Micheal Jackson's brother said that if he did have a son, the Jackson family would welcome him with open arms.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 23, 2022. It has since been updated.
"Yes, I knew he had another son, yes I did," Joe Jackson told ABC News on July 23. This statement rocked the world because it sparked doubt about the controversial singer who had earned himself the title, the King of Pop before his death. The doubt being, who was the young man who was sitting in the front row with Michael Jackson's three kids? Was he the son Joe was talking about?
Joe Jackson had also mentioned that the boy "looks like a Jackson, he can dance like a Jackson. This boy is a fantastic dancer — matter of fact, he teaches dance." Who was the mysterious boy?
Well, it was Omer Batti.
Paris Jackson, 22, gushed about her relationship with her older brother in an episode of her Facebook Watch series Unfiltered: Paris Jackson & Gabriel Glenn, where one of the brothers she referred to other than Prince, 23, was Omer.
“Anytime we see each other... we feel recharged when we spend time together,” says Paris. “Both of my older brothers are like my best friends. I love them so much,” she said, as per USA Today. This added more mystery to the fact if Omer was really Michael's son.
In the episode titled, Meet Paris' Brothers, Omer was seen sitting with his rumored siblings. He revealed that he got to know Michael after the singer hired his mother, Pia Bhatti, to be Prince's nanny. He said that he partly raised Paris along with his mother. "She’s my little sister in every way,” he had added, as reported by Cheat Sheet.
The 35-year-old met the pop star in the 1990s with his parents in Tunisia. As soon as his mother was hired, they moved into Neverland to live with Michael's family. Growing up around him, Omer used to dress, dance, and perform like him. Michael was a mentor to him for years.
"As a little kid, looking up to him, the way I did back then, it’s like everything that I saw, it’s like I was like a sponge, just taking up everything," he said according to Amomama. Even though there were rumors about him being the fruit of a one-night stand between Pia and the late singer along with the claims Joe Jackson, Omer maintained that he was more like, "he, in a way, adopted me."
After the popstar's death, The Sun had claimed that the rapper and dancer was attempting to get a DNA test done to find out if he was the son of the Billie Jean singer or not but the results were never let out, reported Fabiosa. Jermaine Jackson, a member of the Jackson five and Michael's brother had said at the time that if Omer was the singer's son, they would welcome him to the family with open arms.
"If Omer’s his son, he’s his son. 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," he had said.
However, since the claims of the DNA test being conducted, Omer had stayed away from the topic but has remained close to the family, especially with his "brothers and sister."
Back in 2009, amidst all the rumors going around about Omer's father, the Michael Jackson look-alike confided in one of his friends and said, “Michael is not my father. He and I were just very, very close. He was my best friend," revealed The Mirror. He further told his friend, “Michael always used to say I was like a son to him but my true parents are here in Norway."
If you're thinking about why he was sitting with the closest members of his family at the memorial, then Omer cleared that doubt too when he told his friend, "The reason I was asked to sit with his family at the memorial service is because I was Michael’s closest friend – not because I am his son.”
Confiding in a girl pal he revealed, “Michael was such a special person to me and I cannot believe he is gone, I am in total shock. I have lost weight because I cannot eat anything. All I can think about is Michael and how he died.”
According to his mum, the Thriller hitmaker's death affected him deeply. “He has been totally crushed by Michael’s death,” she had said at that time. Even though he might not be his friend, but Omer's buddy, Ricky Harlow, said, “There was a real bond between Omer and Michael," and he seems to be maintaining that bond with Michael's surviving children.