Former child actor Mark Lester believes he’s the biological father of deceased superstar Michael Jackson’s children Prince Michael, 16, Paris, 15, and Blanket, 11, and he’s will to undergo DNA testing to prove it.
The Oliver! star alleges the Prince of Pop asked him to donate sperm one year prior to the births of the children, whom Lester claims now closely resemble his own four teenagers.
The Daily Mirror reports the 54-year-old even delivered an impassioned message to the children, with whom he’s remained out of contact since Jackson’s memorial service in 2009: ‘I’m here, come and visit England, we’ll look after you.’
Lester asserted he briefly blocked thoughts of the donation process, which occurred in the early 1990s: ‘After Michael asked me to donate sperm for him I completely forgot about it.’
Yet speaking to the outlet apparently jogged his memory, as he continued: ‘I remember Michael ringing and saying, ”Oh, you don’t have any fertility difficulties do you?”
‘Then out of the blue about a year later, he mentioned sperm donation and I agreed.’
He explained of the slightly uncomfortable process: ‘Michael set it up for me to turn up to a clinic in Harley Street, London to do it. It was weird.
‘I went in a couple of times to donate but we never talked about it ever again. It was a really strange request but while Michael was alive I never gave it another thought. I didn’t donate to get something out of it.’
The two friends met in 1978 after a Jackson 5 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre.
Both grown child stars, they got along swimmingly.
Questionable resemblance: The former child actor, pictured in 1970, is the godfather of Jackson’s three children including son Prince Michael, pictured at Jackson’s 2009 memorial service
Lester gushed of their relationship: ‘We ended up great friends. Michael had so many people and security around him but had very few people that knew him really closely. I became one of those lucky few.’
Their friendship endured through decades, with Jackson even naming Lester the godfather to his three children, born in 1997, 1998 and 2002 with ex-wife Debbie Rowe, to whom the hitmaker was married between 1996 and 1999.
Lester’s own four children often spent holidays and weekends with Jackson’s offspring.
He reminisced: ‘Every time Michael came to the UK, which was at least six times a year, I used to take my children to see his. They always got on really well.
‘We always used to stay at an isolated cottage at the Cliveden House hotel in Berkshire. I even took the kids to his home in the US. We were like one big happy family.’
Still, Lester maintains he never doubted the paternity of Jackson’s progeny while the Beat It singer was alive.
Only after Jackson’s drug-induced death at 50 did the lifelong pal entertain the idea that he may be the father of the grieving youngsters.
‘I noticed the likenesses in my own children and his,’ he explained. ‘My daughter Olivia looks like Paris. People have also pointed out similarities between myself when I was younger and Prince.’
Quality time: Lester, pictured in 1968, said of his meetings with Jackson’s offspring, ‘Every time Michael came to the UK, I used to take my children to see his. They always got on really well’
He continued of Jackson: ‘He was a great dad to them, brought them up and was brilliant with the kids so I just didn’t go there but there is obviously a good possibility (that I could be the biological father).’
After Lester raised the question to the Jackson family, the clan severed ties with the scorned godfather in a move that he deems ‘not what Michael would have wanted.’
The family has not responded to Lester’s resultant pleas despite his insistence that he remains willing to undergo DNA testing to confirm whether he is the children’s biological father.
Friend Uri Geller corroborated Lester’s claims in 2009, saying: ‘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.
Similar features: Lester alleges his daughters Olivia and Harrett, pictured in 2009, resemble Jackson’s daughter Paris, pictured in 2012
‘Now obviously I cannot 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 took together.
‘There was such a very strong bond, that to me, it really makes sense.”
Lester, however, adamantly states he will only submit to genetic testing with the approval of the Jackson children.
He remarked: ‘I wouldn’t have a DNA test without the children’s permission but when the children come of age, and it’s not far away, and they decide they want me to do it then I will. It is up to them.
‘I don’t want to tell them what to do. I just want to reconnect and be the godfather that Michael made me.’
Among Lester’s other allegations is the revelation that prior to his untimely death, Jackson hid a collection of unheard recordings in a vault in his Neverland Ranch.
The actor said of the unreleased tracks: ‘I’m amazed no one has got their hands on them yet.
‘He couldn’t read or write music so whenever lyrics came to him he just had to quickly write things down. If he got a beat he would tap it out on to a portable tape recorder. The tapes and words exist somewhere because I’ve heard some of them. One was about a mystery girl.
‘I don’t know if they were found when his estate was wound up. Either way they will be worth a bit of money,’ he finished.
Siblings? Lester remarked of genetic testing to determine whether Harriet, pictured in 2009, and Paris, pictured in 2011, are sisters, ‘It is up to them’
Read more: DailyMail