Omer Bhatti Is Michael Jackson's Son, Says Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson: Omer Bhatti "looks, dances like a Jackson" and is Michael's son.

ByABC News
July 22, 2009, 5:56 PM

July 31, 2009— -- The kid says he's Michael's son -- and now, so does the Jackson family patriarch, Joe Jackson.

In an interview with TV One, Joe Jackson asserts Omer Bhatti, a 25-year-old dancer and aspiring rapper from Oslo, Norway who once traveled the world with Michael Jackson, lived at the singer's Neverland ranch and was referred to by the Jackson family as "Michael J," is the pop icon's estranged fourth child.

Asked if he knew Bhatti was Jackson's son, Joe Jackson said, "Yes, I knew he had another son, yes I did."

He added: "He looks like a Jackson, he can dance like a Jackson. This boy is fantastic dancer -- matter of fact, he teaches dance."

Bhatti came under renewed scrutiny earlier this month, when the British newspaper The Sun reported Bhatti is seeking a DNA test to find out if he's really Jackson's child.

Bhatti has features similar to Jackson and shares an uncanny resemblance to his youngest son Prince II, known as Blanket.

Not everyone connected to the family is as certain as Joe Jackson that Bhatti is the pop icon's flesh and blood. But one thing is for sure: Bhatti, who was seated on the front row at Jackson's memorial service next to Jackson's children and siblings, occupies a special place in the Jackson family.

In Vienna earlier this month, Jackson's brother Jermaine Jackson said Bhatti would be welcomed into the family, if he's proven a Jackson.

"If Omer's his son, he's his son," Jermaine Jackson told Britain's the Daily Mail. "We won't deny it. We are going to give him the same love and care that we give Prince and Paris and Blanket. I can't clearly say if he is Michael's, but I saw this kid around him."

Jermaine Jackson said Jackson's eldest sister Rebbie seated Bhatti up front next to the family.

"My sister went and got him during the service and got him to sit closer to my mother," Jermaine Jackson said.

Since the memorial service, Bhatti has remained in Los Angeles and been seen playing at the Jackson family compound with Michael Jackson's three children -- Prince, Paris and Prince II -- according to the Daily Mail.

Stacy Brown, a Jackson biographer who once worked as a family spokesman, said he first began hearing about Bhatti in 1992, when he would have been 8.

"He would tell them [the Jackson family] that he was Michael's son," Brown said. "The fact is, he is not Michael's son."

And no, his mother's name is not Billie Jean, the title of Jackson's pop hit in which he famously sang, "The kid is not my son."

Bhatti's mother, Pia, worked as Michael Jackson's first nanny, taking care of Prince, according to Brown. His father, Biz, reportedly worked as one of Jackson's drivers.

Following Jackson's death on June 25, Pia told a reporter: "He was the King of Pop. But for us he was so much more."

Since then, the parents, who returned to Oslo, have refused to answer reporters' questions about Bhatti's parentage.

"Michael took him [Bhatti] in and took his parents in, he would travel the world with him," Brown said. "He lived at Neverland for a long time and moved out when Michael left Neverland."

Omer Bhatti impersonating his idol.

"Nobody called him Omer, they called him Michael J.," said Brown. "Ever since he was a little boy he would make himself up to look like Michael. They would wear the same -- hat, pants, shoes, even socks. Michael loved it."

Now he's an aspiring rapper who goes by the stage name O-Bee.

He also has remained a staunch defender of Jackson. Bhatti was living at Neverland when Los Angeles police raided the estate in 2003 looking for evidence of child molestation.

An investigator later testified before a grand jury that Bhatti became nervous when he was asked about pornography.

He "seemed to have trouble forming a sentence. It was almost like a stutter," the investigator, Jeffrey Ellis, said on the stand.