For years, there have been many questions as to whether Michael Jackson is Paris Jackson’s biological father. Rumors have swirled regarding this topic since Paris was born in 1998, and when the now-19-year-old model was asked about it earlier this year, she was firm in maintaining that she is really the daughter of the late, great King of Pop. But a new interview with former child star Mark Lester has fueled the fire of these rumors once again, as he claims Michael had asked him to serve as a sperm donor while trying to conceive a child with then-wife Debbie Rowe.
Before anything else, one may be wondering just who is this man claiming to be Paris Jackson’s biological father. The name Mark Lester might not ring a bell to the younger crowd, but he was, for a period of time in the 1960s and 1970s, one of the world’s top child actors, having starred in the lead role in the 1968 film Oliver!, an adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. As the British actor-turned-osteopath explained, he went through a period of drug addiction as a teenager and young adult before cleaning up and living a quiet life away from the world of show business.
Despite keeping a low profile, Lester remained close to some of his famous friends, including Michael Jackson, and in his interview with the Daily Mail, he claims to have done a key favor for the pop legend, which the publication believes is good cause to believe he is, in fact, Paris Jackson’s biological father.
Lester, who is now 58-years-old and working as an osteopath and anti-drug counselor, told the Daily Mail that he served as Michael Jackson’s sperm donor mainly because his friend was having trouble conceiving. Mark claims that Michael may have “had a problem with actually doing the physical act of sex” and may have suffered from a low sperm count. But he also recounted a story of what could have “scared” Jackson off women — a purported hotel room proposition from his fellow pop icon, Madonna.
“When he entered the room, she was in bed, threw the covers off and was completely naked. He took one look at her and screamed and ran away — not something I’d have done!”
Regardless of the circumstances, Jackson allegedly confided in his longtime friend that he wanted children and wanted Mark Lester to make a confidential deposit at a sperm bank. Lester added that he wasn’t the only celebrity whom he had in mind for what he was supposedly planning. None of them, he noted, were black like Michael was.
“Michael said it would all be completely confidential and I knew he was asking others in his inner circle — actors Macaulay Culkin, Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson, Uri Geller, people from Harvard with doctorates, all sorts.”
— Page Six (@PageSix) May 14, 2017
In 1998, Michael’s wife at the time, Debbie Rowe, gave birth to Paris Jackson, with the biological father assumed to be Michael. As for Mark Lester’s claim that he did technically father Jackson’s second of three children, he kept quiet about it until Jackson passed away in 2009, which was when media first speculated on the issue. The Daily Mail pointed out that Paris, at that time, did look “very (much) like” Lester’s daughters, particularly Olivia, who is now 22-years-old.
This isn’t the first time since Michael Jackson’s death that Mark Lester has been purported to be Paris Jackson’s biological father. In 2013, the Mirror quoted Jason Pfeiffer, one of Michael’s close friends, who claimed that the singer admitted to him just a few months before his passing that “my friend Mark (Lester)” had donated the sperm for both Paris and her older brother Prince.
Lester had also claimed to the same publication that same year that he did donate to a London sperm bank at the time Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe were trying to conceive, but at the time added that he “never tried to find out if (he) was the real father.”
For her part, there hasn’t been any doubt in the mind of Paris Jackson — her biological father is the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. In a January interview with Rolling Stone, Paris was described as being “utterly convincing” as she sought to clear the air about any doubts regarding the issue.
“He is my father. He will always be my father. He never wasn’t, and he never will not be. People that knew him really well say they see him in me, that it’s almost scary.”
With almost eight years having passed since Michael Jackson’s death, Mark Lester has gone public with his claims of being Paris Jackson’s biological father. But how accurate are his claims? According to the retired actor, he “can’t be bothered” with a DNA test now that he’s got four grown children, as well as the two children of his current partner, all of whom he considers his family at this point in his life.
[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]