Joe Jackson may not be winning any Father of the Year awards, but he is still ready to defend his harsh parenting methods.
Michael Jackson's father appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight and talked about the pressures of raising nine children in show business, two of whom went on to become global superstars. The Jackson family patriarch, 84, also finally admitted that he did in fact physically discipline his children.
"I had to be like that way because during those times, it was hard, and you have a lot of gangs there, you know, in the area where we were living," Jackson told Piers Morgan. "This was Gary, Indiana, and I had to make sure that they didn't get in any type of trouble, and things of that sort."
When asked if Jackson ever felt regret for inflicting physical pain on his children, he responded, "I'm glad I was tough, because look what I came out with. I came out with some kids that everybody loved all over the world. And they treated everybody right."
He adds, "You know, Michael, he was a nice guy. ... The world [doesn't] know anything too much about Michael as far as how he was brought up. But he was brought up. I made sure that he respected the older people."
Jackson, who confirms that he and his estranged wife Katherine Jackson are still legally married, says that Michael attempted to reach out to him before his death in 2009. "The saddest part about the whole thing was Michael tried to reach me," he said. "He says, 'Call my father.' This was before he passed. 'He would know how to get me out of this.' But they didn't get in touch with me. They said they couldn't find me, but I was right there."
Joe Jackson was largely absent in the Jackson family civil war that erupted over Michael's will last year. He is rumored to be living at MJ's Encino estate.