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Michael Jackson's son Prince Jackson tells of childhood, Neverland

By Jeff Gottlieb

11:29 AM EDT, June 27, 2013

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In an attempt to give his kids a chance at a normal childhood, pop singer Michael Jackson had his kids wear masks when they were in public with him so they wouldn’t be recognized, Prince Jackson testified Wednesday.

During 90 minutes of testimony in a wrongful death suit filed by his grandmother and siblings against AEG, Prince Jackson, the pop star’s eldest child, revealed details of his life, which were closely guarded while his father was alive. 

Prince Jackson said he would spend six days in school, either with his father or a tutor, learning about other cultures and religions. His father would ask them how they were doing in school and what they were doing “to better the world.”

FULL COVERAGE: AEG wrongful death trial

His father, he testified, made all of them wear masks in public “so no one would know what we looked like so if we went out without him we could have a normal childhood.”

Prince said he's now followed all the time.

"So I know why he did it. "

Prince, 16, also talked about life with his famous father, living at the Neverland compound in Santa Barbara County, Ireland, Paris, Bahrain and Las Vegas. His attorneys showed home movies and photos of Neverland, which Prince called "a very homey place."

He said the children were only allowed to go to the zoo and ride the Ferris wheel on special occasions. "My dad wanted us to remain humble," he said. Posted around the compound, he said, were messages and poems from their father. “When children play, tyrants cry, there is nothing to say,” said one.

Prince, who now lives with his grandmother, said he just finished his sophomore year at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, where he is a member of the National Honor Society. He said he makes jewelry, does martial arts and is part of the school's robotics team. He said he wants to go to USC to study film, business or mechanical engineering.

Prince was the first of the Jacksons to testify during the trial.  He testified that when he arrived at the hospital where his father had been rushed, the pop singer’s personal physician met him and his siblings.

"Sorry kids. Dad's dead," he said Dr. Conrad Murray told them.

"We just cried," the performer's son said.

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 jeff.gottlieb@latimes.com