Well that was quick: Michael Jackson's family lawyer has rejected claims that Mark Lester is Paris' father
By Daily Telegraph reporter
Published: 8:14AM BST 10 Aug 2009
Mr Lester, 51, was a close friend of the late pop superstar. He is godfather to Paris, 11, and Jackson's two other children, 12-year-old Prince, and Prince Michael II, the seven-year-old nicknamed Blanket.
He claimed over the weekend that he had donated sperm to Jackson and was willing to take a paternity test to find out the truth.
But Brian Oxman, the Jackson family's lawyer, said he was confident the King of Pop was Paris' father.
“The thing I always heard from Michael was that Michael was the father of these children, and I believe Michael," he said on GMTV from Los Angeles.
Lester, who starred in 1960s musical Oliver!, said he donated sperm to the King of Pop 13 years ago.
The actor cited similarities between his own 15-year-old daughter Harriet and Paris, 11.
“I gave Michael my sperm so that he could have kids – and I believe Paris is my daughter,” he said.
Mr Oxman told GMTV he did not think that Lester was lying, but that he was repeating what he had wrongly been told.
“Mark Lester is a friend of mine – he is a straight shooter," he said.
“I think what Mark said is what he understands – he was told these things. That’s what Michael wanted it to be. But Michael always told me he was the papa.”
Lester told the News of the World that he felt a "definite bonding" with Paris.
"I think there’s a definite possibility that she’s part of me," he said.
“I want to have contact with her, Prince and Blanket regardless of whether any or all of them are mine. “Paris is very pale, with blue eyes. All my daughters, apart from my eldest, are fair with blue eyes. So many people have commented on how alike Harriet and Paris look.”
Lester said he was speaking out because he feared being cut out of the lives of Jackson’s children. Up until the pop singer’s memorial last month, he was in contact with them on a weekly basis, the former child star said.
But recently, he said all his phone calls and emails had gone unanswered.
“This isn’t what Michael would have wanted,” Lester told the paper. I feel I have to come forward, as my only way of saying, ‘Please don’t shut me out!’.”
He was supported by Jackson’s close friend, Uri Geller.
"I have no reason to doubt Mark's story simply because I remember years ago in New York Michael implied to me that he wanted Mark to help him father a child for him," he told GMTV. "Obviously I can't be 100 per cent sure that Paris is the biological daughter of Mark but I remember those words, and knowing the relationship that Mark had with Michael and their families and their children and the many trips they did take together, there was such a strong bond that to me it really makes sense.
"As Mark Lester's friend and past friend of Michael Jackson, I really have to respect at this stage both camps. I would advise the family to allow Mark to do a paternity test. That will solve everything, won't it?" Mr Oxman also revealed that a final burial ceremony had taken place for Jackson. It follows the return last week of certain tissues such as his brain following autopsy and post-mortem investigations. These tissues were interred with the singer’s body during a “low key ceremony”, Mr Oxman said.
“The interment has now taken place," he told GMTV. “The burial itself was at the time of (last month’s) memorial.
“When the tissues were returned to the body, then the interment was made final.”
The Daily Mirror said the ceremony happened at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills.
A spokesman for the sprawling site said she “had no information to give” on any ceremony to do with Jackson. Michael Jackson lawyer rejects Mark Lester claims he is Paris' father - Telegraph