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Prince Jackson steps into public spotlight

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 10:35 AM EST, Thu November 10, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Prince Jackson shows support for his uncles with jacket endorsement
  • The "Thriller" and "Beat It" replicas are "nice to wear to events," Prince says
  • Michael Jackson's oldest son wants to be an actor
  • Although rich from his father's estate, Prince wants to earn his own money, lawyer says

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Michael Jackson's oldest son, Prince, takes another step into the public eye this week with his first commercial endorsement.

Prince Jackson, 14, revealed in an interview that while he can't sing or dance like his father, he wants to be a television and movie actor. He has previously said he wanted to be a director.

While some Jackson fans may object, saying Prince Jackson is too young to be involved in an endorsement, the lawyer for grandmother Katherine Jackson said steps are being taken to "make sure that going forward everything with the children is done by the book."

Prince isn't doing it for the money, but as a favor for his uncles, the four surviving original members of the Jackson 5 group that featured his father.

None of the marketing materials for the jackets includes Prince's name or image, but he did join Jackie, Marlon and Tito Jackson recently when they autographed 1,000 replicas of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and "Thriller" leather jackets. Jermaine Jackson also signed the jackets, which go on sale Thursday through Amazon.com.

The J5 Collection, which is based on the styles of the Jackson 5, will introduce Michael Jackson's style "to a new generation," Prince Jackson told CNN.

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He might wear them to "dress up parties," he said. "It's not casual, but it's nice to wear to events."

Prince Jackson, who's about 5-foot-10, is showing signs of a young man who is ready to make his own mark on the world.

Jackson's three children -- Prince, Paris and Blanket -- were famously sheltered from public view until their father's death on June 25th, 2009. It wasn't until the pop icon's memorial service that the world got a close look at them.

Paris, now 13, spoke for her brothers then, saying her "daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine."

Prince Jackson spoke up on the Grammys stage in February 2010 when he accepted his father's lifetime achievement award.

"To all his songs, his message was simple, love," then-12-year-old Prince said. "We will continue to spread his message and help the world."

Since then, Prince talked briefly to Oprah Winfrey when she visited his home last year to interview grandparents Joe and Katherine Jackson.

Prince also walked a red carpet and answered a few questions from reporters during a recent trip to Germany to accept an award to his father.

He smiled broadly and appeared confident on stage at the tribute show to his father in Wales last month when he introduced Beyonce's song.

Prince said he's hoping to travel with Jackie, Tito and Marlon Jackson when they perform shows in Japan next month. The plan is to have Prince introduce his uncles on stage, Marlon Jackson said.

Perry Sanders, the lawyer for Katherine Jackson, said Prince has indicated he is determined to make his own money, even though he will inherit many millions from his father's estate.

Taking care to make the right decisions about what deals to accept and what to reject is crucial to protecting his brand as the eldest son of the King of Pop, he said.

His uncles asked Prince to support the "Thriller" and "Beat It" jacket sales, a line that is authorized by the executors of the Michael Jackson estate.

"These limited quantity collector's items are exact replicas of the iconic originals and were created by the original designer of the jackets," according to a news release.

Michael Jackson debuted the red "Beat It" and red and black "Thriller" jackets, designed by Marc Laurent, in 1983. The Jackson brothers signed 500 of each jacket, which will sell for $2,350.

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