Who was Michael Jackson? Was he a victim or a predator? Or perhaps both? Was he an innocent little boy lost or a scheming monster? Or somewhere in between? The thing is, if you talk to his friends, you get one picture. If you listen to those who worked for him or briefly had dealings with him, you get another. Talk to the men who claimed to have been his lovers and you see a man with insatiable appetites, who was nonetheless kind and generous. Interview the little boys (now grown to men) who have and still are trying to sue, and you see a scheming predator. He went from being a cute kid singer in the Jackson 5 in the 1960s and 1970s, to an international superstar of the 1980s whose talent landed him in both the dance and singing halls of fame. And from there? Throughout the 1990s, up until his death at the age of 50 in 2009, there is a bizarre slide into a surreal life lived in a ranch he called “Neverland”, increasing reliance on drugs to ease the pain from the injuries he suffered in that 1984 Pepsi commercial and a desperate flight from an abusive childhood that led to an orgy of plastic surgeries, more drugs, anorexia and physical decline. In many ways, he never grew up and was an innocent. In other ways he probably was damaged goods that, intentionally or not, damaged others. The reality is that he was probably doomed from the beginning, a kind of perfect storm of talent, vulnerability, instability and an addictive personality who at the end of the day was worth more dead than he was alive.
Here are 15 shocking things Michael Jackson would not want you to know.
16. Little Boy Lost And His Warm Blanket
According to The Daily Mail, Michael once called Elizabeth Taylor a “warm cuddly blanket that I love to snuggle up to and cover myself with.” Talk about “the odd couple”. Ageing movie star Elizabeth Taylor and young Michael Jackson seemed joined at the emotional hip after they met at an awards show in the 1980s. They called it “pure” love. It kind of made sense. They shared a history of dysfunctional families, abusive fathers and early stardom. But when they were together they regressed into the childhood neither had growing up. They cavorted around Neverland like two kids, having food fights and riding on the rides. Michael lavished her with diamonds and furs. Michael’s mother, Katherine, hated Taylor, said that she had stolen her son. She was right. But after Jackson’s childhood, it was probably an easy steal. But, still, there are those rumors about what else Michael and Liz really got up to in his magic kingdom. Some say the pill-popping Taylor only added to the list of drugs Jackson was regularly using.
15. Leave Her Alone Joe. She’s Tired
Many say there is no way Michael Jackson could not have been totally f*cked up. If you think daddy-band manager Joe, looks a little something, well you would be right. He forced the 13-year-old Michael to have hormone shots to stop his voice breaking. La Toya Jackson has claimed the man who instructed his children to call him Joseph molested her and her sister Rebbie. Wife Katherine would plead with him, “Leave her alone. She’s tired.” Michael complained long and loudly that his father had beaten him. Some say Jacko’s obsession with plastic surgery was an attempt to wipe out any resemblance to daddy Joe. It got worse when Michael went out on his own and left the rest of the Jacksons eating his dust. His mother Katherine called her son a f*g and complained about Michael and those little boys. Why? None of them were black. WTF? By that time it was 1988 and Jackson was living in Neverland. In every sense of the word.
14. Michael Was Never The Same After Pepsi
The beginning of the end came in 1984 when, at the height of his fame and fortune, Michael was paid millions to front a Pepsi ad campaign. Then that commercial that went so wrong. A pyrotechnic display went off too early and Michael was, literally, on fire. He suffered second- and third-degree burns and injuries that left him in more or less permanent pain. That led to prescription drugs for pain and anxiety. A cocktail of Davocet, Percocet and Propofel was prescribed to ease the pain and help him sleep. As the years went on, he became addicted, leading to anorexia and drastic weight loss that led to fits of dizziness and nausea. In 1984, he was a healthy male. Ten years later, he was a skeletal shadow of his former self, his face unrecognizable. What most people don’t know is that even before that commercial, he had been diagnosed with lupus and was emotionally fragile and prone to mood swings. The added drugs only made it worse.
13. I’m Done. I’m Better Off Dead.
It’s 2009 and Jackson is holed up somewhere in California with his entourage, a strange mixture of hanger-ons and reportedly predatory Nation of Islam minders. He often gets about in a wheelchair, hides behind facial masks, is losing his hair and has disfiguring facial blemishes. But the story put out is that his This is It tour would be the greatest comeback of all time. It’s a lie. Jackson knows it. His entourage know it. He was tricked into signing a 50 concert tour when he would have been extremely lucky to get through one, even using advanced lip-synch technology. He is rail thin, can’t sleep, has nightmares and is pretty much permanently doped up. And then those fatal words from the fallen King of Pop: “I’m better off dead. I’m done”. And soon, he was just that. Dead. How did it get to that point?
