memorial service for Michael Jackson was the brave speech given at the end by his 11-year-old daughter Paris. Surrounded by her two brothers, Prince, 12, and Blanket, 7, as well as her dad's eight siblings, Paris stepped up to the microphone to speak to the public for the first time in her life. TMZ.com features a video of the speech, in which she said, "I just wanted to say, that ever since I was born, Daddy was the best father you could ever imagine...and I just wanted to say I love him so much!" Paris then collapsed into the arms of her aunt Janet Jackson, who held her and said, "It's okay, baby, it's okay."
While Michael's second ex-wife Debbie Rowe, who's the mother of his two older children, declined to attend yesterday's memorial, reports say she was watching the ceremony on an outdoor television near her ranch in Southern California. After viewing her daughter's speech, Debbie reportedly broke down in tears. A friend rushed to her side while she held her face in her hands and sobbed. One witness was reported as saying, "[Seeing her cry] was heartbreaking. However strange her relationship with Jacko, she is still Paris's mom."
But the relationship with Jacko wasn't the only strange one. Debbie is reported to have minimal if any bond with the two children she mothered to Michael Jackson by artificial insemination. Plus, she's still not sharing her decision about whether she'll seek custody of Prince and Paris, as California law entitles biological mothers to do. There's been no clear indication about how much of a mom Debbie wants to be to her two kids, and insider reports suggest they're most content under the care of their grandmother, 79-year-old Katherine Jackson.
However this morning the bigger question about Paris's speech appears to be, "What were the Jacksons thinking?" Child psychologists are reportedly weighing in to say that for a child who was never allowed to show her face in public, stepping into the limelight in front of a worldwide audience of 300 million people could be an absolutely traumatizing experience.
No matter how the July 13 custody hearing turns out, one thing has been made very clear: Michael was the best parent for his kids. Stay with us for results of the hearing next Monday.