2003 - February 3: "Living With Michael Jackson" T.V. Documentary PDF Print E-mail


On his ‘Giving Tree’:

“I called (this tree) my giving tree because it inspires me. I love climbing trees in general, but this tree I loved the most because I climb up high and look down at its branches and I just love it… So many ideas. I’ve written so many songs from this tree. I wrote “Heal the World” in this tree, “Will you be there”, “Black or White”, “Childhood”. I love climbing trees. I think water balloon fights and climbing trees.. those are two of my favorites.”

On his favorite pastime activities:

“I love climbing tress. I think it’s my favorite thing. I love water-balloon fights and climbing trees. I think they…those to are my favorite (sic). […] As my pastime fun. You know, not… I can’t compare it to performing, but other people play football, basketball, I like to climb trees. […]”

On craving for a normal childhood and on his father:

“[…] I remember precisely going to Motown Studios to record, and right across the street, from the street, there was a park, and I could hear the roar of, you know, the Lully team and their playing soccer and football and volleyball and they were playing baseball…and I remember a lot of the times, looking back, and really hiding my face, crying. And I wanted to play sometime (sic), you know, and I couldn’t. I had to go, I had to…[…] I had to go to the studio. […] Our father would practice us with a belt in his hand, and if you missed a step, expect to be whipped. […] He was tough. […] That’s why, to this day, I don’t lay a finger on my children, I don’t want them to ever feel that way about me. Ever…[…] And I totally forgive him for it, you know?...You have to…[…]”

On some recurring private experiences he would experience on tours:

“I had to share bedrooms with one of my brothers [sometimes] on the tours, and there was some action going on in my room every night. I could hear it. And I used to – my job was to play sleep. And…and I was told by one of my brothers, ‘No matter what, don’t get up, don’t open your eyes”, I go, ‘I promise, I won’t’. And so, I would hear these girls come in and I would hear them say, ‘Is that little Michael?’ And my brother would say, ‘Yeah’ and they would go, ‘Oh, he’s so cute’, like that, and I’m…I heard everything. […]”


On a private experience with first girlfriend, former child actress, Tatum O’Neal:

“[I had] not a lot [of girlfriends in my adolescence]. My first girlfriend, who I really loved a lot, was [actress] Tatum O’Neal. […] It was [a typically romantic adolescent love affair], but I don’t think I was ready for some of the things she was talking about [laughs]. I was pretty naïve, I’m not joking. I hope she forgives me for telling this story…okay, Tatum?...Please, forgive me. I remember her telling me to come over the house - to her house, at [her] Beverly Hills’ house too – and what she’s gonna do to me when I come. You know, all the…[…] All the sexual stuff [embarrasses]. So I’m scared to death. […] I’m scared…scared, ‘cause I’ve never done anything like that. I came over there, trying to be Mr. Big Shot and brave, I remember she cut out all the lights in her bedroom, open the curtains – you could see the whole skyline of the city over the cliff…it was beautiful. And she told me to go over and lie on her bed and I did, I went along with it, and she slowly walked over and she touched the button of my shirt upon and I put my hands like this [over my face] and I wouldn’t let them down. And she… just walked away. She knew I was too shy for it. That’s what happened. […] I was frightened, I was afraid. I don’t think I was ready for that. […]”

On money investment and how much he is worth:

“[I have always been good with my money], yes. I mean, I remember getting 200,000-dollar checks in the mail when I was like 12 - 13 years old. I used to get these monthly. And my father would say, ‘Well, what do you wanna do with it?’, and I’d say, ‘Well, of course, we should – we should put it away’. […] He would give me a certain amount to buy things that I wanted to buy, and what I would buy was some bubblegum, or some candy and stuff like that […] [I think I’m worth]…it’s way up there, but… […] I don’t wanna…[…] Come on, Martin [embarrasses]…I’ve done really well. […]”

On jewelry:

“[I don’t like to buy jewelry], no. For my mother or Elizabeth Taylor, yes. ‘Cause Elizabeth loves jewelry, my mother loves jewelry and […] if there’s a girl I like at the moment, I’ll buy her jewelry. […] If there is one I like at the moment. […] At the moment [there isn’t one], not right now. I haven’t found one yet.”

