January 12, 2002,
I am really starting to get irritated with how often Gavin and his family are coming to the ranch and dad decided to take Prince, Paris, and I down to New Jersey to spend time with the Cassio family for a week. I love going to their house because they are really family oriented people and they are some of the only people that don’t use dad for anything!!!
We walked in the doorway to their cozy house and Denise was standing in the kitchen cooking. Dad dropped 4 duffle bags on the floor and I sat on the couch. Dad walked over and pulled the hood from my sweatshirt off of my head. He smiled and said “I love you AJ.” I didn’t look up from my video game and said “okay.” He sat down next to me and asked “what’s with the attitude?” I chewed on my gum and said “I don’t know what you’re talking about dad!!!” He said “you haven’t said more than a few words to me in the last couple days and you have been calling me dad instead of daddy.” I turned off my video game and looked up at him. He knew that I wanted to say something but I just stared at him. He grabbed hold of my hand and asked “what’s a matter; please tell me?” I stood up and said "I don't want to talk about it!" He said. "I wish you would because how I am I supposed to fix the problem?" I said "what's the point? Once I tell you, you won't do anything anyway!" Frank looked at dad and asked "what's wrong with her?" Before dad had the chance to say anything I said "I don't know; maybe it's because you let Gavin call you daddy! Dad asked "that bothers you?" I said "of course it does! Why do you think I've been calling you dad instead of daddy?" I ran outside slamming the door behind me while he looked at Frank in shock.
Dad got up from his chair and Frank said. "Just give her some time to cool down. I don't think she'd respond well to you going after her." Dad said "I know why she's mad and I'm getting concerned myself." Frank asked "why; what's going?" Dad said "Gavin and his brother are out of control." Denise interrupted the conversation and asked "in what way are they out of control?" Dad said "they destroy everything and you know how I feel about people swearing in front of the children, but; they do all the time. I have even pulled the two of them aside and asked them not to use swearwords in front of the children. I don't even like it when they swear in front of me. Then they eat tons of junk food and Alanna wonders why they are allowed to when she isn't. Frank said "I hate to say it Michael but; maybe it's time to cut ties with them entirely. Gavin has been healthy for some time now and they seem like they're just using you." Dad got defensive and said "I just can't tell them they can't come over anymore Frank!"
I came back inside after calming down and dad said "come here AJ." I walked up to him as he sat back down on the couch and he gently guided me onto his lap. He asked as he grasped my hand. "Are you still mad at me?" I thought about it for a second and said "kind of." He said "I'll make sure that Gavin doesn't call me daddy anymore, okay?" I said as I hugged him "okay; because you're our daddy, not his!"
January 13, 2002,
We were also getting ready to eat dinner at the Cassio family home and dad said he had an announcement to make. As he put some spaghetti on my plate, and sat back down in his chair, he said "I got this call a couple of days ago from a reporter named Martin Bashir and he wants to produce a documentary about me." Frank practically choked on his food and asked "you aren't going to do it… Are you?" Dad said "I've really thought about it and talk to this guy for hours about keeping my reputation clean. He seems like a nice guy and I don't think he's going to manipulate anything to make it seem like I'm a bad person!" I said "I hope he doesn't make you look like the bad daddy!" Dad said "I'm going to allow the children to be a part of it. As long as they wear masks to keep their face hidden it will be fine." Frank said "I don't think this sounds like a good idea Michael!" Dad asked "why?" Frank said. "Well; you don't know anything about this guy’s intentions! He may be getting paid to make you look bad! I mean, look at the past interviews you've had in the last few years, they haven't been the nicest." Dad said "well; I really think that I am going to follow through with it. Besides, what's the worst that can happen?"
January 17, 2002,
We will be going back to Neverland in just a couple of days and dad really isn't looking forward to it because he knows that Gavin will want to come over. I started acting out because I know we'll be going home soon, and I don't want to. The worst part is; dad left my ADHD medication at Neverland by mistake and I'm bouncing off the walls!
We had just gotten back to the Cassio family home after seeing a movie. The best part about being down here is the fact that the last place you would think to find Michael Jackson would be here in New Jersey, Prince, Paris, and I were all sitting on the couch watching SpongeBob when I decided to do a flip off the back of the couch. I had done it 1000 times before, even though dad had told me not to. This time, instead of landing on my feet, I twisted my ankle and fell to the ground on top of my foot. I let out a bloodcurdling scream and dad quickly ran over to see what was a matter. He asked "what's wrong?" I didn't want to admit that I was doing a backflip off the couch, but I confessed because I was in so much pain and couldn't think of a lie to tell him. By the look on his face, I knew he wanted to tell me "I told you so!" But he was too concerned about the amount of pain I was in.
