On Tuesday, a Christmas photo of Michael Jackson’s three children had the Internet asking questions about his youngest son, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II.
Blanket was just seven when his father died on June 25, 2009. He was subsequently raised by his grandmother. Little is known about Blanket Jackson, who is now 15. Unlike his siblings, Paris and Prince, he is not often photographed in the media, and is not active on social media.
Here’s what we know about Blanket Jackson.
1. He Is Michael Jackson’s Youngest Son
Blanket is Michael Jackson’s youngest son.
Debbie Rowe is the mother of Blanket’s siblings, Paris Michael Katherine and Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson.
Rowe was married to Jackson from 1982 to 1988. She met him while working as a nurse at a dermatology office, where Jackson was undergoing treatment for a skin disorder. The couple cited irreconcilable differences in their divorce papers, according to BBC. Jackson was given full custody of the children.
Before Rowe, Jackson was married to Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley’s daughter.
Jackson’s daughter, Paris, is 19. Paris was enrolled in a private school in Sherman Oaks, California, before leaving school in 2013. She has since forayed into acting and modeling. Next year, she is set to make her feature film debut in Gringo alongside Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, and Thandie Newton. Last year, she played a recurring role in the FOX series, Star, as Rachel.
2. The Identity of His Biological Mother Is Unknown
It is unclear who Blanket’s biological mother is. According to TMZ, he was born in 2002 with the help of a surrogate.
Fortunately, the three Jackson siblings share a close bond. In an interview on the Today show in October, Prince, Michael Jackson’s oldest son, said, “Me and my siblings get along really well — especially my sister… She’s grown so much and she’s been able to really step up. I don’t really see myself as her older brother. We’re equal partners when it comes down to it. B.G. is just so mature for his age. It’s a pretty strong bond.”
Together, the three Jackson children contribute to charities like the annual Costume for a Cause event. Speaking on the morning show, Prince said, “My dad always taught me to lead by example, so I hope I can set a good example that you can have fun by helping other people and you can make a change just by doing that…I think he would definitely be proud of the type of work that we’re doing and giving back to the community.”
3. His Grandmother Raised Him and His Siblings
Blanket and his siblings were raised by their grandmother, Katherine Jackson. In 2012, Blanket’s cousin, TJ Jackson, then 34, was appointed co-guardian of Blanket, according to E! Online. The change was made after Katherine reportedly fell out of touch with her grandchildren for ten days.
An October article in TMZ reports that Katherine is now retiring from her role as Blanket’s guardian.
The article reads, “According to docs filed by Katherine … there’s no longer any need for her to be the 15-year-old’s guardian… Both Paris and Prince are adults now, but Katherine says because Blanket has reached his adolescence … TJ can handle guardianship on his own. She also points to her own age, 87, as a reason she’s stepping down.”
In a statement to E!, Katherine Jackson’s attorney, Ryan G Baker, said, “Given her own age and the fact that the Minor Child is now 15 years old, Katherine feels that T.J. is able to assume all necessary responsibilities of the guardianship for the Minor Child.”
It is unclear at this time if Jackson is still Blanket’s legal guardian, or if a judge has approved the request.
4. He Reportedly Changed His Name to Bigi Jackson in 2015
In 2015, several outlets reported that Blanket had changed his name to Bigi Jackson.
At the time, a family friend told People, “The kids live like Michael is constantly looking down upon them…” The friend told People that Blanket “has had the most problems adjusting after Michael died. He acted very lost and extremely upset.”
Blanket’s desire to change his name was touched upon in the 2017 Lifetime biopic, Searching for Neverland, which was written by two of Jackson’s former bodyguards.
5. He Was Dangled over a Balcony by His Father When He Was 9-Months-Old
Many may recall the incident in 2002 when Michael Jackson dangled Blanket, who was 9-months-old at the time, over the edge of a hotel balcony in Berlin. Ironically, Jackson was in town to accept a lifetime Bambi entertainment award.
The incident had fans questioning the late singer’s judgment as a father. In response to fans’ condemning his actions, Jackson issued a statement that said he’d made a terrible mistake. “I offer no excuses for what happened… I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children.”
An MTV article written at the time interviewed Prevent Child Abuse America’s Kevin Kirkpatrick, who said, “Considering Mr. Jackson started a charity to protect children, this was alarmingly irresponsible behavior with a child,” Prevent Child Abuse America’s Kevin Kirkpatrick told wire services. “Holding a child like that with what appeared to be one arm while leaning over a fourth-floor balcony window is pretty careless to say the least.”