Tragic Details About Michael Jackson's Son, Blanket 'Bigi' Jackson

Michael Jackson's third and youngest child, Prince Michael Jackson II, was born on February 21, 2002. However, Prince II was nicknamed 'Blanket' as a baby, and it was the moniker he was stuck with until he decided to be called 'Bigi' in 2015. Bigi chooses to live his life in relative anonymity, at least compared to his sister, Paris Michael Katherine, and brother, Michael Joseph "Prince" Jackson. That being said, there's no escaping from the fact that it's a life of luxurious secrecy. The three kids inherited a massive chunk of Michael's fortune following his shocking death in 2009. A source told ABC News that a trust set up in Michael's name allocated 40% of his estate to Paris, Prince, and Bigi, 40% to his mom, Katherine Jackson, and the remaining 20% to unspecified children's charities. Not bad, given that Forbes estimated Michael's pre-death fortune to be $2.1 billion (adjusted for inflation). However, he's also a celebrity who has made a fortune after dying. How much of a fortune? Well, about another $2.1 billion, making for an overall gross worth of $4.2 billion.

Still, no amount of money is going to make up for the loss of Bigi's father when he was just 7 years old, or for the struggles, trauma, and heartbreak he's been forced to endure throughout his life. In fact, the tragic details about Michael's son Bigi prove that money doesn't always buy you happiness. He's faced some incredibly challenging times and plenty of misfortune over the years.

Bigi's baby years were cloaked in controversy and scandal

Michael Jackson's son, Blanket "Bigi" Jackson, has no real memory of the most significant controversy in his life, even though he starred in it. Bigi was nine months old when his father dangled him over the side of the fifth-floor balcony of his Berlin hotel room in 2002, holding the baby in one arm while using the other to cover his head with a towel. The crowds of fans below screamed with excitement. Still, the incident sent shockwaves throughout the world, with tabloid headlines accusing Michael of putting his son's life at risk.

"I made a terrible mistake," he announced in a statement (via EW). "I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children."

Bigi also has no real memory of the other colossal scandal that occurred when he was a baby. However, he undoubtedly knows all about it now. In 2003, just a year after Bigi was born, Michael was charged with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent to commit a child sexual abuse felony. Michael denied all allegations and was ultimately acquitted. Still, the press dived deep into every aspect of his life and relationship with his three kids. It's impossible to imagine how Michael's controversies and scandals impacted Bigi, as he's never spoken publicly about it. Still, it's hard to imagine he wouldn't have been affected.

Bigi's face was covered up until he was seven

Michael Jackson tried everything to shield Blanket "Bigi" Jackson and his siblings from public scrutiny and potential danger. They were sequestered at Neverland Ranch until moving to Beverly Hills in 2004, homeschooled, and always wore masks and face coverings whenever they went outside in public. Michael was so insistent on hiding his kids' faces that he even kept a veil over Bigi's face while feeding him during a 2003 interview with Martin Bashir — despite the disgraced journalist repeatedly attempting to remove it.

Prince Jackson told the Los Angeles Times that he was glad their dad forced them to wear masks because it made it easier to go out without being recognized. That said, the 2017 Lifetime biopic "Searching for Neverland" showed it didn't always work, and even a trip to the mall could be a terrifying ordeal. Michael and his bodyguards were mobbed by screaming fans who touched and grabbed the singer. Then, the crowd noticed the kids wearing masks and rushed at them. This must have been a terrifying experience for the children, especially little Bigi.

La Toya Jackson said they removed the face coverings immediately after their dad's death. "Michael put masks on them to protect them and to keep them safe from anyone who wanted to hurt him," she told the Daily Beast in 2011. "He's gone now. The first thing my mother did was say to them, 'Today we're unmasking you. Today, the masks come off.'"

Bigi was the most affected by his father's death

Blanket "Bigi" Jackson was only seven when his 50-year-old dad, Michael Jackson, died of cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles in 2009. The death came as a shock to the world. Still, it was less surprising after the tragic final months of Michael's life were revealed. The singer's memorial was packed with grieving celebrities, and an estimated one billion fans watched worldwide.

Still, it was Michael's three children who obviously felt the most pain and anguish — especially Bigi, who was hit the hardest by the loss. "[He] has had the most problems adjusting after Michael died. He acted very lost and extremely upset," a source told People. Bigi has rarely given interviews, but he did appear in the 2012 documentary "Jacksonology: Our Story." The then-little boy spoke about being shy like his dad, and talked about how Michael hated watching his films and listening to his music.

It was clear he adored his dad. "He was funny; we did a lot of fun stuff," Bigi remarked. When asked if he had a favorite memory of Michael, Bigi divulged that there were many memorable moments. Still, he didn't really have a particular one that he loved the best. That said, "I liked having pillow fights and stuff. Those were fun," Bigi professed.

Bigi doesn't know who his mother is and likely never will

Following their father's death, Paris, Prince, and Bigi Jackson went to live with their grandmother, who was granted temporary custody. However, a battle broke out when Paris and Prince Jackson's biological mother, Debbie Rowe, announced that she was considering applying for custody. Then, Joe Jackson muscled in, despite the fact that Michael Jackson had publicly accused him of being emotionally and physically abusive. So, it was a given that Katherine Jackson would do anything to prevent her estranged husband from being in their lives. Ultimately, she won the fight with some unexpected help from Rowe. A source told ABC News that the two women joined forces to ensure Joe would never get joint custody in return for Rowe gaining visitation rights.

However, Michael never revealed who Bigi Jackson's biological mother was, and it's likely Bigi will never know now, as there's no name listed on the birth certificate. Blanket was conceived via artificial insemination using Michael's sperm and an anonymous surrogate. Still, Katherine also became Bigi's legal guardian after his dad's death. Despite their mixed parentage, the three siblings remain as close as possible.

"When we were growing up, my father would say, you know, 'We could have nothing, but you look around in this room, your brother, your sister, and me, that's all you'll ever have,'" Prince told "Good Morning Britain" in October 2022. "And that always stuck with my siblings and I, and we have such a close relationship."

Bigi reinvented himself to stop bullying

Growing up as the kid of one of the most famous superstars in the world carries a lot of weight. Michael Jackson's youngest son certainly found it a burden, hence his decision in 2015 to change his name to Bigi Jackson. He's never publicly spoken about why he changed his name. But then, he rarely gives interviews and seldom appears at events unless he's supporting Prince or Paris Jackson.

However, People claims that Bigi changed his name after years of bullying. He's been open about his shyness, so having such a famous name couldn't have helped. Indeed, a source claimed in May 2017 that since shedding the weight of Blanket, he continues to be "shy around people he doesn't know" but has significantly increased in confidence.

One thing's for sure: Bigi has no desire to follow in his family's footsteps and pursue an entertainment career. And he definitely isn't seeking any fame, hence his low profile and lack of social media accounts. However, in a rare interview, Bigi did offer a glimpse into his future aspirations, and it's all about making an impact in the world and keeping his father's legacy alive by "making things that people enjoy but also benefit their lives," which he told "Good Morning America" in November 2021. Bigi also shared his passion for environmentalism. "I do think it's important we all know about it. We have some work to do, but our generation knows how important it is," he shared.