He picked me up and put me on the couch. My foot was bruised and throbbing; anyone could tell that it was clearly broken. Frank said. "We have to take her to the ER Michael!" Dad said. "You guys will have to take a by yourself because there's no way I can go into the hospital without getting mauled, even here!" Frank said as he picked me up. "Okay, I'll take her by myself!" I quickly snatched my mask from the table before we left and got in the car.
About an hour later; I walked into the Cassio house using crutches and wearing a cast. I walked up to dad and he asked as he looked up at Frank "so how bad is it?" Frank said. "Her foot is broken and so are three of her toes!!!" Dad shook his head in disbelief and said "I've told you so many times AJ not to jump or do flips off of the couch." I said "I know you have… And I won't do it anymore; I promise!" He said "I hate to say it but, I don't believe you!" I asked "why?" He said "you told have me you won't do something about the times but, then you just go and do it anyway! How do you expect me to believe you anymore? You really need to change your attitude because my patience is wearing thin. I'm not saying that I'm mad at you because I'm not! I'm very disappointed in you though and it's going to take a lot of proving to me to change that. You have to remember that your only seven years old!" I said "I'm almost 8 years old!" He said "that's not the point at all Alanna, you need to behave… That's all I'm trying to say. You also have to remember that I'm your father and what I say goes. I only tell you not to do things because I'm looking at for your best interest." I looked up at Frank hoping that he would cover for me; but all you said was "your dad's right." I asked "so… I'm in trouble, aren't I?" Dad said "well; I think you've learned your lesson because you broke your foot! Just promise me you won't jump off of anymore couches… And that you'll listen to me when I tell you not to do something next time?" I said "okay I won't!" Knowing full well that I would probably defy him within the next five minutes… But I was willing to say anything to get him off my back!
After we had eaten dinner, all of us sat in the living room and dad said "I've come to my decision about the "living with Michael Jackson" documentary." We all looked up at him in suspended silence and then he said "I'm going to go through with it!" You could tell that Frank was completely baffled by what had just come out of my father's mouth and quite frankly; so was I!" Thinking of dad's past track record with interviewers in the past few years and how terrible they made him look. I don't understand why he would want to do this again! I just hope it turns out as good as he thinks it will for his reputation!
January 19, 2002,
We pulled up in front of the gates to the ranch after just getting back from our flight! Dad had asked Frank to come back to the ranch with us because he was contemplating telling Gavin and his family that they couldn't come over anymore. Dad planned one last weekend sleepover and… Then he would just keep contact with them over the phone. He wants to let them down easy so they aren't too disappointed but; without Frank there I don't think he would be able to follow through with it!
I walked through the front door and there were a few messages on the answering machine. I said "someone called here daddy!" Dad walked over and said "thank you sweetheart!" He pressed the play button and it was a woman talking about the baby she was carrying for dad. Her due date is next month and I can't wait to meet my new baby brother. I can't believe that dad is naming him Prince Michael the second… If I was him I would pick something totally different than my other brother's name.
We had only been in the house for less than five minutes before the phone started ringing off the hook. The caller ID read Gavin's name and the first few times he called dad ignored him, but after a while it started to get really ridiculous because he wasn't giving up! Finally, dad picked up the phone and said "if you and your brother want to come over for the weekend you can. I know I miss you too. We'll see you then." Dad sighed and said "the two of them will be here tomorrow." I was far from thrilled to see them again, I know my dad loves having them around but; I think the only reason why they have a relationship with him still is because of the money that he provides them! I'm glad that Frank sees how they are too and I'm not the only one. It's not my place to say anything because what do I know? I'm only a little kid!!!
January 20, 2002,
Gavin and Star got here just a few minutes ago and they're already back to their old ways. They ran into the kitchen and I followed them. Gavin ripped open a bag of cheese doodles and they scattered everywhere. The dog was clearly excited that all this food had fallen on the ground because Drake hardly ever gets to eat human food. I asked as dad walked into the room "can I eat some of those too daddy?" He asked "how many are left in the bag? Look at this mess!" I said "they are the ones who spilled them; not me! There's only a few left in the bag!" I know that dad could tell that I was very irritated with them and he said "it's all right; I'll have one of the bodyguards by some more for you tomorrow!" I looked at him as a bend down to help him pick up the cheese doodles off the floor. He raised his eyebrows and I knew exactly what he was thinking "did they really just walk out of the room without even offering to help pick up this mess that they made? We must have been the kitchen for over 45 minutes cleaning up the small cheese doodles. When I said they were everywhere… I mean it! Every time I would go to pick up one of them, I would accidentally step on another one; which obviously made the mess worse!
