Paris Jackson issues tearful plea to trolls in video describing how cyber bullying led to suicide attempt at 14

'When you say damaging things like that to people it f**ks them up. But maybe that’s what you want'

Heather Saul
Friday 16 September 2016 15:05 BST
(Getty )

Paris Jackson has described how cyber bullying led her to try and take her own life at the age 14 in an emotional video questioning why she is such an “easy target” for vitriolic online abuse.

Paris, the daughter of Michael Jackson, has grown up under the spotlight because of the life, death, stardom and lingering controversy surrounding her father. The iconic singer died when she was 11.

Like Frances Bean Cobain and other children of famous artists, her life has been under scrutiny ever since; at 18 she has more than one million followers on Twitter and 770,000 on Instagram. The teenager has also been the subject of vicious attacks in comment threads and on social media. In a tearful Instagram story, Paris issued a plea to trolls to stop bullying her and described how deeply internet abuse was affecting her life. She said attacks are still reaching her despite her efforts to block and report trolls.

Visibly distressed, Paris recalled how hatred escalated so severely she attempted suicide aged 14 before taking a two year break from social media. She also criticised the abuse directed at Sofia Richie, 18, including messages telling her to kill herself because of reports of her relationship with Justin Bieber.

“When you say damaging things like that to people it f**ks them up,” she said. “But maybe that’s what you want.

“I don’t get why I’m such an easy target. I try to be nice to everyone I meet; I give everyone a chance. I'm usually a very trusting person. I try to be open with you guys about what I do on a daily basis. I share my life with you — I don't hide a lot.

”I've tried sticking up for myself. I’ve tried the whole blocking the haters thing, not reading the comments … Ignoring it. But it’s hard … when there’s so much of it.“

“I’m just tired of it,” she continued, rubbing her face and crying. “And I know I’m not the only one.”

Paris highlighted the treatment of the children of celebrities and the way their privacy is intruded upon in everyday life, claiming this “fanaticism” has been exacerbated by social media. Online abuse, harassment and misogyny has seen a number of actors and singers retreat from social media, leaving their accounts to be managed by a team.

Lena Dunham said her Twitter account is now managed by others after she was subjected to “verbal violence”, while Zac Efron said he was forced off Twitter and Instagram because of negative comments: “I lost my mind because of the internet.” Instagram has now rolled out a filtering tool in a bid to tackle cyber-bullying which was first made available to those with high profile accounts and is now provided to all.

The troubling videos have sparked concern which she attempted to assuage in a tweet to the Today Show. “My well-being is fine, but thank you for the concern. I have a great family support system and friends that are here for me.”

The videos were eventually deleted and replaced by a photograph of Paris in the bath with the caption: “Looks like I’m the villain now. Didn’t know defending myself was a crime, my dearest apologies.”

Anyone in need of confidential support can contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 116 123.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in