The man who defended Michael Jackson in his 2005 child abuse trial has said “repeated media attention” could have complicated the life of the singer’s 15-year-old daughter Paris.
The teenager was taken to hospital after what is thought to have been a possible overdose, but is now “safe and doing fine”.
Lawyer Tom Mesereau said Jackson’s children faced a “tremendously public profile” when their father died.
“Michael was a very, very devoted father and very protective of his children,” he told Daybreak. “All of a sudden he was gone and what replaced him was a tremendously public profile of these children, a lot of involvement with the media, with the entertainment world.
“Everywhere they went they were followed, they were examined, they were dissected, they were criticised. And obviously this has caught up to her, and it’s really a tragedy. She’s a beautiful, brilliant, popular, kind-hearted, lovely young girl who clearly has some troubles that have to be addressed.”
The lawyer said the 15-year-old was at a difficult age, and unlike other young people she has to deal with the added pressure of the media spotlight.
“Teenage years are difficult anyway, but to subject someone to this kind of repeated media attention has got to complicate things even more,” he said.
Mr Mesereau said any problems faced by Paris are “magnified a thousand times by the media attention that her family just repeatedly has”.
The lawyer said we never know what “lurks inside people”.
Fire and sheriff’s officials said they transported someone from a home in the Calabasas neighbourhood of Los Angeles with a possible overdose, but did not release any identifying information or additional details.
Paris frequently posts messages about her life on Twitter, where she has more than a million followers.
One of her most recent posts was from the Beatles song Yesterday, saying: “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away now it looks as though they’re here to stay.” Another post included the question: “I wonder why tears are salty?”
A 20-minute video of the teenager applying make-up was posted on YouTube last week, but she said on Twitter she did not know how the video – in which she repeatedly says “I am so weird” – ended up on the site.
But she added: “I hope you guys liked it tho and didn’t think i’m too crazy. i get weird when i’m not around people lol.”
Her grandmother Katherine Jackson shares guardianship of her son’s three children – Paris and her brothers Prince, 16, and Blanket, 11 – with the singer’s nephew TJ Jackson.
A lawyer for Debbie Rowe, Paris’s biological mother, said: “We appreciate everyone’s thoughts for Paris at this time and their respect for the family’s privacy.”
Paris’s uncles Tito, Marlon and Jackie echoed that sentiment in a statement last night, saying: “Thank you for the outpouring of concern and support for Paris – she is safe and doing fine. We truly appreciate you respecting our family’s privacy at this time.”
Michael Jackson kept his children out of the spotlight during his lifetime. After his death at 50 from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol in June 2009, the children took on a more public life, beginning with his memorial service, which included Paris’s tearful goodbye to her father.
She has expressed interest in starting a singing career, has plans to star in a movie, and has been featured in magazines. Her older brother Prince was a guest correspondent earlier this year for Entertainment Tonight.
In recent months, she has reconnected with Ms Rowe, with whom she has had little contact for most of her life.
The children are listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by their grandmother against concert giant AEG Live, which she claims is responsible for her son’s death.
Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit claims AEG failed to properly investigate Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of causing the singer’s death, and pushed the superstar to rehearse and perform a planned series of 50 comeback shows called This Is It.
Paris and Prince are listed as potential witnesses in the case, which is in its sixth week of trial.
Mrs Jackson’s trial lawyer, Brian Panish, declined to comment on Paris’s condition.
Her admission to hospital came hours after AEG Live’s chief executive Randy Phillips told a jury that he believed the lawsuit was an extortion attempt and that the company should not be held responsible for Michael Jackson’s death.