12. You’d Be Surprised How Many Rappers Are Gay
Liberace was as out of the closet as you can get. And he and Michael bonded at Neverland, sometimes while recovering from their joint obsession: Plastic surgery. “Journalist” Ian Halperin, who has recently dished the dirt on the Kardashians, previously did a tell-all book on Jackson, Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson. Halperin talks of Jackson’s decline, of thinning hair, wigs, discolored fingernails and facial blemishes. And he says he was convinced Michael Jackson was gay. Halperin interviewed men who claimed to have been Jackson’s lovers, from waiters Jackson picked up in restaurants to a hunky Asian construction worker. Even a former lover of Liberace has waded in with stories of romps in the sack with Jackson. Later for that. And Halperin also says Jackson told him that “coming out” was not an option for a black man. Intriguingly, he also told the author he would be surprised at how many rappers were gay. Interesting, we think.
11. I’d Rather Climb A Tree Than “Do The Deed”
Michael Jackson “liked” little boys. No, it may not be what you think. Or it maybe what you think. That’s the delicious mystery. Some firmly believe all those claims of s*x abuse. Others, like Ian Halperin, say not true, that Jackson who suffered child abuse and exploitation at the hands of his parents, simply loved having children (specifically young white boys) around. Halperin says that Michael told him that he would rather climb a tree than “do the deed”. Okay. That is weird. But then it is Michael Jackson we are talking about. Before he was acquitted of abuse charges in 2005, there were civil suits. Lots of civil suits. Even now, men and women (yes, women) are still coming forward to claim child s*x abuse by Jackson. Lately, there has even been talk of child p*rnography and a sophisticated procurement ring. And what does the dysfunctional Jackson clan say? Yes to liking little boys. No to procurement and p*rnography.
10. An Obsession With Elvis And Marriage To His Daughter
Michael Jackson was obsessed with “the King”, Elvis Presley. And in 1994, a year after he settled a high profile abuse case filed by the family of Jordan Chandler, he married Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley. Now, first of all, it’s kind of spooky how much like him she looks. Think about that one. Makes for a complicated s*x life, if one existed. She has said they had a “normal” marriage and that Michael was very passionate. But they divorced in 1996. Why? Well, maybe she just got tired of pretending. Or maybe it was more complicated than that. Some say Jackson was obsessed with the idea of having children and Lisa Marie just was not interested. Reportedly, Jackson tried to sell her on the idea of using a surrogate to carry his child. And she decided to count herself out of what was becoming a more and more bizarre Jackson universe.
9. The King Of Pop Is Going To Lick Your Lolli***
How about this for an opening line to a lover: “The King of Pop is going to lick your lolli***”? Ian Halperin has said that he personally interviewed two of Michael Jackson’s male Californian lovers and that the singer did indeed come out with those very words. Apparently Jackson was very shy, but insatiable in the sack. And his lovers found him both kind and generous. Let’s move on to near the end. Picture this: It’s 2007 and Michael Jackson is nearly broke and living in Las Vegas. Bizarrely, he has collaborated with Cirque du Soleil to produce a tribute show. According to Ian Halperin, while in Nevada, Jackson fell in love with a Vegas construction worker. And we quote: “Michael would leave the house in disguise, often dressed as a women, to meet his boyfriend at a motel… one of Vegas’ grungiest dives.” Two years later and he was dead.
8. His Hatred For His Father: Plastic Surgery, A Second Wife And Fatherhood
Dr. Arnold Klein was Jackson’s dermatologist and friend. Remember the skin bleaching and such? Thank Dr. Jackson. Then there’s the plastic surgery. Jackson admitted to a couple of nose jobs, but some say that in a quest to remove any resemblance to his “ugly” hated father Joe, Michael underwent thirty surgeries. Maybe more. If the result had not been so tragic, it would have been funny. And Dr. Klein was on hand to help Michael fulfill his other big obsession. No, not that one. We’re talking fatherhood. Klein’s assistant, Debbie Rowe, was to become his second wife and mother to his first two kids, Prince and Paris. What was in it for her? 15 of fame as his wife (briefly) and millions of dollars. She’s worth some $25 million these days. Then came “Blanket”, the kid born of a surrogate Jackson never named. It goes without saying that all of this inseminating was done via IVF in a lab. But was Jackson the father?
7. Was Jackson Shooting Blanks?
Enter Charles Dickens’ Oliver. Or rather Mark Lester, the child star who played the Victorian boy in the movie of the same name. There have been stories that Michael Jackson had fertility issues and was simply not capable of fathering a child. The former child star, who met Michael in London back in the 1970s, has put his hand up (and claimed 15 more of fame) and said that Jackson called him “to help me out” with Debbie Rowe. Lester imagined a roll in the sheets and declined the “honor”. No, Michael said, sp*rm donation please. So Lester agrees, rolls up to a center in London and “donates”. And that’s the last he knows. So, was it Michael? Was it Mark? Only a DNA test will tell. Mark is willing. No word from Prince, Paris and Blanket. Lester has also said that Paris looks like his daughter Olivia. Maybe a happy reunion is on the cards? Or not.
