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The Jackson Bunch

Four of Michael Jackson's nephews, and a niece, now live in the Los Angeles mansion where Michael grew up. But life for them isn't always easy these days.

With the family in an unwelcome spotlight due to Michael's court case, The Early Show's National Correspondent Hattie Kauffman got an exclusive two-part interview with the youngsters. It was the first time they spoke on the record, telling Kauffman how they feel about being part of their very famous family.

"We're like every other family out there. I don't understand. People think we're so different but no we're not," says niece Genevieve, 14, summing up the feelings of her siblings.

She says they watch clips of the old Jackson Five all the time.

Do they feel pressure to follow in their older relatives' footsteps?

"Sometimes," says Randy, 12.

Genevieve agrees: "Sometimes, but not all the time. 'Cause you know our parents, understand like…

"They don't push us," chimes in Donte, also 12.

"They don't pressure to be something we don't want to be," adds Genevieve.

Randy wants to be an actor, Donte a lawyer. Jaafar, 8, sees himself as the next Tiger Woods. Brother Jermajesty, 4, also loves golf - leaving Genevieve to carry on the family's musical tradition.

Kauffman asked Michael's brother Jermaine why he wanted the children to be interviewed. "I felt that it was important to show the public that, we have children. We are just like any other family. We're, like the Brady Bunch, but we're the Jackson bunch," Jermaine said.

Well, not quite. Not every kid gets private golf lessons from pros. In fact two pros. They agree Jaafar is a natural.

"He's going to make us proud one day," Jemaine says of Jaafar. "My dream is to see him and Jermajesty develop into great golfers."

Jermajesty is also taking readily to dancing.

The five all agree that their best times are when Michael is around. Donte and Randy say pure fun is the order of the day at those times. "When he comes here, we play like, hide-and-go-seek, go swimming," says Randy.

"Yeah, we play all the time with him," adds Donte.

Genevieve says Michael "still has that childhood in him, you know? And, I love that about him. That's what I love, like. …During the summer, we went to Miami to spend the Fourth of July there, and we were just lighting up fireworks, and it was so much fun."

Sometimes, Kauffman notes, the kids have Jackson's famous Neverland ranch all to themselves.

What are their favorite activities there?

"I like to go on the rides, or watch movies," says Randy. Jaafar prefers the Neverland zoo and arcade.

What they don't like is being teased at school about the charges against Uncle Michael.

"Sometimes just random kids you don't even know come up to you and they just ask you things. They're just crazy questions," says Genevieve.

"It hurts us," confides Donte.

"But then we get over it," continues Genevieve, "because, you know, my mom and dad have always taught us to stay strong."


In Part Two: more on how the kids cope with that unwelcome glare, and a tour of the "Wall of Fame" Michael created inside the family home.