Michael Jackson was one of the most famous artists of his time. Still, his upbringing was no walk in the park, despite that it led him to such massive fame. It turns out Michael had a seriously strained relationship with his father, Joe Jackson, and it wasn’t until years later that the public learned about what Joe was actually like as a parent.
Joe and his wife, Katherine Jackson, had 10 kids total, though their son Brandon died shortly after birth. Joe and Katherine raised their nine kids strictly, and rumors about Joe’s abuse toward his children only started to come to light after the kids were much older. Joe’s son, Jermaine Jackson, wrote a memoir about the Jacksons, where he revealed his father’s actions. Still, Jermaine justified much of what his father did.
Joe Jackson had been a blues artist who never made it big on his own. He wanted that success for his kids, and it shaped his aggressive parenting techniques. Joe didn’t let his kids socialize when they were younger, including Michael, who was a member of his family’s band at such a young age that he never got the chance to make friends — even in his youngest school years. According to The Guardian, Joe would require his sons to rehearse for at least five hours every day, giving them no time to build relationships with people outside of their immediate family.
A ban on socialization was only scratching the surface of Joe’s actions toward his son. He would beat Michael with a tree branch if he messed up a lyric or danced out of step, and there were no exceptions for his other sons, either.
The Guardian reports that Joe didn’t stop the abuse once rehearsals ended. He would allegedly abuse his kids with a belt buckle, burn them with a tea kettle, and other harsh punishments when they were out of line. The Jacksons’ rise to fame only made things worse, if anything, as Joe became so engulfed in the idea of success that it was nearly impossible for him to be a normal parent. Jermaine recalled that his father never “cuddled” his kids or said “I love you.”
There have long been rumors about Michael Jackson’s nose and the large number of surgeries he had reportedly undergone to get it to look a certain way. Michael started to develop insecurities around his nose from a young age, and once his father became aware, he started making fun of his son’s appearance. He even called him Big Nose for short, which led Michael to begin covering his nose with his face whenever possible.
Michael claims that he only had two rhinoplasties throughout his life, but according to Allure, one medical expert said that, based on the appearance of Jackson’s nose, it was probably closer to 20. There were even rumors that Jackson had to wear a prosthetic nose after so many surgeries resulted in there not being any way to keep a nose on his face.