Kathy Hilton, Paris’ mom, was devastated by the recent loss of her lifelong “special friend” Michael Jackson, people.com reports.

“I have never lost anybody that I went to school with that I was close to in a friendship (that lasted) all these years,” she told People.

But Hilton, who first met Jackson when they were teens, believes that the late singer’s mother Katherine will be a positive guardian for the kids.

“I adore Mrs. Jackson. Katherine is the rock,” said Hilton. “It is like Camp Jackson, all of those kids. All the aunts, the uncles, the children come there. She plays Scrabble with them. She loves it. I think that’s what keeps her really young.” Asked if Katherine has the energy to watch over her three grandkids, Hilton responded: “Oh, she’s got the energy.”

Hilton, who lived next to the late singer at the Bel-Air Hotel for several months last year, has fond memories of her former neighbour. “He was so much more normal than people know. He really was. He loved to giggle and have fun. I spent time with him, had dinners,” she said. “He was the best father. He devoted the last 14 years to being with his children. He was a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, caring person. He would be there for people and he was so generous with his time and money.”