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Grooming or A Generous Heart?

This section is dedicated to articles, stories and comments about Michael Jackson’s interactions with various children, adults and families. While this at first glance has nothing to do with the allegations against him, we felt the need to include these stories, because Jackson’s accusers, the prosecution and the media have often turned innocent gestures and the general generosity of the star into a “grooming of young boys” story with the intent of sexually abusing them. As you will see Jackson was very giving and generous with everyone – children, adults, girls and boys alike – and what the prosecution attempted to portray as the “grooming of young boys” was not limited to his treatment of young boys at all, but he behaved like that with everyone he considered a friend or even complete strangers.

Laura Chaplin is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin.

LAURA CHAPLIN: REMEMBRANCE

“Michael Jackson came three times to the mansion, he was like a child” “I was about 12 years old when Michael Jackson came to the mansion. Subsequently, he called me almost every day to chat. He sent me incredible birthday gifts. Huge cartons. I went up on stage with him in Geneva. He was a great friend of the family. ” During his first visit, MJ had landed by helicopter in the garden of the domain. “I was pretty impressed,” said Laura. The King of Pop, too, but the big dogs. “We had nine dogs and he was afraid. We had to lock them up before it happens. “At the time of eating, seeing the big table, Jackson sat down with the children. “He was very shy. He was doing pirouettes in the garden. We played the PlayStation. He was a great kid. “Smile”, composed by my grandfather was one of his favorite tracks “

Source: http://www.lematin.ch/people/charlot-jusqu-doigts/story/24716250

Michael Jackson and his friendship with Taiwanese couple and their twins

A Taiwanese fan Mrs. Ma Qi Zhen not only met Michael with her family, but also she became a close friends of Michael for many years. Mrs Ma had always kept a low profile about their 17 years family friendship with Michael Jackson. It was until Michael’s sudden passing last June, did Mrs. Ma have spoken out for the first time about this in the media about her friendship with the King of Pop. She pays tribute on how kind, loving and approachable the King of Pop was. She shared her memories of an extraordinary friend and how she felt that Michael was misunderstood by many.

It was a fax message that leads to the friendship between Michael and the Ma Family. During the Dangerous Tour in Taiwan in Sept 1993, Mrs Ma and her husband had trouble of getting tickets for their nine month old twin daughters for the concert, as ticket will not be allowed to be sold to their 9 month old babies for safety concern. Ma wouldn’t settle for it, as it was going to be the last day of Michael’s concert in Taiwan. She decided to give it a try and send a fax message to the hotel that Michael was staying in. She directly address the fax message to ask him asking him to allow her twins to go to the concert. She didn’t really expect that Michael would see it, next thing she knew was that Michael did read it and responded to it. He immediately sent down VIP passes for the family to be able to come to the concert and to meet him personally in his hotel room after the concert.

When the family arrived at his Presidential Suite, Michael was already in his pajamas, ready to go to bed. They find the superstar very kind and approachable, Ma recalled that he was so fascinated by the twins, he wanted to know everything about bringing up babies. The twin babies were crawling around in his room, at one point, one of the twins grabbed his CD player and started to bite it, Michael immediately went to pick up the baby and softly he said to her “Don’t bite it, it’ll hurt you.” Ma recalled that Michael was not yet a parent during that time but was very protective of children.

When they said goodbye, Michael personally escorted them off to the elevator and promised to invite them to come and visit him when he returned to America in his home Neverland. Ma family never took his words seriously, but Michael meant it! During the 17 years friendship Michael had with the Ma Family, the family had been able to visit 6 times as guests at his Neverland home, and even travels with him to other parts of world. Every time they said goodbye, he would cuddle them with words like “I’ll always love you”. He would seemed just simply wanted to be loved. Michael adored the twins, when he returned to Taiwan for the History tour in 1996, he invited the twins for an appearance to ” Heal the world ” Song with him on stage. He even invited the family to follow History tour with him. The twins was also featured in “Heal the world” in Durban, South Africa and it was said to be his last concert ever.

