They have fallen far from their days as sequin-studded stage stars who could rake in seven-figure paydays for a single performance. Then they were the Jackson Five, the undisputed kings of Motown, a Berry Gordy-led, bell-bottomed global phenomenon.
Their first four singles rocketed to the top of the charts, four albums went platinum, and the band of brothers sold more than 100 million albums, second only to the Beatles, while pioneering a multimedia empire that spanned radio, TV, cartoons and magazines.
But in a series of interviews with three of the nine Jackson children, two relatives and a current and former employee - over the last three years and as recently as last week - The Post learned in stunning detail just how down and out the Jacksons are.
Marlon Jackson, 51, an original Jackson Five member who stocks shelves at a Vons supermarket in San Diego, had to temporarily move into an extended-stay hotel.
Randy, 46, does odd jobs, including fixing cars in a Los Angeles garage owned by a family friend. He recently claimed Michael was going to give him $1.7 million - "a pipe dream," said another brother last week.
Jackie, 56, the oldest and most debonair of the brothers, is struggling to manage his son Siggy's aspiring rap career after an Internet clothing business startup and attempts to produce music failed.
Jermaine, 54, shuttles back and forth from his girlfriend's home in Ventura County, Calif., to his parents' mansion in Encino, where Jackie and Randy still bunk.
Tito, 55, is the only brother still making music, but it's a meager living. The guitarist fronts a blues and jazz band that plays small venues and nets him $500 and $1,500 per occasional gig - a far cry from the days when the Jacksons could pull in 50,000 people at $30 a ticket.
Family patriarch Joseph Jackson, 79, spends most of his waking hours conjuring up schemes he hopes will replenish a bank account that once had more money than the FDIC cared to insure. Peddling musical girl groups in Las Vegas and a book about his family in Germany, Joseph, despite evidence to the contrary, is not convinced that time and the music industry have passed him by.
"We can get back out there and set the world on fire," he told The Post last week. "If the Rolling Stones can still rake in the money, so, too, can my boys."
Like their days growing up in hardscrabble Gary, Ind., the Jacksons are approaching poverty. Tough times have the clan recalling how the six boys and three girls shared a shingled home with a two-car garage, when Joseph worked in a steel mill and mother Katherine, 77, scoured thrift shops to clothe her brood.
THEIR home now, called Hayvenhurst, sits on more than five acres and is adorned with Michael's Hollywood Walk of Fame star, statues of animals, a lush flower garden, a dollhouse and a four-car garage with the word "Welcome" written above it.
But the beauty belies the family's dark fiscal troubles - workers often go months without a paycheck, and Janet Jackson, 41, the new breadwinner in the family, purchased a Vegas home for her mother in anticipation of her eventually losing Hayvenhurst.
"It was better in Gary, Indiana," Jermaine said a couple of years ago.
How did their fortunes crumble? A slew of bad investments, poor advice, bankruptcy, stubborn pride, divorces, IRS debt, child support and a brother, Michael, who would rather give $1 million to Marlon Brando than do a concert tour or record to help make his brothers whole again.
"Michael was not going to work with the family again," said Frank DiLeo, the manager who oversaw Michael Jackson's ultra-successful "Bad" album and tour. "He was concerned only about building his legacy. He had to be bigger than Elvis."
The family's downfall is not entirely Michael's fault, others argue. The Gloved One footed their bills for years. But his generosity came at a devastating price: The King of Pop used his vast power and influence to prevent his siblings from plying the trade that led to such mega-hits as "I Want You Back," "The Love You Save" and "ABC."
Jackson, riding high in the music world, signed his brothers to his personal record label, MJJ, and refused to release any of their music.
"Michael's mission was to make sure his family was broke, and he accomplished that through the industry, which mostly kowtowed to him," said Bob Jones, former longtime director of communications for Jackson and the author of "Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask."
"We were always ordered by Michael to keep his family away from his offices and out of his business," he said. "He hated them. He wanted them broke. Michael even refused to allow Jermaine, who had come over to Europe to see one of Michael's concerts about a decade ago, to guest on 'I'll Be There.' Jermaine was devastated."
The family filed for Chapter 11 protection in 1997, listing debts of more than $45 million following the collapse of Jackson Communications Inc., which was started by Jermaine. Only Michael, Janet and sister La Toya were spared from the many lawsuits connected to JCI.
LED by Janet, the Jack son sisters have carved out a far different lifestyle than their famous brothers.
