Michael Jackson’s dad, Joe Jackson, has publicly admitted to beating his sons.

Speaking in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the 82–year-old first denied the allegations but his wife Katherine soon stepped in saying:  “You might as well admit it, that’s the way black people raised their children. He used a strap.”

And once the secret was out, Joe defended his actions: “I don’t [regret the beatings],” he said. “It kept them out of jail and kept them right.”

In the hour-long interview held at the family home in California, Michael’s mother also told the talk show host that her son had been addicted to plastic surgery.

“At one time, his nose looked like a toothpick,” Katherine said.

She also revealed that she had begged his plastic surgeon to not undertake any more procedures on her son: “If he [Michael] comes there and he wants you to work on his nose just tell him you did it and do the same thing and don’t change it,” she had told him.

Katherine also spoke of Michael’s controversial skin disorder.

“He had his skin lightened to compensate for his vitiligo. He didn’t want to start looking like a spotted cow,” Katherine said.

Michael’s kids want to be famous like dad

Michael’s children Prince (13), Paris (12), and Blanket (8) also took part in the interview.

Paris told Oprah that Michael had tried to bring them up without revealing his star status. She said: “He tried to raise us without us knowing who he was, but that didn’t go so well.”

She also said she understood why Michael had wanted them to hide their identities and wear facemasks in public, but admitted that the masks sometimes were uncomfortable to wear.

But if you think that their father’s fame would have put them off stardom, then think again.

Both Prince and Paris are keen to pursue a future in showbiz.

Prince wants to “produce movies and direct”, while Paris is dreaming of becoming an actress.

“I sometimes do improvs, I used to do them with my dad,” she told Oprah.

“I kinda felt like no one understands what a good father he was,” she continued.

All three children now live with their grandmother Katherine, and both Paris and Prince attend a regular school in California.

– Inger Smith