Michael had confided to Mrs. Ma things like his iconic sequins glove, was first used to hide his skin problem vitiligo that first appeared on his hand, and the glove had surprisingly become his signature trademark. Michael even referred himself as Chinese, as according to Michael, his mother Katherine was of a quarter Chinese descent. Michael did often expressed his strong desire to perform in China.

According to the the Taiwanese concert organizer Mr. Yu, during both his Dangerous and History Tour in Taiwan in the 90’s, Michael asked for his help to perform in China, though Yu did his best, During that time China was not yet ready to open up to Western pop performers.

Ma had seen the very sincere side of Michael, pure and innocent, like a big kid, love surprises, magic, very compassionate, very trusting and very caring. She hoped that by sharing her story, the world would know the true nature of Michael. The world not only loose a musical genius but a beautiful soul.

Below is the video that apparently was sent by Michael to the Ma family after the History tour, featuring the Ma twins with Michael singing “Heal the World” in Kaohsiung, South Taiwan. Towards the end of the song, MJ made an effort to say “I love you” in Mandarin to the audience. This he had asked the twins to teach him before the performance. His interactions with the twins was just so sweet. Rest in peace, Michael, we’ll miss you.

kellie

Kellie Parker and Michael Jackson

Kellie Parker was the little girl in Michael Jackson’s 1988 movie Moonwalker. In a CineVegas Podcast with Vincent Paterson, after a Moonwalker screening in 2009 she said:

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.”

Here is Kellie returning to Neverland after Michael Jackson’s death:

Nicole Richie in November 2003:

“Nicole, in particular, supported Jackson against the charges of improper sexual behavior with children. To that end, she offered tales of her own childhood romps at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, during which she often slept in Jackson’s bedroom. ““You know, a group of us would all sleep in the same room,” she said. “It was like, absolutely nothing more than just…an adult kind of wanting to be a kid again. Just, you know, enjoying the company of children. I grew up with him. I have spent many evenings there and many days there.” Noting that she could “only speak for myself,” she still added “that absolutely nothing went on.” Nicole also said that she wouldn’t have held her tongue had Jackson tried anything with her. “I’m not a quiet person,” she said. “If there was something going on, I’d be like ‘who are you?’… and I’d tell my parents. But my parents would never put me in hands that they thought were dangerous. I never had any complaints, and you know, I love him.”

Source: Reality TV World

The Cascio family were very close to Jackson since the 1980s until the singer’s death. In his 2011 book entitled My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man Frank Cascio defended Jackson against the allegations and attested to the fact that the media often misrepresented the issue of Jackson “sharing bed with children”, which was not helped by the fact that Jackson often was misunderstood, sometimes genuinely, sometimes deliberately when he spoke about this issue in interviews. For details about that please this article.

The family also appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s TV program in 2010 talking about their relationship with the star.

“Michael called me, after a surgery I had & invited me to the set of his video for “The Way You Make Me Feel”. Here’s what stood out about the day, the biggest super-star in the world made me feel like the super-star. In the middle of all his hectic-ness he would come see me, take pics with me & make sure I was good between takes!! At 5 yrs old I sat & watched him shoot, take after take in this warehouse in San Pedro CA. He introduced me to everyone, his sister Latoya was there, his co-star, that beautiful girl he was SO shy to kiss Tatianna. Even at that young age I was very aware of how gracious & kind he was with EVERYONE on set. Looking back now I remember he was sooooo excited that all of the extras were real ex bloods, crips, gang members from LA. I remember him being so excited about giving them … a chance to shine & a new opportunity.