6. The Doctor Claims Jacko Had A Thing For Little Girls
Dr. Conrad Murray was Jackson’s personal doctor. He was also the one convicted of involuntary manslaughter after one of his injections led to Jackson’s death. Of course, he wrote a book in which he makes a number of shocking claims. For example he writes that 30-something Jackson watched Harry Potter and wanted to marry its 11-year old star, Emma Watson. He also has said that Jackson was obsessed with a five-year-old girl, namely, one Harriet Lester, daughter of his friend Mark. Seems the Lester and Jackson families spent a lot of time together and Paris and Harriet used to hang out. Well, he has also claimed that, having developed a crush on Harriet Lester when she was five, he wanted to send Conrad to London in 2006, when she was all of eleven, to propose marriage. British TV journalists waved aside Harriet’s and Mark’s denials and their loyal defense of Michael, saying that it was obvious Jackson over the years had been “grooming” Harriet. Or, some say, that Jackson was so drugged up, he probably didn’t know which way was up. His own version of La-La Land.
5. The Blood-Suckers Take Over His Life?
Some say that, towards the end of Jackson’s life the black nationalist sect, the Nation of Islam got through to the inner sanctum of Michael Jackson’s crumbling life via its connection to a member of his staff. The most extreme accusations say that his Nation of Islam “minders” took over Jackson’s life and ran the show. Not so say others in Jackson’s camp. But whoever was in charge, one thing was very clear: By 2009, Michael Jackson was on the verge of bankruptcy, was incapable of staging his so-called comeback tour, had very few assets and was, quite frankly, worth more dead than he was alive. Was there a plot? Nobody can say yes or no to that one. But in June of 2009 Jackson was dead.
4. Civil Suits: Hush Money Paid To An Underage Girl
At the end of 2016, a bombshell hit when a woman filed a civil case claiming Jackson had abused her as a child over a number of years from 1986. Her lawyers have produced copy checks to her (allegedly) from Jackson and his companies totaling nearly $1 million. Why else, they say, would the singer have paid her so much money if it weren’t to shut her up? There are stories of Jackson’s “candy room”, of Jackson fondling her and making her perform certain acts on him. Now, some say such a claim is just so much hot air. But it does bring into focus Dr. Conrad Murray’s claims of Jackson’s obsessions and appetites. According to the suit, Jackson sweet-talked the girl’s mom. Me, he said, I just love kids… or something like that. She’ll be safe with me…
3. Civil Suits 2016 Style: Wade Robson
As time has gone on, Michael Jackson and the saga of the little boys has gone from one-off instances to accusations of a “sophisticated public child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation organization”. If you think that sounds like mumbo-jumbo, it does because it’s the language used in the now-grown-up choreographer Wade Robson’s civil suit filed against the Jackson’s estate and his companies MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. Apparently, a Neverland maid saw Jackson showering with Robson (it seems that the former Neverland maids have a nice little sideline testifying to such goings on). Odds are Robson won’t succeed. His original 2013 claim was thrown out and the new one is a thinly veiled attempt to get over the legal issues that plagued his original claim. But it is proof that as time goes on, legal eagles will thrown more and more dirt, until something sticks.
2. The Author Who Predicted He Had 6 Months To Live
In December of 2008, six months before Michael Jackson died, Ian Halperin told the world that the singer had only six months to live. Reportedly, it took six months and a day for it to happen, but still, the claim seems pretty spot-on and guaranteed maximum sales when Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson came out a month after he died. Halperin had immersed himself in the Jackson camp and had access to insiders, former lovers, even a few family members. He saw a half-dead zombie of a man, a skeletal figure who had nightmares about being murdered, who was masked and wheeled around in a wheelchair. Not so, says the Jackson camp. The “comeback tour” will be a triumph. They lied: Halperin claims that Jackson had a genetic disorder that attacked his lungs and that he could barely speak, let alone sing. The final insult.
1. From Liberace To Michael Jackson
Scott Thorson was Liberace’s blonde toy boy. Together with the gay pianist/entertainer, Scott hung out with Michael Jackson at Neverland. What’s more, he has claimed that for six or seven years, he and Jackson were lovers. According to that harbinger of truth, The Sun, Thorson has praised Jackson’s prowess and called him “generous”. “He treated me well.” Thorson has had a spot of trouble with the law after he tried to use a credit card that was not his. And his kiss (and more) tell autobiography Behind the Candelabra formed the basis of an HBO movie, starring Matt Damon as Scott and Michael Douglas as Liberace. Scott was obviously p*ssed off when the stars declined to bail him out after his little credit card fiasco. Michael Douglas mincing?