JOE JACKSON, the ailing father of Michael Jackson, is trying to make amends for the brutal beatings he gave his children as he drove them towards fame and fortune.
By MIKE PARKER, EXCLUSIVE
The wheelchair-bound 89-yearold, who has suffered three heart attacks and a stroke, is now reported to have been diagnosed with colon cancer.
He has told friends he is now “preparing for the end”. A family source said yesterday: “He is truly sorry for the misery he inflicted on some of his kids when they were young.
“He was trying to drive them to success as their manager.
“He now bitterly regrets the physical methods he sometimes used to enforce discipline and turn them into the highly polished and professional stars they became.”
Thriller icon Michael, who died aged 50 from a drug overdose in June 2009, stunned fans when he revealed childhood abuse at the hands of his father in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
He told how his father would sit with a belt in his hands as he and his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon rehearsed as The Jackson Five during the 1960s.
He said: “If you didn’t do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you.”
Joe later publicly admitted abusing his children by “whipping” them with a belt and a flexible wooden switch, which the youngsters claimed would “sting like fury” and leave livid welts.
Daughters Janet and La Toya, both of whom became major recording artists, did not suffer similar punishments.
But they did grow up fearful of their father, according to a second Jackson family source.
The source revealed: “I know Joe has been speaking to all eight children he had with his wife Katherine who are still alive. He has asked them to forgive him and has told them he has been racked by guilt for years.
“There have been a lot of tearful and soul-searching conversations in recent weeks and, in general, all the siblings will never forget but are prepared to forgive.