We sat in his trailer, I remember telling him I wanted to be a singer when I grew up & gave him pics of me from my dance recital. I remember eating with him & him being the very first vegetarian I had ever met! I was like u don’t eat meat??? I was so confused!! Lol. Man writing this, thinking about this day & all the rest of the times I spent with him makes me smile!! As a lil girl I never really grasped how famous he was, honestly I think that’s why he loved hanging out with me! To me & all the other kids, he was just a fun, crazy, silly guy, who sang our most favorite songs. I love him for being the most honest, pure heart I have ever known for showing me video shoots, recording studios, & concerts, up close and personal, making my dream seem possible. I was there in it, seeing it happen, he brought me into a world I would have never known existed without him. A lil girl from Van Nuys CA. I can’t even begin to count the ways he changed my life. He helped create my dream. Records like Homegirlz & Sadgirl I know he would be proud of, he was always ALWAYS about giving back!! I miss him everyday & can’t believe he is gone.”

Source: Lalaromero.com

Romero talking about Jackson:

From the book Private Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson written by one of Jackson’s friends Dr. William B. Van Valin II:

“DAVID ROTHENBERG

One day Michael phoned and said, “I want to know if you’d like to bring your family up for dinner. I have a friend here that I’d like you all to meet.” I always knew when he said that sort of thing that it was bound to be something interesting and that I would be glad I’d done it afterward. I told him that we’d be happy to come. He said, “First I need to ask you something. Do you think your children would be upset by meeting someone who has some deformities from an accident?” I told him “Michael I can assure you, my children will treat this person as if they had no deformities. I’ve taught them from a very early age that you never say anything to anyone that would hurt them. Especially about things they can’t help. But I will tell them about this before we get there.” Michael said “Good. Then I’d like you to come out for dinner to meet David Rothenberg.”

By this time, having been to the Ranch so frequently, we were usually waved on through rather than stopping to sign in. This visit was no exception and upon arrival we parked out in front of the house. Although I had told Michael many times that he didn’t need to, he always had the maids and cooks lined up outside the front door to greet us as we entered the house. Michael insisted that this was protocol and they were always to follow it. I told him “Really, I already know everyone by name since I’m out here so often. I feel kind of guilty for making them drop what they’re doing and stand out here and greet us.” Michael replied, “You mustn’t feel bad. It’s one of the things that I pay them to do.”

Anyway, going to the house was always a treat. It was a lovely assault on all senses. Through the front door we turned to the left through the dining room. Two steps down the opposite end was a large fireplace that faced a bar making up the south side of the kitchen. On this night, Michael’s guest was sitting to the right of the fireplace. Michael looked at us and said, “You guys, this is David Rothenberg” and he introduced us one by one. Greetings went around my family. The kids ran off to do their own thing around the house leaving Criss, Michael, and me to talk with David.

I imagine there are pictures out there of David for those who want to see him but suffice it to say he had been ravaged by flames at some point in his life. What I remember clearly now was that there was a long tuft of hair on the back of his head and there was a young girl, apparently a cousin of Michael’s, who was meticulously braiding the tuft while David told us about his day at the Ranch. When we all sat down to dinner, Michael turned to him and asked, “So, David did you paint today?” David replied, “Yes, I did. I think I did some of my best work ever.” Michael said, “Good. I need you out there painting every day that you’re here. I want you to express yourself.” David assured him he was. Later in the evening Michael and I went out by the lake where he had an easel and paints set up and he showed me some of David’s paintings. They consisted of stick figures and V’s for birds. Michael told me, “I don’t care if he doesn’t become a great painter. I just think it’s important for him to do this while he’s here. I always want to keep him occupied.” I asked Michael, “So, how did you and David meet?” Michael said, “Well, when he was quite young, his father spread gasoline on him and set him on fire. The reasons don’t matter. And actually there are none. Anyway, he ended up living through it and I’ve kind of watched him through the years. Not long ago, I read in the paper an article saying that David Rothenberg tried to commit suicide. He was despondent over not being able to get a job. So I sent for him. One of my drivers went and got him and brought him back to the Ranch. When he got here, I told him that I had heard what had happened. David told me that it was true and he was just depressed ‘because who would hire someone that looks like me?’ I looked at him and said, ‘I would. I want you to work for me. Would you do that? ’ David said, ‘Yes. I would like that.’ So I put him to work.” I asked Michael, “Did you really have a job for him?” He said, “Not really. I kind of made one up.” I asked, “What was it? What did you have him do?” He said, “I give him letters or packages and I have him take them to other cities telling him that it’s important that they be mailed there. So for example, I send him to Los Angeles or San Diego and tell him to mail something when he gets there. I gave him a car to take him everywhere he wants to go and he has a place to call home. He’d lost his sense of purpose and I wanted him to know he had one.”

