On Sunday night, Janet Jackson made history as the first black woman to win the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards. Though several members of her famous family were in the audience at Las Vegas's MGM Grand Garden Arena to support her, Paris Jackson, Janet's niece, was noticeably absent from the event. On Monday, Paris uploaded a series of posts to her Instagram Story (that have since disappeared or been deleted) in which she explained why she wasn't there to celebrate Jackson's honor in person.
"No one from my mgmt reached out to me about attending billboards or about the award, and no one from my family did either. i had absolutely no idea until y'all spammed me with hatred," she wrote, per People. (Paris's grandmother Katherine, aunt Rebbie, and brother Prince were all in attendance at the BBMAs.) "Dear social media followers, friends, stalkers, lovers and haters, and fellow moonwalkers: Please do not tell me/demand/try to control how I handle my relationship with the people in my life, specifically my family," she added. "As amazing and as sh*tty as things can be, it is no one's business but ours. I understand that some of you feel some sort of connection or need to be apart of our lives considering you watched us grow up."
"However, I am handling my situation exactly how my father did. And I am happy keeping it that way. I will always have love and respect for my family. ALWAYS," Paris continued. "Every family has their moments of trauma, heartbreak, separation, love, oneness, tribe, pain, everything. EVERY FAMILY. My family, specifically, and a good number of others… well, our drama is broadcasted worldwide through media. But that doesn't mean our family issues are any different from yours. Ours are just made public."
The 20-year-old went on to further shut down rumors of any rifts between her and her aunt, posting a throwback photo on her Instagram Story later on Monday night that showed her and Jackson making silly faces at the camera. "Congrats auntie ! You earned it," she captioned the picture. Around the same time, Paris also responded to a publication on Twitter that published an article casting doubt on her excuse for missing the BBMAs. "You clearly didn’t get the message. mind. your. own. should i spell it out for you in wooden alphabet blocks? no one told me about the performance or award. not my family or my management so take a hike dude," she wrote.
After performing a medley of her hits "Nasty" and "Throb," Janet Jackson accepted this year's Icon Award with a speech that referenced the #MeToo movement. "I'm deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I believe that for all the challenges, for all our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history," she said. "It's a moment when, at long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused. I stand with those women—and with those men equally outraged by discrimination, who support us in heart and mind."
Related: Paris Jackson and Cara Delevingne Reunited in New York City, This Time With Kendall Jenner