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Did Jackson only befriend young boys?

No. A large portion of the media and the prosecution tried to portray Jackson as someone who was obsessed with young boys. In reality, Jackson almost always befriended whole families rather than children alone, and the young people around him were of both genders.

In his 2005 book entitled Lost Boy, Macaulay Culkin’s father, Kit Culkin wrote:

“I have heard it reported that Michael always wanted to play only with boys (just as boys usually only want to play with other boys, I suppose), but I never noticed this to be true.  My six year old daughter Quinn (who, as her name would imply, was my fifth child) was always included in the activities that Michael would often plan, and was always made to feel as though she was a part of the gang.  As I say, Michael always treated my kids quite equally.”[1]

and

“I should here say that Michael ever seemed to genuinely like all of my kids (as they him), and quite equally so, I noticed, for I never found him in his visits or ours to be exclusionary or one to play favorites (holding one or some in higher esteem than the others; this sort of things).  Indeed, he seemed ever to treat with them all quite democratically and as though they were all of them (himself included) brothers and sisters of equal standing.”[1]

An example of how the media deliberately puts the focus on the boys while ignoring the girls and families around Jackson is their regular use of a photograph of Jackson and the Chandlers in Monaco, 1993. When there is an article about the allegations of the Chandlers in the media they often use this photograph as an illustration:

 MJjordanchandler01

However, here is the full context of that photograph:

 MJjordanchandler02

MJjordanchandler03

MJjordanchandler04

What they cut off from the photograph is Jordan’s sister whom Jackson holds in his arms, and the children’s mother, June. This is a well known method of media manipulation as illustrated here:

 mediaaltersviewMJ

Another example is a snippet out of a slanderous and manipulative British documentary on Jackson from 2005 entitled Michael Jackson’s Boys.

In the fashion of Martin Bashir, this documentary too operated using innuendo and suggestive narration in order to raise suspicion about Jackson’s relationship with male children. The innuendo was made about boys who befriended Jackson, even though said boys stated emphatically that Jackson never did anything inappropriate to them. For example, in this particular scene you can see a man called Damion Stein talk about the friendship between Jackson and his family when he was younger. The documentary is already suggestive in captioning Damion as “Michael’s Boy 1985-90” (at 0:26), even though Damion never claimed here or elsewhere any impropriety by Jackson. In actuality, Damion attests to the fact that what Jackson was looking for in these relationships was a family atmosphere and a relationship with the whole family. He speaks about how Jackson called his mother on the phone day and night, which made his father so jealous that he secretly taped their conversations (these tapes are now known as the Glenda Tapes [2] and some of them can be found on YouTube). If anyone could be considered the closest to Jackson from the family it was the mother, not any of the children. Yet, it does not prevent the documentary from going along with its agenda and labeling Damion“Michael’s Boy”.

For the record, the mother, Glenda Stein, stated on Facebook, commenting an article about Jackson in September, 2011, that she never believed that Jackson was a pedophile: “I never thought that Michael was a pedophile. He loved kids but not in that sick way. Leave his family alone.” [3]

In most other cases too it were families whom Jackson befriended, not individual boys.

It has also often been claimed by the media that Jackson “preyed on” boys with a single mother. Again, that is a myth created with an obvious agenda in the mind. While he had young friends who were raised by a single mother, however, by no means can that be established as a pattern. Most of the children he befriended lived in families with both the mother and the father being present in the children’s lives. In actuality, Jordan Chandler even had two fathers – a biological and a step-father, and two mother’s, his biological one and his step mother.

Here is an interview with the Cascio family on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in December, 2010, talking about the same thing that Damion Stein talked about above: that what Jackson was looking for in these relationships was a family atmosphere.

While the media focused on the male children around Jackson, they rarely ever mentioned the female children. Children, like Kellie Parker, who had a role in Jackson’s 1988 movie, Moonwalker and who remained friends with him until the singer’s death. Here is Parker talking about Jackson after the singer’s death:

In a CineVegas Podcast with Vincent Paterson, after a Moonwalker screening in 2009 she said [4]

Kellie: “It’s hard… (losing composure, pauses) I’ll always feel that way. I’ll always be waiting for him.”
Steve Friess: “As I understand it you remained in contact with Michael up until very recently.”
Kellie: “Yeah. I remained very close with Michael for about ten years. Then after that I continued to stay in touch with him but not as regularly, every couple of years and then I did actually see him a couple of weeks before he passed away.”
Steve: “What was the occasion?”
Kellie: “I was working on a show he came to see, sort of randomly…”
Kellie: “I do know that in his life he would struggle with being so well known, that was sort of a constant struggle throughout his life. But I do have to say, I spent a lot of time with Michael alone on set, he and I had a lot of scenes together and he taught me so much. He was so dedicated. We would go through – before we even shot he and I would spend sometimes like half an hour together just improving, ’cause he was so committed to it.

[…]

“Michael was magic, pure and simple. He was a man who believed in the goodness of mankind and embodied pure unconditional love for the world. I am so sad on so many levels. For the loss of an innovative genius and who was music and dance personified, for the loss of a man who loved the whole world and touched so many lives, but mostly, for me personally, the loss of a friend that I loved so dearly.

Most people don’t know about how close I was to Michael for many years following ‘Moonwalker/Smooth Criminal’ because I was never one to exploit that, even to this day I rarely talk about it, for that was a friendship that I honored and respected as private. I feel compelled at this time though, to speak of my amazing friend, as a witness to his life, and the gentleness of his soul.

He taught me so much, both as an actor and as a person, he continually inspired me to reach beyond my boundaries. He and I spent a great deal of time, one on one, while filming ‘Moonwalker.’

I remember that he told me once to never rush an emotion, that everything in life has a rhythm, and that it is the pauses and silences that speak the truth. He understood this better than anyone, he had a way of quietly inspiring everyone around him to be better than ever thought they could be. He helped so many, and inspired us all.

Michael believed in Magic, he believed that we could change the world, and he had such unconditional love that when you were around him, you couldn’t help but believe it too. He is intertwined in all of who I am, I became a dancer because of him, I became an artist because he inspired me to dream, and a writer because he taught me the power of moving people through words and actions. I love you my friend, and I know you are in a better place, we were blessed to have you for as long as we did.”[3]

Kellie Parker as a child with Michael Jackson

Kellie Parker as a child with Michael Jackson

Many more examples of female children whom Jackson befriended can be found here: http://rhythmofthetide.com/michael-jacksons-female-kid-friends/

The figurative (and often literal) erasing of families and female children out of the picture that was painted of Michael Jackson by the media and the prosecution served the misleading and false portrayal of the relationship between Jackson and children.

girl_mj

Sources:

[1] Kit Culkin – Lost Boy (May 09, 2005, the book was published and distributed exclusively through KitCulkin.com)

[2] “Glenda Tapes” – Audio and Transcripts http://rhythmofthetide.com/category/glenda-tapes/backstory-glenda-stein-and-family-glenda-tapes/

Originally released in 2005 on http://www.hansnews.com

[3] Facebook comment by Glenda Stein on September 29, 2011 on AOL’s Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/aol/posts/226747887382305?comment_id=2815772

[4] CineVegas Podcast with Vincent Paterson, after a Moonwalker screening in 2009 (For a secondary source see: http://rhythmofthetide.com/michael-jacksons-female-kid-friends/ )

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