A few hours later, I was up in my room by myself when dad came in to check on me. I was laying in my bed working on some school work and he came over and said "move over." He lay down on the bed next to me and asked "are you okay?" I sighed and said "yes; I guess." He saw that I was struggling to understand the word problem that I was working on and asked "do you need my help with figuring that out?" I threw my hands up in frustration and said "yes please!!!" He spent over 15 minutes going over the problem with me but, I was still confused. Just as I started to understand what he was saying; Gavin came barreling through my bedroom without even knocking on the door. I couldn't keep my mouth shut anymore and said "hey; I'm trying to do my school work! You didn't even knock on the door before coming in and that's not okay with me! Dad said "it's okay AJ; there's no need to get so frustrated and start yelling at him!" I looked Gavin's right in the eyes and said "you better get out of my room right now!!!" Gavin laughed at me and asked "what are you going to do about it if I don't?" I tried punching him but I was so much shorter than he is! Dad was shouting at this point, saying "Alanna please stop!"
Frank must've heard the commotion coming from upstairs because he eventually came to my bedroom. He said shocked with how red my face was "hey; stop it!! Dad pulled me off from Gavin, who was still laughing at my attempt to attack him. Gavin ran out of the room and shut the door behind him. I threw my shoe at the door and dad looked at me, still trying to comprehend what just happened. I said "I'm getting so sick of them, they are annoying!" He said "that doesn't give you the right to hit him!" I said "I'm tired of being nice to him; he doesn't deserve it!" Dad said "you need to cool off… I'm going downstairs, you stay in here." I was more than happy to have some time away from the two of them.
About an hour after we had dinner, I had just taken a shower and dad came upstairs, carrying pillows and blankets into one of the guest rooms. Gavin and Star came running upstairs behind him and dad said "okay; the guestroom is all set up for you guys. I have to go bring AJ some clothes, I'll be right back! A few minutes later, I went into dad's bedroom and asked "can I sleep in here tonight?" Dad said "of course you can!" I climbed up on the bed and he kissed my forehead. Then Gavin knocked on the door and asked "can we sleep in there with you too Michael?" I looked at dad and shook my head "no" he said "hang on a second." Dad yelled "Frank, can you come here?" Frank walked out of the master bathroom and asked "yeah?" Dad whispered "Gavin and Star want to sleep in here!" Frank's eyes widened and he said "I really don't think you should do that Michael!" Dad said “here’s what you and I are going to do, you're going to sleep in here with me! The two of them will sleep on the bed, you, AJ, and I will sleep on the floor! I don't want there to be any reason for any accusations and this seems to be the only logical way around that!" I was really upset that dad had agreed to let the boys sleep in his bedroom because I was looking forward to spending quality time with him! The three of us lay on blankets on the floor, while the boys were lying in dad's bed. After watching three Disney movies in a row, I curled myself up against dad and he wrapped his arms around me. Even though I was asleep, I could hear all of them laughing and having fun. Nothing out of the ordinary went on that night and I know that for a fact!!!! After that, we didn't see much of the boys or their family until we started taping the "living with Michael Jackson" documentary.
February 29, 2002,
My baby brother, Prince Michael the second was born yesterday and dad has nicknamed him "Blanket." I had asked him why he came up with that nickname and he said "because he's a blanket of love and a sweet angel of God!" I think dad starting to realize how long it's been since he has had to take care of a newborn baby. He looks exhausted and every time he tries to take a break the baby starts crying again! It just makes me appreciate dad a lot more!!!
I was sitting on the couch with my crutches next to me. We had just gotten back from a trip to Disneyland Paris and were settling in back at the ranch. I hate having my foot broken because I can't really do the things that I'm used to doing. If my foot wasn't broken I would be outside right now climbing trees or jumping on the trampoline. Instead I am stuck in your watching TV and doing school work. One thing's for sure; broken limbs and ADHD don't mix.
After dad had put Blanket down for a nap, he came over and sat next to me. He said "you look unhappy… What's up?" I said "I'm just tired of sitting here!" He said "I know you are; but you need to stay off your feet for a while so you can heal." Prince came over and said "I'll sit here with you!" I said "you don't have to!" He said "I know but, I want too." Dad said "that's so sweet of you Prince! You're such a good little brother!" Dad got up from his chair and said as he rubbed his eyes "I think I'm going to go take a nap… I'll be back in 40 minutes or so."
I think it will take all of us a little while to adjust to having a baby in the house again. I don't think dad remembered how much work it is to take care of a newborn baby because it's been so long. He will get used to soon though.
March 23, 2002,
Filming begins for the "living with Michael Jackson" documentary tomorrow and Martin Bashir is coming over today to get more acquainted with the family. I was having a very difficult day behavior wise and Grace is clearly frustrated with me. Dad was getting ready for the day and none of us had seen him yet this morning. I was in the kitchen sitting at the table playing with the rubber ball that I had won as a prize at the arcade we went to yesterday. I kept bouncing the ball higher and higher and Grace said "please stop that before you break something." I said "no." She came over and took it from me and I stomped upstairs to my room.
