Joe Jackson, the Jackson patriarch who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 89, was a coach, tutor, drill sergeant and manager, which left little time for softness. He made his children refer to him as “Joseph” or “Joe,” not dad, and his penchant for corporal punishment cast him in popular consciousness as either a strict disciplinarian or a child abuser.
People’s article, “Joe Jackson Was Left Out of Son Michael's Will: 'This Is a Decision His Son Made' Says Lawyer,” reports that his son Michael, the King of Pop, had a troubling childhood with Joe, marred by trauma. In numerous interviews before his death in 2009, Michael said that beatings were common—punishments for minor infractions or poor performances—and his mother was powerless to intervene.
Joe remained unapologetic and even defiant about getting physical with his kids. He told Oprah Winfrey in 2010, that he didn’t regret using a strap as a method for hitting.
Their complicated relationship continued to play out even after Michael’s death. When Michael’s will, signed in July 2002, became public seven years later, it was discovered that Joe was effectively written out of Michael’s fortune.
His father was not among the names in the “Petition for Probate” list, which outlined all of the beneficiaries and fiduciaries named in the will and in the Michael Jackson Family Trust. These included trusts for his children and his mother, Katherine, who was named as guardian of his kids. In fact, rather than his father as a backup guardian for his children, Michael instead listed fellow Motown legend Diana Ross.
Some in the Jackson family claimed that the 2002 will was somehow fraudulent, supposedly due to the fact Michael was apparently in New York City the day the will was signed and dated. However, according to Forbes, even if the documents were somehow falsified (which they weren’t), the court would revert to the three previous drafts of the will, none of which list Joe. His attempt to challenge the will in the wake of Michael’s death ended in failure. “Joe Jackson takes none of this estate,” Judge Mitchell Beckloff declared in 2009. “This is a decision his son made.”
Reference: People (June 27, 2018) “Joe Jackson Was Left Out of Son Michael's Will: 'This Is a Decision His Son Made' Says Lawyer”