On his difficult puberty period, on recounting an unpleasant episode with a female fan and on his father’s teasing:

“I would never look at myself in the mirror. Ever. I would turn off all the lights and..’cause I had pimples really badly…and it was just difficult to face the public…One time, we were in an airport, I remember, I think it was somewhere like…Virginia or something. And some lady recognized my brothers and all of us, she goes, ‘Oh, my God, it’s the Jackson 5! Where’s little Michael, where’s little Michael?’ She’s looking around, looking down…’Where’s little Michael?’ And another person goes, ‘There he is’. And she goes, ‘Ewww…What happened?’ Just like that…And God, I just could’ve died right there…That’s exactly what that lady said to me. […] My father [teased me about my appearance]. And some cousins did. […] It is pretty embarrassing. He used to tease me real (sic) bad about it. […] He used to hurt me, I don’t think he realizes how much he was hurting me […] he would tease me about how I looked […] I said, [ironically], ‘Thanks for making me feel better’ […] I don’t think people stop to think sometime (sic), and the effect it can have on the person…you know?...[…] I would just go to the bedroom and cry. […] [You feel like] you wanna die…You wanna die, and on top of that, you gotta go on stage in the spotlight, in front of hundreds of thousands of people, I’m just…God…it’s hard…I would have been happier wearing a mask. […]”

On his skin condition, Vitiligo, and some other media rumors he dispels:

“[…] [My white skin] has nothing to do with me, okay? And that’s ignorance…[…] I don’t control, you know, puberty, I don’t control the fact that I have Vitiligo, I don’t control…you know?... […] They lie, they don’t wanna give me credit for anything. One paper said I had each – that’s growing a little beard – ‘He had each little hair transplanted into his face with a laser, lasered-in’. How ignorant is that? I can’t even grow a beard now? […] So, don’t believe that stupidity!...Don’t waste your money on it. ‘Cause when you’re buying it, you’re not buying something based on what’s true. It’s not the truth, it’s garbage.”


" They are ignorant and I am prejudiced against ignorance... They called me weird, strange, wacko. They said I'm a girl, a homosexual... It is jealousy... I am Peter Pan in my heart."

On Prince and Paris’ birth:

“[I cried when Prince was born]. […] He came out with this really big head, that when I saw his head, I thought of my grandfather and my brother Randy, ‘cause his head was shaped just like theirs. And I said, ‘Oh, my God’ [laughs]. And then, the rest, they let me pull, pull him out and I cut the ombilical chord with scissers that were shaped like a stork, and…and they cleaned him off and everything, and I was ready to take him home. They said, ‘No, you can’t take him home’, I said, ‘Why?’, ‘I think there’s some serious problem’, I go, ‘What?’, ‘We’ve gotta take him to intensive care, he’s not breathing correctly’, I go, ‘Oh, no!...’, I said, ‘Please, God, don’t let me have a sick child, please…’ So, I waited an hour…two hours…three hours…four, I was so scared…After five hours, this nurse comes in, she goes, ‘Okay, you can go home now’ [smiles], I was soo happy…[…] [I was there for my daughter, Paris’, birth, also] It was magic…She came out the wrong way, her face was faced the wrong way and she was being kinda choked by the ombilical chord…I was kind of worried…and it took her longer…And…and I was so anxious to get her home that, as they cut her chord…I hate to say this, I snatched her and just went home, with all the placenta all over her [laughs] […] yeah, I’m not kidding, I got her in a towel and ran. They said it was fine. They said everything is okay with that. And I got home and I washed her all off. […] Because I felt that it was okay, they told me it was okay, Debbie said it was okay and…I got the permission of the doctor…I think I was so frightened that they would give me some bad news…I was so scared..But there was no bad news to be gotten. I was starting reliving [the birth episode with Prince] and I was afraid. I said, ‘I don’t want to hear anything bad’, I’m just ‘Go, go, go, go…[Debbie] told me to, […] she said, ‘Go ahead, I know that’s what you want, I’m totally fine with this’, I said, “Are you fine with this?’, she said “Yes, of course”. […]”


On his children’s schooling:

“[My children] have school. […] [But they don’t go to a normal school], never…[…] It wouldn’t work…[…] “Cause we would get chased by paparazzi everywhere we go. I don’t want press all over them at school…and in the bushes and the trees and in the…I saw what happened to me, you know?..They’re doing the same and worse to them. And…and I don’t feel like the jealosy in teachers, you know, ‘Just because you’re Michael Jackson’s children, don’t think I’m gonna treat you any different (sic) from anyone else around here”. Well, they don’t wanna be treated differently, you know, it’s just that I don’t want them to have to go through all that. […] That’s the way it is…And it has worked successfully in the past many times…It’s how you shape and sculpt and mould their world, you know? And many people have been successful at it.”

