Paris Jackson took to Instagram Friday to share a tender moment with her cancer-stricken mother, Debbie Rowe, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in July this year.
The Instagram photo shows the 18-year-old daughter of the late Michael Jackson kissing her mom Debbie on the side of her head, which had apparently gone bald because of the disease.
“I’m a fighter because she’s a fighter. love you mom,” Paris captioned the photo, as reported by People.
Wearing a crucifix necklace around her neck, Rowe is seen beaming at the camera, which is made all the more moving on account of their years of estrangement from each other.
Debbie got married to legendary pop star Michael Jackson in 1996, the same year the “Thriller” hitmaker got divorced from first wife Lisa Marie-Presley. Jackson and the former dermatology nurse had two children together, Paris and Prince Michael, 19. After they separated in 1999, Jackson sired another son, Prince Michael II, 14, with an unknown surrogate mother.
In 2003, Rower talked to ABC News about how she and Michael hooked up. She said that Jackson had just split up with Lisa Marie and that he desperately wanted to be a dad.
“Let me do this. I want to do this. You have been so good to me,” Debbie recalled telling Jackson.
“‘You are such a great friend. Please let me do this.”
“You need to be a dad, and I want you to be.”
Debbie then explained the reason why she accepted Jackson’s offer to become the mother of his children.
“I did it for him to become a father, not for me to become a mother,” Debbie said.
“You earn the title parent,” she added. “I have done absolutely nothing to earn that title.”
Both Paris and Prince Michael were put under the custody of Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, after the Prince of Pop died in 2009.
Not long her father died, Paris met Debbie again at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.
“They talked about the weather, they talked about Neverland and the various places they’ve been to around the world.”
“It was delicate, I’m sure, for Debbie, who let Paris do most of the talking. Now, it’s both of them; they gab a lot,” said an insider for New York Post said.
For many years, the relationship between Paris and her mother seemed non-existent as Debbie scarcely visited her son and daughter. But Jackson and her mom appeared to have reconciled when a photo of them together at Rowe’s horse ranch in Palmdale, California emerged in April 2013.
Their relationship seems to have soured yet again on Mother’s Day this year as Paris unfollowed her mother in all her social media accounts.
The reason for the falling out between Jackson and Rowe that time wasn’t made public, but Debbie alluded to it by posting a status on Facebook, as reported by The Hollywood Gossip.
“One of the saddest things in this world is to see a child grow up hating one of their parents because they only got one side of the story,” Rowe wrote.
But Jackson and Rowe reunited again this year presumably after the latter was diagnosed with breast cancer. It is believed that Paris learned of the diagnosis via media reports and that she sent her mom a text message afterward saying, “I love you.”
As reported by Daily Mail, the pair has been visiting each other’s homes just before Debbie was about to undergo chemotherapy in September.
Speaking about her cancer diagnosis with Entertainment Tonight in July, Debbie said, “I’m a fighter and always have been.”
Debbie Rowe is currently engaged to Michael Schaffel, Michael Jackson’s former business partner. Paris Jackson and her brother are supportive of the relationship.
[Featured Image by Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Images]