Paris Jackson, daughter of the late pop icon Michael Jackson, opened up about depression, suicide and sexual assault in a candid new interview with Rolling Stone . The 18-year-old is speaking up about her difficult adolescence, not shying away from details that might make some uncomfortable or taboos shroud in stigma and addressing her troubled past head on.
Paris Jackson was only 11-years-old when her father unexpectedly passed away, and the years following his untimely death were not easy for the model and actress. Jackson told Rolling Stone that she was sexually assaulted by a "complete stranger" when she was only 14-years-old, an incident she has never spoken about publicly before. She didn't want to divulge too many details, but did disclose that the assailant was much older. "But it was not a good experience at all, and it was really hard for me, and, at the time, I didn't tell anybody," said Jackson.
Jackson also revealed that by age 15, she was suffering from depression, self-harming, and addicted to drugs. In June 2013, she attempted suicide by slitting her wrists and downing 20 Motrin pills, but was thankfully the attempt was unsuccessful. Although that suicide attempt made headlines around the world, the teen revealed that it was not her first suicide attempt. "It was just self-hatred," she says, "low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn't do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore." Eventually, Jackson got the help she needed by checking into a residential therapy program.
Speaking candidly about these difficult subjects is so valuable, especially if other young people who feel shame about mental illness or sexual abuse are listening. Jackson, who is still only a teenager, may be inspiring others who struggling to talk about their experiences, preventing them from suffering silently as she did for many years.
You can read her entire Rolling Stone interview, where she talks extensively about her relationship with her father, here.