I repeatedly slammed the door to my bedroom to show Grace how upset how upset I was with her. Dad was just coming out of his bedroom and he said "hey, hey, hey, what are you doing that for?" I said as I crossed my arms "I'm mad because Grace took the ball away!" He said "that doesn't give you the right to slam your bedroom door AJ." I kicked the door and he said "if you're going to act like that then you don't deserve to have the ball anyway!" I whined "but its mine daddy!!!" He said "you know I won't let you get away with acting like a brat and Mr. Bashir is coming over today so you need to be on your best behavior… Understood?" I didn't answer him and gave him a look of irritation. He knelt down and said "that's what I'm talking about right there! Enough of that… There is no reason for it and if you keep that up you will be up here in your room by yourself while everyone else is having fun." I knew I didn't want that so; after a few minutes of calming down I went downstairs.
The doorbell started ringing and I answered it. I said "daddy; I think it's for you!" It was a tall man with a tan and brown hair who was wearing glasses. Dad came over and said as he shook hands with him "nice to finally meet you face to face Martin!" Martin said "I'm so glad you agreed to do this documentary." I asked Martin "where are all the cameras at?" Dad and Martin laughed and Martin said "they won't be here till tomorrow." I asked "daddy; how come the cameras aren't here today?" Dad looked down at me and said "I wanted to give Mr. Bashir sometime you get to know us before we started filming." I said "oh" and hobbled away using my crutches.
Dad and Martin sat down at the kitchen table and Martin asked "how did Alanna break her foot?" Dad said as he took a sip of his tea "she was doing a back flip off of my friends couch and she landed on her foot." Martin asked "is Debbie her mother also?" Dad said "yes; as well as Prince and Paris's." Martin said "I have to say Michael; your kids really do look like you, especially Blanket!" Dad said "I just want to make sure before we start filming tomorrow that you're not going to ruin my reputation!" Martin said "of course not Michael! One of the reasons for doing this documentary is to defend you!"
Just as dad was about to respond, he could hear Prince and I arguing in the living room and went to so see what was going on. Martin followed dad into the living room and dad asked "what's going on here?" Prince said "AJ took the remote from me!" I said "I don't want to watch the fairly odd parents daddy!" Dad asked "well; what do you want to watch?" I said "I was going to watch the Disney Channel!" Dad asked "a Disney channel cartoon, or one with real people?" I said "one with real people!" Dad said "that's not going to hold your brother's interest like a cartoon would AJ. Would you please put it on a cartoon?" I said "but daddy I don't want to!" He said "I guarantee you that you've probably seen that episode 1000 times… I'll let you watch Disney channel later! Do you remember what we talked about this morning?" I said "yeah" and he said "I'm still willing to send you to your room for the rest of the day. Now please give Prince the remote!" I tossed Prince the remote control and said "Prince always gets what he wants!" Dad said "no he doesn't and you better stop it." I rolled my eyes and dad and Martin went back to the kitchen.
Then two them went back into the kitchen and Martin "why do you call Alanna AJ? Dad said "it stands for Alanna Jackson. She prefers that as opposed to just her first name because she is a tomboy. Martin said "I spent a lot of time with you today and I'm shocked by how different AJ is; compared to Prince and Paris." Dad chuckled and said "she's definitely a handful that's for sure!" Martin asked "so are we all set to start filming tomorrow Michael?" Dad said "yes, just as long as you agree to only film the children once and make sure they are wearing masks when you do so?" Martin said "I really agree with you Michael; overexposure for the children is not a good thing! We will be here around 9 o'clock tomorrow morning to set up equipment!" Dad said as he walked Martin to the door "okay we'll see you then! I'm counting on you to make me look good… Don't let me down!"
May 5, 2002,
Dad has been being interviewed by Martin Bashir for many months now. He had already filmed Prince, Paris, and I. We were in a hotel room in Berlin Germany, just a few hours after dad had decided to show the fans outside Blanket. By this point; every news broadcast network all over the world was showing footage of what they thought was dad "dangling" the baby over the balcony. Of course the tabloids slowed the footage down to make it seem awful but; that's not at all what happened!
I can honestly say that my father had a very tight grip on Blanket. Under no circumstances would dad have let the baby fall. Of course Martin absolutely had to question dad about what had actually happened and dad was really reluctant to say anything for fear that it would be taken the wrong way. Today's the last day of filming and all I can say is that I hope when "living with Michael Jackson" premieres in early 2003… It will be 100% truthful and depict my father in a positive way!
michael and younger frank cascio