Jackson too fast for his father's belt: brother

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 16, 2009 at 10:11 PM EST

Pop legend Michael Jackson used to escape beatings from his father when he was a child by swiftly dodging and weaving his way to safety, according to his brother Tito Jackson.

Tito said the future King of Pop's footwork was so fast and so good that his belt-wielding father Joe Jackson was often reduced to laughter in efforts to catch him.

"Most of the time Michael was so quick my father couldn't hit him," Tito said in an interview with London's Daily Mirror newspaper.

"He'd swing the belt and Michael would be over there, he'd swing again and Michael would be over here."

"My father used to just stop and laugh because he couldn't hit him."

"Michael would just dance around him. My father would get tired and give up," he added.

Jackson died on June 25 aged 50 after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles, although investigators have been scrutinising the possible role of drugs in his death.

Joe, a steelworker in the industrial city of Gary, Indiana, reared his nine children into musical sensations starting from the Jackson 5 to the phenomenal careers of Michael and younger sister Janet Jackson.

Michael Jackson later said that his father would beat him when he missed a note and emotionally humiliate him, contributing to the future star's psychological fragility but also planting in him the will to succeed.

Tito said he held no ill feelings towards his father about the way he was raised, saying he was a "disciplining type of father".

"From those of us not raised in our generation they might not understand it. You got a big ass punishment or you got spanked for it. That's the way it was."




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