There has been so much written about and reported on Michael Jackson, that it has become nearly impossible for the public to really know the truth.
In life, mystery and scandal seemed to follow him and even now in death, still much is being written about him. Most of which is speculation and appears to be sad attempts at boosting a show's ratings. These are examples of very poor, irresponsible journalism.
As in most things, truth prevails if you take the time to research and look beyond the surface. The problem is, most of us don't have time nowadays to research in-depth everything we hear on the news, on television shows and what we read in the newspaper.
Our lives have come down to listening to and processing the sound bytes we hear. We try to stay informed and we rely on the media to keep us informed and to be truthful. But that is not always, sadly, the case.
One simple question for you. Would you rather have people knowing who you are by getting to know you and listening to what you say and what those who know you best say about you, or would you be okay with others judging how you are and who you are as a person, by their hearing and seeing sound and video bytes of your life and hearing rumors? Michael deserves the same respect.
Included here are quotes and stories from people who knew Michael, excerpted from various publications, as well as some of Michael's words about himself in Moonwalk.
The Rumors vs. The Truth
Skin bleaching/whitening/wanting to be "white"/vitiligo
Michael was often accussed of wanting to become "more white" or "turning white" "bleaching his skin". If you want to know the truth, read, research and watch the videos. Look at the pictures. Michael told us he suffered from Vitiligo. Many didn't listen. Many instead criticized and called him names. Knowledge is so important. Seek out the truth.
Editor's Note: I have a very personal connection with Lupus as my paternal grandmother suffered from the disease and I know how much suffering it can cause.
Accusations about being gay/Michael's sexuality:
So much has been said about Michael Jackson's sexuality and despite how many times he reiterated that he was not homosexual, the rumors persisted.
Here, in a Time Magazine article featured in "Icons, Intimate Portraits" by Denise Worrell, Seth Riggs, Michael's vocal teacher, comments on a conversation he had with Michael.
Ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley also, in several interviews, confirmed that theirs was a normal, sexually active marriage. Michael also spoke openly about first love Tatum O'Neil in Moonwalk.
Michael talking about his love for women and the concept of revenge in "Moonwalk"
Michael on Women and Love
His Character & His Faith:
For further information on the speculation about Michael converting to Islam or not, visit this link For information on Michael's affiliation with the Nation of Islam and Jermaine talking about whether his brother planned to convert, click here
Much has been written and speculated about in regards to Michael Jackson's plastic surgery. In Moonwalk, he admitted to, at the time, having 2 surgeries on his nose and adding a cleft to his chin. Here is more about what Michael says about his face in "Moonwalk"
Editor's Note: I personally believe that the subject of Michael Jackson and plastic surgery is blown way out of proportion. What it comes down to though is this. Whatever else he might have or might not have done, really isn't our business. As Michael said above, it doesn't have anything to do with his talent and what he gave to the world. Michael sold millions of records, helped people all over the world, was an inventor and still all that the press and some of the public concentrates on, are how he looks, what he was wearing, and more speculation. Remember the man and his contributions, his soul, the efforts he made to make this world a better place and the talent he acknowledged was from God that he shared with all of us. That is what's important. The rest is all just frivolous. As Michael himself once commented...."the rest is just packaging."
The White Glove:
In several interviews, Michael mentions that he felt that wearing one signature glove was much "cooler" than 2 and it steadily became part of his image. There are other reports, including the video at the top of this page describing Michael's vitiligo, that claim that Michael's reason for wearing the glove was not only an image thing, but also a way for him to cover up the early stages of his Vitiligo. It's quite possible that Michael took something that might have been a negative, and, in his true character, turned it into something very positive that became part of his image.
Michael talking about his one glove in "Moonwalk":
"I actually had been wearing the glove for a long time, but it hadn't gotten
a lot of attention until all of a sudden it hit with Thriller in 1983. I was
wearing it on some of the old tours back in the 1970s, and I wore one glove
during the Off the Wall tour and on the cover of the live album that came
It's so show business that one glove. I love wearing it. Once, by
coincidence, I wore a black glove to the American Music Awards ceremony,
which happened to fall on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Funny how
things happen sometimes."
Sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber:
This story too, has seen many metamorphosis throughout the years. Numerous explanations abound. Some claim that Michael and/or his people leaked the photo to the press as a publicity stunt. Still others claim that Michael may have been using it to find natural, holistic ways to treat his vitiligo.
Michael's explanation was simple and seems to make a lot of sense.
In December of 1984 Michael visited the Brotman Memorial Hospital, where he had been treated for his serious burns while filming the Pepsi commercial. He donated all of the money he received from Pepsi, $1.5 million, to the Michael Jackson Burn Center for Children. The hyperbaric chamber is used in treatments of burns and Michael claims that he got in the chamber to test it out and a photo of him in it was taken and leaked to the tabloids, and the rest, is history.
Michael doing unnatural things to keep his voice high
In the book "Icons, Intimate Portraits," by Time Magazine writer Denise Worrell, Seth Riggs, Michael's vocal teacher who worked with him while Michael recorded "Thriller," (and also on subsequent projects) said this about Michael's voice:
Michael, speaking about his voice in "Moonwalk":
Michael speaks of a meeting with a young fan who questioned his singing voice (from the Martin Bashir outtakes):
"One little boy slipped through the crowd and said to me 'Michael Jackson, is it true that you take female hormone pills to make your voice higher?' and he was no more than 11! I said 'No!" Where did you get that from?' He said 'My friends talked about it.' I go 'I'm a Tenor. I'm a natural Tenor. My grandfather is a Tenor, my oldest brother's a Tenor and most successful singers are Tenors. I said 'I do not take female hormone pills. I've never seen one. I wouldn't know what it looks like."
Desire to buy the elephant man's bones:
Though there is much debate about the validity of this rumor. Here is what Michael Jackson reportedly said to a reporter after they asked him about it, according to Wikipedia.com
There have been stories that have said that Michael was behind the rumors, that he had indeed offered to buy the bones of Joseph Merrick. Other stories have claimed that Michael's publicity staff was behind the rumors. Still other reports say it was completely false. Another version is from Adrian Grant's book, "A Visual Documentary," reportedly authorized by Michael himself, which states that Michael went to view the bones of the Elephant man and while viewing them, the author of the book gave him a copy of his book based on the life of Josef Merrick and the rumors came from this viewing and meeting .
As in most things Michael, the press was so rabid in their spreading of un-truths that it is truly difficult to know for sure. When in doubt though, I say, go directly to the source. Michael knew that there were a lot of false things being said about him constantly and his answer to the reporter above gives a wink and a nod to that. He also stated in the Martin Bashir outtakes, that this rumor, along with the others, was not true.
On his wearing a mask and disguises in public:
He has said that some times he just wanted his privacy (which the media and fans many times would not give him) and that by wearing masks, etc. that gave him the feeling of a bit of privacy. Because everywhere he went, he had people staring at him, shouting at him and trying to grab him, he at times just wanted to feel he could go out and not be so much on "display" even if that meant to him, in his own way, that he could feel a bit removed, though he was still very obvious and maybe even more so, with the mask.
Some said he did it for publicity or to make himself appear more mysterious or to get people talking about him. All we can go by is what Michael himself said in interviews about his desire for privacy.
On the disguises he sometimes wore out. Imagine that you cannot go anywhere without being mobbed. Not to the park, movie theatre or even the grocery store. Things we take for granted. Michael had said that he wanted to just go to the grocery store so bad by himself and get himself some food. So a friend of his, who owned a market, closed it down and set it up so that Michael could at least get a feel for what it was like just being able to do a normal grocery shopping.
He also at times wore disguises just to get out and, for instance, sit in the park. He had a desire to see what people normally did everyday. What they talked about. He knew that if he went as himself, he would never get to experience that because he would have been mobbed.
Michael carried an umbrella at all times while outdoors because the loss of pigmentation with Vitiligo, the skin condition he had that turned his skin from dark to pale white, makes sufferers susceptible to skin cancer. Lupus, another disease he was diagnosed with, also makes the skin incredibly sensitive to the sun.