Seven years after his father’s death, 19-year-old Prince Michael Jackson’s memories of his father are still alive and well.
The sophomore at Loyola Marymount University opened up about his relationship with his father, Michael Jackson, in a revealing new interview with the Los Angeles Times. He spoke about the important advice Jackson gave to him and his siblings that still guides him today.
“Trust no one,” Prince Jackson told the outlet, “It sounds bad, but ... a lot of people are motivated by themselves. He said don’t trust someone just because it sounds like a good idea—do your research. There are a lot of people who want to interact with [me and my siblings] just because of who we are.”
The college student used that advice when reports of his father’s alleged child molestation ― and various other rumors ― surfaced after his death.
“It was a shock,” Prince said. “It all came at once. But [we] learned how to deal with it by just kind of ignoring it.”
Prince and his two siblings dealt with his father’s death, and the following wave of bad press, by leaning on family members. His grandmother, Katherine, raised the kids after Jackson died.
“I’m very lucky to have two mother figures in my life, my grandmother and my cousin Frances. As for my birth mother, she’s always been more of a friend, and that works for us,” Prince said. “You could say my whole life has been unconventional. I really love that though, and it’s all I’ve ever known.”
As for now, Prince has his own production company and seems focused on staying behind the camera and completing his studies.
“Honestly, I’m just going with the flow. I’m still young, my ideas can change,” Jackson said. “I can never be separated from my father — he set that big of an example. And I don’t really have a problem with that. I’m proud to have his name and to be his son.”
To read the rest of Prince’s interview with the LA Times, head here.