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Joe Jackson (Michael Jackson father) talks to the press at the 2009 BET AWARDS at the Shrine in los Angeles June 28. Jackson's image as a father was tainted throughout the late 1980s through the mid 1990s in which the media reported stories told by some of his children that Jackson was abusive towards his children. When he managed his family, he ordered each of them to call him "Joseph", which led to several siblings being estranged from their father.
In 2003, in an interview for BBC TV, Joseph admitted to using physical punishment on his children and also voiced his disapproval of homosexuality.
Michael Jackson claimed that from a young age he was physically and emotionally abused by his father, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling, but also contended that his father being a strict disciplinarian played a large part of his success. In one altercation — later recalled by Marlon Jackson - Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks." Joseph would also trip up or push his male children into walls. One night while Michael was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting. Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterward, Michael suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.
Michael first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey. He said that during his childhood he often cried from loneliness and would sometimes get sick or start to vomit upon seeing his father.In Michael's other high profile interview, Living with Michael Jackson (2003), the singer covered his face with his hand and began crying when talking about his childhood abuse. Jackson recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed and that "if you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you."
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