I never saw David again after that and I never asked Michael what happened to him. I now know, from old news stories, that when David was six back in 1983 his father, Charles, who was in a custody fight with David’s mom, Marie, set him on fire and burned him over 90% of his body. There’s a video on YouTube in which David, who changed his name to Dave Dave (which to me sounds like a name Michael would’ve given him), told Larry King just before Michael’s burial in 2009 about Michael’s kindness to him – which Dave said began when he was just seven years old and which his mother had always kept a secret. Dave told King that Michael opened Neverland to him and provided emotional support and was like a father he never had.”

article

 

Doug Lewis worked on the set of Michael and Janet Jackson’s 1995 video “Scream” when he suffered an accident. The story in his own words:

“Once shooting began, my role was the ‘on-set dresser’, basically the ‘art department representative’ who remains on set at all times as the ‘face’ of the art department. By the very nature of the position, the on-set dresser has close interaction with the talent while on the set.

[…]

Finally, we get down to business. Michael makes his entrance and is met by Mark who explains the shot. The first footage we shoot with Michael is of him dancing on one of the many white floors seen throughout the video. Michael finds his position, about six feet from camera, does a couple of takes, then mentions how the floor (white vinyl linoleum) was feeling slick. I move in with my tools, a fine grade steel wool, rag and a spray bottle with the ‘special sauce’ and scruff up the floor a bit with the wool then step back. Mark comes out from behind the camera, looks at my handiwork then calls out for Tom before asking me if we lost the ‘gloss’. I say no, give it a quick spray with the special sauce and it dries to a sparkle. When I get up from my kneeling position Michael is smiling at me and says, “I remember you from the tour rehearsal”. I say, “That’s right”, and he asks me how my kids are doing, I say, “great, amazing.” And then everything is back to normal, Michal does his bit and we’re off to a good start.

As predicted, crew call switched from 7am to 4pm, and we worked throughout each night until 4-6am. In the final hours of the last night of shooting, we had moved to the ‘zen’ set. This was it, last day, last set, last series of shots. The art department had prepped the set with final touches before Michael was brought in to take his place on the zen podium in the center of the set. Michael surveyed the scene and commented on how beautiful the set looked. He was very relaxed and it was obvious he enjoyed sitting in the middle of this temporary temple. When Mark called out for a piece of the ceiling to be trimmed, I grabbed a 12-step (ladder), scrambled to the top and began sawing. In an unfortunate moment the portable saw kicked back and amputated a third of my left ring finger. Without word, I reached in my back pocket for my rag, wrapped my finger with it and stepped down off the ladder and exited the set. I passed Tom on the way out and showed him what happened. Tom escorted me to the edge of the stage and I laid down on the concrete. It wasn’t long before an entire film crew of towering bodies was in a half circle looking down at me. Union guys chewing gum. 3am. Right?

Suddenly the crowd parts and Michael appears and stands there for a moment, leaning over me, looking down. He looks at my left hand held in the air then he looks at me. Then just like that he is on his knees by my right side and he picks up my right hand and holds it in his. He looks me straight in the eye and tells me how sorry he was, he kept repeating how sorry he was, and then he had tears in his eyes and he held my hand until the ambulance came and took me away.

That next week, recovering at home, the gifts began arriving from Michael and Janet, tasteful and cool things like great soaps, a bathrobe, incense, a card. Anyway, that’s my story. Michael Jackson held my hand, too. Michael, if you read this, thanks for caring.

Source: https://veniceartsclub.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/michael-jackson-held-my-hand-too/

To be continued…

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