In Defense of Joe Jackson

PHOTO Joe Jackson is pictured with Rutt Premsrirut in this file photo.

A close personal friend of Michael Jackson's embattled father has come forward to ABC News' "Good Morning America" to defend Joe Jackson against claims that the elder Jackson is exploiting his son's untimely death.

Joe Jackson has endured widespread criticism in the press in recent days for everything from alleged abuse of his sons early on in their career to self-promotion at the BET awards just days after his son's death, and for aggressively seeking to gain control of the singer's sprawling empire in the immediate aftermath of his son's death.

Jackson, who is separated from his wife, Katherine Jackson, was left out of the singer's will. On Wednesday, the Jackson family hired Ken Sunshine, a veteran New York-based public relations professional.

In a statement to ABC News authorized by Joe Jackson, Rutt Premsrirut, his close friend of many years, seeks to paint the celebrity patriarch in a decidedly different light -- as a dedicated father who has steered one of America's most famous families through decades of triumphs and tragedies.

This is a response to the negative media coverage that Mr. Joseph Jackson, father of the late Michael Joseph Jackson has been receiving recently.

To quote the late Michael Joseph Jackson in his autobiographical book "Moonwalker": "Before you judge someone, walk two full moons with them." Mr. Joseph Jackson, known to us privately as "Joe," has always been the man of steel, the go-to person during times of crisis. He deals with situations from a point of equanimity. Continuously compartmentalizing his inner emotions has become an everyday activity.

When his dear mother and father passed away, he never shed a tear. "I internalize my emotions, but they eat up on the inside over the years." This has made him very effective during times of crisis. Each time he would rise to the occasion and function at the highest levels.

When Michael Jackson collapsed at 11:30 [a.m. PT June 25], the security guard's first instinct was to call Joe in Las Vegas to find out what to do. Joe screamed into the phone, "Get yourself together and call 911, now now now !!!" That was him in action, no emotion.

In 2003, as an arrest warrant was issued for Michael, we were all curled up behind the gates of the CMX Entertainment complex in Las Vegas with no idea what to do. When Joe walked in, you would see Michael's eyes light up. He was running the show with Michael listening to every word Joe was directing. I recall the family friend, actor/comedian Eddie Griffin, saying, "You could tell, it was Papa Joe in charge! He made Michael feel so secure. He dumped the weight off his shoulders on his father Joe. As he knew that Joe was ready for war." Michael repeatedly asked Joe, "What do I do?" There was no one more capable to handle the crisis than Joe. He is like a professional billiard player; thinking two or three steps ahead.

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