On Blanket, his mother and being a single parent:

“[My third child’s name is] Prince Michael II, but we call him Blanket. […] ‘Cause it’s an expression I use with my family and my employees. I say, ‘You should blanket me’, ‘You should blanket… her with something’, meaning it’s like…a blanket is a blessing. It’s a way of showing love and caring. […] I can’t say [who is Blanket’s mother], because she’ll be bombarded with the…you know…We have an agreement that we can’t – a contractual agreement – talk about who she is and everything. That’s how we worked that out. [It’s someone who I had a relationship with], yes. […] I don’t want anybody to know, I don’t think…she doesn’t wanna be, like, in papers and tabloids and she doesn’t want it and I don’t blame her…’cause she knows how scum…bag their comments can be, you know?...[…] [It’s not difficult being a single parent], why it would be difficult? […] No, they’re fine. How many babies live with their mothers and they don’t have a father around? And nobody’s saying nothing, you know? They’re having a good time. […] They are having a great time, they have enough women in their lives, they’re everywhere. There are women everywhere around my house..I mean, they, they’re with them all day long. […] People can always have a judgement about anything you do, so it doesn’t bother me. Everything can be strange to someone. This interview is strange to some people out there, so…who cares, right? [smiles].”

On tabloid press:

“I don’t see any of [press coverage about me]. I don’t talk about…I don’t watch TV, I don’t look at tabloids..I hate tabloids. I think we should have a tabloid burning, just make mountains out of them, just burn it all. People should be more aware that it’s completely not the truth. It’s sensationalism, it’s…it’s ignorance, it really is. It’s ignorance…I mean, think about poor Lady Diana, you know, it’s like, sick…she was being hunted by those people […]”


On showing Blanket from a hotel’s balcony to his fans in Berlin:

“[Regarding reports on dangling Blanket from the balcony], that’s totally ignorant. I would never do that to my children or any, any child. Try to kill them!? Come on!...[That’s] stupid. And why would I put a scarf on the baby’s face if I was trying to throw them off the balcony? We were waving to thousands of fans down below and they were chanting they wanna see my child, so I was kind enough to let them see…I was doing something out of innocence. […] The media is wrong. I love my children, I was holding my son tight and strong, why would I throw a baby off the balcony? That’s the dumbest, stupidest story I’ve ever heard. I love my children. And they know I love them. And two minutes before they saw the baby, Prince did the same thing, I’ve had him in my arms, and I’ve done it…you know, but I got them strong in my arms. […] They were chanting they wanted to see the baby, so I wanted to show them the baby. I’m not gonna let him fall. […] And he was responding, he was, like, he started to [squeal]… [smiles]”

"I'm not a nut. I'm very smart. You can't come this far and be a nut.”

On going to the zoo in Berlin:

“I love going to the zoo, even though that was difficult [here in Berlin today], it was, like, pandemonium, but as long as I get to see the gorillas, I’m satisfied, I love gorillas. [...]”

On his love for children and his hospitality towards them and their families:

“I love…I feel…I mean, what they get from me, I get from them. I told – I said it many times, my greatest inspiration comes from kids. Every song I write, every dance that I do, all the poetry I write, it’s all inspired by that level of innocence, that consciousness of purity. And children have that, I see God in the face of children. And…man, I just love being around that all the time. [...] It's time for children now. It's time for us to give them a chance. Like the Bible says, 'A child shall be leader of them all'. And to be led by that kind of innocence.  Didn't Jesus say 'bring on the children?'  Be like the children.  Not childish, but child-like.  That kind of innocence."

" Everything I do is inspired by children. If it weren't for children, I'd throw in the towel. I'd have no reason to live... I haven't been betrayed or deceived by children. Adults have let me down. Adults have let the world down."

On allegations made against him:

[…] I feel sorry for [people who judge me], because that’s judging someone who wants to really help people […] I say, “You can have my bed, if you want, sleep in it, I’ll sleep on the floor, it’s yours’; always give the best to the company, you know? Like, to him [his accuser], I said, “[…] No, you sleep in the bed, I’ll sleep on the floor”. […] We have guests units, but whenever kids come here, they always want to stay with me [laughs] […] And I’ve never invited them in my room, they always just want to stay with me, they say, “Can I stay with you?’ I go, “If it’s okay with your parents, yes, you can” […] Why should it be worrying? Who’s the criminal? Who’s Jack the Ripper in the room? This is some guy trying to help heal a child. […] That’s what the world needs now: more love…more more heart. […] You’re making out all wrong. […] Because…what’s wrong with sharing love? […] You’ve never been where I’ve been mentally.”

