“No one knew what was going on — we shouldn’t have to beg, plead and argue to see our own father, especially at a time like this,” he lamented at the time. “We have been hurting. We were not being told where he was and couldn’t get the full picture. Even from the doctor. My mother was worried sick.”
Days after the interview was published, TMZ reported that the family, including Joe’s wife, Katherine, as well as the couple’s children and grandchildren, had visited him at the hospital.
An account claiming to be Joe himself hinted that his days might be numbered, tweeting on June 24, “I have seen more sunsets than I have left to see. The sun rises when the time comes and whether you like it or not the sun sets when the time comes.”
Joe’s relationship with his famous family has been checkered at best.
He sired 11 children — 10 with estranged wife Katherine and one, daughter Joh’Vonnie, with Cheryl Terrell.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Joe used a combination of business savvy, musical genius and allegedly abusive parenting to turn his five sons — Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Michael — into the legendary Jackson 5, giving Michael a springboard to eventually become the King of Pop.
His children frequently recalled beatings at Joe’s hand, which Joe didn’t deny, telling Oprah Winfrey that his whippings, for which he used a switch and a belt, “kept [them] out of jail and kept them right.”
In 2014, a family insider told The Post of Joe, “He’s no longer a part of the family.”
Joe himself said in a sad missive on his website in 2014, “When I suffered four strokes last year and was in the hospital recovering, only two people in my family traveled all the way to see me. My granddaughter Brandi [Jackie Jackson’s daughter] and my baby girl, Janet.”
Janet spoke warmly of her father as recently as the Radio Disney Music Awards on June 22, at which she told the audience, “My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable, my father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best that I can. My siblings set an incredibly high standard for artistic excellence.”
The sibling who set the bar highest, of course, was Michael Jackson, who died of a propofol overdose in 2009. Michael frequently alleged that the Jackson family patriarch physically abused him, famously telling Oprah that the sight of his father made him throw up. Sources close to the family speculated that the King of Pop’s extensive plastic surgery was a desperate effort to eliminate any resemblance he bore to Joe.
Joe was reportedly left out of Michael’s will entirely.
“I taught them to be tough,” Joe told The Post of raising his sons with corporal punishment. “We raised them in a tough neighborhood [in Gary, Ind.], where other kids were in gangs and getting into drugs. I didn’t want them to be soft.”
Michael wasn’t the only of Joe’s children with whom he had a poor relationship.
“When your father gets out of bed with your mother and gets into bed with his daughter and you hear the mother saying, ‘No, Joe, not tonight. Let her rest. Leave her alone, she’s tired,’ that makes you crazy,” La Toya wrote.
At the time of the book’s release, Rebbie denied that Joe raped her, but said he touched her inappropriately.
Joe denied the allegations of sexual abuse.
Despite the controversies and tragedies the Jacksons suffered through the years, Joe remained adamant that he had no regrets about anything in his life.
“Not at all,” he told The Post in 2014. “I don’t live that way.”