Janet is said to be worth upward of $150 million, while controversial sister La Toya, 52, is a millionaire. Rebbie, 57, the oldest, has been married for more than 35 years to a successful businessman she met in Gary, and the two live in an exclusive Las Vegas enclave.
With the release of his "Invincible" album in 2001, Michael celebrated 30 years in the music industry with two star-studded concerts in Madison Square Garden.
While paying Brando $1 million to appear and giving five- and six-figure fees to artists such as Whitney Houston, Usher, Britney Spears and Destiny's Child to perform, Jacko had his brothers sign a contract that would pay them just $1,100 each.
Michael charged the brothers for hotel and travel, and the siblings were never paid their measly performance fees, according to the brothers.
"Charity begins at home," Joseph Jackson said during a 2005 interview. "Michael should think about that."
Promises again abounded during the 2005 child-molestation trial in which Michael swore he would regroup with the family and do a "Celebration" tour.
While Michael's publicist, Raymone Bain, often held impromptu press conferences to denounce those she claimed were taking advantage of Jacko, family members themselves were capitalizing on the daily headlines.
Joseph Jackson demanded payment for interviews during the trial. A Vegas-based magician named Majestik the Magnificent worked closely with Joseph to secure pay.
Inside the gates of the Hayvenhurst estate with Joseph, Majestik told a producer from MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" by cellphone that "our conversation must begin with at least $50,000 for Joe to come on."
When the producer, George Uribe, declined, Majestik shot back, "Your ratings go up with the Jacksons on, and you make a lot of money . . . so you gotta share the love."
Family members, led by Jermaine, began shooting home video of the goings-on during the trial, hoping to shop it to networks as a reality show.
DRAMATIC footage never seen by the public includes Jacko's drive to the courthouse on verdict day. In the SUV, Michael wails, "Why me? Why me?" Gripping a Bible, he begins to compare himself to the biblical Job.
More broken promises followed Jacko's acquittal.
"Michael said after the trial ends, and we know he is going to walk, that we are definitely going out on tour," Jermaine said. "We are going to set the world on fire." Instead Michael fled to the Middle East. Randy Jackson, who persuaded several friends to remortgage their homes, used the cash to help pay Michael's legal and other expenses. Randy said he was left holding the bag when Michael fled to Bahrain. When Michael returned to the States, taking up residence in Las Vegas in December 2006, Randy tried to confront him, but Michael would not have it. A desperate Randy charged the compound housing Michael, but bodyguards were sicced on the youngest brother.
"We are willing now to go out and do some things without [Michael]," one of the brothers said recently. "We have to."
Joseph Jackson, 79 and Katherine Jackson, 77
Dad hustles various girl groups in Las Vegas. Mom is still a stay-at-home housewife and the only family member in contact with Michael. Both have previously filed for bankruptcy
Janet Jackson, 41
The current family breadwinner. She bought her mom a Vegas home in anticipation of losing the family's mansion, Hayvenhurst, to foreclosure. Like their Neverland colleagues, workers at Hayvenhurst have not been paid for months.
La Toya Jackson, 52
Family turncoat who declared Michael guilty during the 1993 molestation case, she earns a living mostly in Europe and in the UAE judging beauty and singing contests. She lives with a wealthy boyfriend in Beverly Hills and has little contact with her siblings.
Rebbie Jackson, 57
The oldest, she's married to successful businessman Nathaniel Brown.
Tito Jackson, 55
Formed a blues band several years ago and plays at small venues for $500 to $1,500 a gig.
Michael Jackson, 49
On the verge of losing Neverland ranch as well as the family's Encino, Calif., home. He's hiding out in Las Vegas and repeatedly makes promises to his brothers while sabotaging any attempts by them to ply their musical trade.
Randy Jackson, 46
Does odd jobs like changing tires to support himself. He was Michael's business manager during the 2005 molestation trial but ran into serious problems with friends after he persuaded three people to take out lines of credits against their homes to help Michael pay his attorney fees and Michael stiffed them.
Marlon Jackson, 51
Lives in San Diego, where he works stocking groceries at a Vons supermarket. He fell on hard times three years ago when he was forced to leave his foreclosed home and move into an Extended Stay America hotel with his wife, Carol.
Jackie Jackson, 56
The oldest son started an Internet clothing business and is trying to produce records by his sons. Nothing has panned out.
Jermaine Jackson, 54
Splits time between the parents' Hayvenhurst mansion and his girlfriend's home in the San Fernando Valley. With more than $5 million in federal, state and other liens against him and a 1995 bankruptcy filing, he doesn't work or have a regular income.