Michael Jackson's nephew broke down crying on the witness stand Thursday and told jurors that the King of Pop's daughter is "in a tough spot" after her recent attempted suicide.
Tito "T.J." Jackson Jr. didn't specifically mention the June 5 call to paramedics saying Paris Jackson had taken 20 Motrin pills and slashed her arm with a kitchen knife. But he said that as her co-guardian along with grandmother Katherine Jackson, he's now working overtime to help the troubled teen.
"I don't want to go into details on what's going on with Paris now, but could you explain how Paris is handling the loss of her father?" asked Kevin Boyle, one of the lawyers representing Katherine in her wrongful death case against concert promoter AEG Live.
"It's tough," TJ said. "She was daddy's girl. My uncle was her world."
T.J. acknowledged Michael's death has "been very hard" for all three kids - including Michael’s sons Prince, 16, and Blanket, 11 - but Paris was "the princess of his life."
Paris Jackson is having a hard time since her dad’s death.
"Paris has a heart of gold," he said of the 15-year-old. "I just think the loss of my uncle has hit her at a different level. She's in a tough spot, but we're all loving her and doing everything we can to get her where she should be."
The 34-year-old son of Jackson Five member Tito Jackson said he agreed to become co-guardian of Michael's kids because the "Thriller" singer gave him extra support and guidance after the 1994 drowning murder of his mom DeDe Jackson.
He called Michael his "mentor" and smiled as jurors watched a music video of him and his brothers singing with the pop icon.
"He was just everything," T.J., bowing his head in tears and needing a minute to compose himself.
Jackson Family Video
Scene from Michael Jackson wrongful death trial videos: Michael Jackson, Prince and Paris.
T.J. called his grandmother the "queen" and "CEO" of the family, saying it was his role simply to help her in any way possible with Michael's kids.
He said Katherine also has taken Michael's death "very hard."
"Our children are supposed to outlive us, so it's been very difficult on our grandmother," he said.
The married dad with three kids of his own was named co-guardian last summer after some relatives reported Katherine "missing" while she was out of state with a group of Michael's siblings.
Jackson Family Video
Scene from Michael Jackson wrongful death trial videos: Paris Jackson tells what she wants to be when she grows up. Prince is at right.
He said he handles the kids' school and medical appointments and tries to instill in them the humility he admired in his uncle.
T.J. said he drives a Honda Accord and Michael's son Prince drives a Ford truck, not a Maserati.
"(Prince) is an amazing person," he said. "Since he was a kid, he's always been one of the smartest kids I've ever seen or known, reading books at a young age, devouring books."
Prince gave his own emotional testimony a day earlier, speaking publicly about his dad for the first time .
Joel Ryan/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Prince Jackson, Prince Michael II "Blanket"Jackson and Paris Jackson arrive on stage at the Michael Forever the Tribute Concert, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
The high schooler recalled his tears the day of his dad's fatal overdose and lamented his inability to share milestones such as his driver's license and first girlfriend with his doting dad.
"Nothing will ever be the same," Prince testified Wednesday. "I can't sleep at night. I have a hard time sleeping. For a while after he died, I became emotionally distant from a lot of people."
Prince also touched on his sister's current hospitalization in general terms.
"Out of all my siblings, she was probably hit the hardest because she was my dad's princess," he said. "It really hurt her a lot. She definitely is dealing with it in her own way."
Getty Images/Getty Images
Michael Jackson rehearses for his planned shows in London at the Staples Center on June 23, 2009, in Los Angeles. Jackson died two days later at the age of 50.
A source told the Daily News Paris suffers from "severe" depression and likely will remain in treatment for an extended period.
Speaking to jurors Thursday, T.J. said Michael's youngest son Blanket also misses his dad but is trying to live a normal life - one that includes martial arts classes every Tuesday.
He said Blanket was always "very shy."
"Blanket was always wrapped around (Michael's) leg, right behind his leg," he said. "Wherever my uncle was, Blanket was there. My uncle was everything to Blanket."
Katherine is suing AEG Live for damages that could top $1 billion, saying the promoter of Michael's ill-fated "This Is It" concert series should be held liable for his death.
Her lawsuit claims AEG Live negligently hired the doctor who's now serving four years for Michael's fatal overdose on June 25, 2009.
AEG has denied any wrongdoing, arguing it was Michael who hired the doctor and went to great lengths to hide his use of an intravenous anesthetic as a treatment for his insomnia.