"Everyone who knows me will know the truth which is that my children come first in my life and that I would never harm any child."

On Debbie Rowe, his former wife, and the joy she brought him by having his children:

“[…] [Debbie] prefers [the children to be] with me than with her. She did it for me…She did it for me. […] She’s a wonderful person, too..[…] She said, “You need to be a daddy’. […] I used to walk around holding baby dolls […], ‘cause I wanted [to have] children so badly. […]”

On one of his longtime dreams:

“[…] I was thinking about adopting two kids from every continent around the world. […] A boy and a girl from each continent. On every continent. That’s my dream…[…]”

On being accused of child abuse in 1993 and his out-of-court settlement motivation:

“[…] It was shocking and I’m not allowed to talk about this by way of law […] I was shocked because, God knows, in my heart how much I adore children. […] You're thinking sexual, they make that sexual, it's not sexual. We’re going to sleep. I tuck them in and I put a little like, music on and when it's story time, I read a book. It’s very sweet. […] [I] give them hot milk, you know, we’re having cookies. It’s very charming, very sweet […], it's what the whole world should do. […] [I reached a financial settlement with the accuser’s family, because] I didn't want to do a long drawn-out thing on TV like OJ [Simpson], and all that stupid stuff, you know, it wouldn't look right. I said, look, get this over with. I want to go on with my life. This is ridiculous, I've had enough…Go”.

On broken family bonds, their effect on children and his commitment to helping children:

“People don’t even eat with their fathers anymore [gets emotional]…or their mothers!..They…the family bond has been broken…It’s an outcry for attention while kids go to school with guns. They want love, they wanna be touched, they wanna be held. While [their parents]’re busy off their day job and, you know, when they leave them at home on the computer, they’re just…doing all kinds of crazy stuff and that’s destroying our world!...We need to bond again…That’s very important, Martin […] I’m just very sensitive to their pain and I’m very sensitive to the family, the human condition, you know, that subject…It means a lot to me and I wanna help with whatever I can, to help them, you know?...It’s…like I said it before and I’ll say it a million time (sic), I’m not afraid to say it: if there were no children on this earth, if they, somebody announced all kids were dead, […]…I’m done…I’m done..”

On what children mean to him and his commitment to helping the less priviliged:

“The stars, the moon, the universe. But all children do. Not just mine. I’m not territorial. […] I do as many hospitals as I do concerts, you know? And I don’t expect the press to print it, but they don’t want to print it, you know? I reach out, I’ve done it for years. I take the toys, and I pack up everything, and I surprise them. […] That’s our future, and I love them to pieces. I want to fight for them, to be the voice of the voiceless."

On wishing for a children’s holiday for the children of Africa:

"[…] It would bring a lot of joy to a child, if they had just an hour. I’ve seen dying children light up with joy. I’ve seen children who’ve been pronounced to have a week to live. They’ve told me that they have cancer all over their body. And I said, ‘Let me take care of that child, just give him a little time with me.’ And they come to Neverland."

"With just a little love and a little caring, I have seen kids totally turn around.  Where you can't find any cancer at all anymore in their body.  I've done it a lot of times.  I'm not trying to say I'm Jesus Christ.  We should just give a little more attention to the power of love and caring and faith and prayer."


Unreleased footage:

On reports about abducted and murdered children and on whether or not he is happy:

“I’m too isolated. […] [Am I happy?] I’m very happy now [laughs]. […] I am… but… there’s things that make very sad, very very sad… It can affect me for months… and it hurts, and that’s why you’re really depressed. Really depressed. […] Some – it always revolve (sic) around children… or somebody like.. I.. it is having me turn the channel – ‘Older brother shot his 4-year old sister in the head’.. That kill – it has killed me.. That kind of stuff, so I try not to watch the news, my mother doesn’t watch it either, because it hits me right in the heart… Every time I hear something crazy like they abducted some kid out of her bed and they find her a month later 75 miles away chopped up you know, 30 feet down in the earth and… that’s part of – I feel that pain, you know what I mean? I feel that… I feel it. […] [Outside all of that, I’m happy]. Yeah.. yes, I am, because I love blue skies… “Whiskers on kittens, [recites lyrics of song, My Favorite Things from film “Sound of Music”] / Brown paper packages tied up with strings. / These are a few of my favorite things’ [laughs]. I’m kidding. […] Yeah, I told you, I’m on stage [smiles]. I love… […] It’s hard… it’s hard […] I’ve always… I love it.. I told you, I sleep with bright lights on. I can’t sleep unless I’m lit up. It’s probably just […].. [It’s not worrying], because I’ve spent all my childhood on – I don’t remember not being on stage. […] I love it.. I love – And I sleep when I shut my eyes, this just feels so warm, I can see the audience, I can see the performance… I create, you know… […] I love that.”

On music and nature:

“People used to laugh at ladies – older ladies who talk to their plants, they used to make fun of them like they were wacky. Plants and grass and trees respond to music. They have emotion. They feel, they have feelings. When they hear music – it was test findings – they grow more beautiful, the butterflies come around, the birds come around, the ducks come around, and the trees grow more beautiful because of music. That’s the real truth.”

On fame:

“It’s hard… it’s so difficult.. I can’t tell you how hard it is.. It’s – you’re judged… Everybody judge (sic) you… You really are. No matter what you do, you’re judged. “Why is Michael Jackson coming over our house?”, “Why would he want to be with us?” “Why would…?” You wanna be somewhere… You wanna be with someone… And you’re watched and you’re judged and… it’s why, why, why… You know, it’s like, leave me alone, I’m just trying to fit in, you know?...”

On loneliness:

"I used to be very lonely, you have no idea.. I would walk up to strangers and say, ‘Will you be my friend?’

“It’s better than it used to be… Like, usually, I would sit in my hotel room and just cry, I was by myself, ‘cause you can’t get out, there’s fans everywhere and helicopters and press following you. And now that I have my children, it has helped a lot… But, still, it come (sic) and goes. I mean, some melancholy is good, it’s… for the positions I’m in, as an entertainer, to – to know how to go there, and to – and to, to feel that – that pain from the past or whatever it is, and put it in the performance, I think it’s – it’s so important… To be honest. To be honest. Be an honest performer. Give it all out, whatever is in there… You know, be the backbone… [And loneliness is in there]. […] I think it come (sic) from being overprotected too much… from when I was a little kid… I would love to go down the street or just walk on the beach… I’m not trying to be complaining, ‘cause I do – I love show-business, I love entertaining, I love making people happy. But there’s times I wanna be just normal, too… I never get to really know what people are like, ‘cause when they see me, they change… They’re not themselves anymore. They – they become someone else. ‘Oh, my God, I love your music, I love your songs, my God…’ And you never really hear the real thing…”

On a picture with children torn by him from a hotel’s magazine (from “Michael Jackson: The Untold Story Of Neverland” documentary by Larry Nimmer):

“[Laughs, then grows contemplative] It’s just so sweet, though… [shows it to Bashir] […] It – it fills my heart with bliss. I feel God, really [shows it again], I honestly do, I’m totally straight out. My room is just decorated [with pictures of children]. […] Yeah… […] [Readies for another interview part, sings:] “We pray for our fathers, / Pray for our mothers […]” I wish you would put “The Lost Children” in there for me sometime (sic). […]”

On recording “With A Child’s Heart” (from “Michael Jackson: The Untold Story Of Neverland” documentary by Larry Nimmer):

“It’s a pretty song… […] [but] I don’t even remember recording it… I hear songs today that (inaudible) that I feel (?) I’ve never heard before…”

On Elizabeth Taylor:

“I love her… […] I love her… […] I love her. We’re a lot alike. We kinda had the same childhood. […] Yeah… People are saying, ‘What’s with Michael and Elizabeth Taylor?’ What do you mean what’s up?... Does age make a difference? It’s about the spirit, the soul.. She’s one of the sweetest people in the world, I adore her.”

On Eddie Murphy:

“I love him. […] I love it [“Nutty Professor”]. […] And when he falls down… [laughs mildly] It’s cute… […]”

On being asked by Bashir to go to the movies with him that day:

“Oh, I can’t go this afternoon. […] I’m going [to Maurice’s Gibb] tomorrow. […] I would like to say something, but I don’t like to talk… but… […] The world - the music world has lost a giant. I mean, [the Bee Gees] were amazing. […]”

Replying to an odd remark made by Bashir: “You are looking so sexy”:

“Are you sure?... [unmoved] Come on… [Bashir makes another remark about ‘women throwing their panties’ at the singer that embarrases him] Don’t put that on tape… [smiles shyly] That’s good for Children’s Day… [jokes and laughs]”