"The Michael Jackson Tapes" book, by the Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a former spiritual adviser of Michael's, offers a rare glimpse into intimate conversation between Michael and the Rabbi.
Though the book is considered by many as highly controversial, Michael's responses do offer a deeper understanding of Michael sharing his feelings and being very raw and from the gut with his fears and his thoughts on different subjects, at the time of the recordings, which was in 2001. I decided to include a small selection here because I felt they offered a deeper, more intimate, more human look into the man so many know as the King of Pop.
Here are some excerpts from those conversations, some of which may surprise you:
(On using sexuality to increase ticket and record sales): "No, that's crazy, like some of these singers who put bulges in their pants, that's crazy. I don't understand that. That's like disgusting to me when they do stuff like that. That's embarrassing. I don't want nobody to even look at me down....like looking for that. That would just embarrass me so bad, oh God."
"When I think about it, I would never say this on TV, but if I went on stage thinking about what goes through women's heads, I would never go out on stage. If I was suddenly to start thinking about what they were thinking about....sex, or what I look like naked, then, oh God, that would be so embarrassing. I could never go out. That's so horrible." Michael was referring to the fact that he was approached many times with women who would blatantly tell him that they wanted to have sex with him.
The Ideal Woman:
"I don't like the women who are always saying, "My nails need to be done. I have to do my toes. I need a manicure." I hate all that. I like it when girls are a little more tomboyish. If they wrestle, climb a tree...I love that. It is sexier to me. I like class though. Class is everything."
"The ones (girls he liked) who were classy and quiet and not into all the sex and all the craziness because I am not into that."
"It is a rarity (girls who like practical jokes, comics and goofing around). If I find one, I will go nuts. Especially if she has those qualities and is beautiful inside. It would be a home run for me. That's why guys hang out. Because they can do that."
On His Love for Brooke Shields:
"Now Brooke Shields, she was one of the loves of my life. We dated a lot. Her picturese were all over my walls and mirrors. I was at the Academy Awards with Diana Ross and she just came up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Brooke Shields. Are you going to the after party?" I said, "Yeah," and I just melted. I was about 23, during Off The Wall. I thought, "Does she know (that photographs of her are) all over my room?" So we get to the party and she says," Would you dance with me?" And we went on the dance floor. And man, we exchanged numbers and I was up all night, spinning around in my room, just so happy. She was classy.
On His First Girlfriend Tatum O'Neal:
"My first girlfriend, Tatum O'Neal, she'd won the Academy Award for Paper Moon, I was 16, she was 13. And was I naiive. She wanted to do everything and I didn't want to have sex at all, because there were a lot of values associated with being a Jehovah's Witness. I said, "Are you crazy?" One of those (values) was to be kind to everyone. When I held Tatum's hand it was just so magic, better than anything, kissing her, anything. Her, Ryan O'Neal, and myself went to this club and were watching a band and underneath the table she was holding my hand and I was melting. It was magical. There was fireworks going on. It was all I needed. But that means nothing to kids today."
On Exposure To Vulgar Sexuality When He Was Young and How It Affected Him and His Preference for Innocent Fun:
"I don't like clubs now, I did all that when I was eleven, eight and going back...nine, eight, seven, six. Fights break out, people throwing up, yelling, screaming, the police sirens. Our father never let us become a part of it other than to perform and leave. But sometimes in having to do that you would get caught up in some of the craziness. I saw it all. The lady who came on right before, when The Jacksons were little, "And now next, The Little Jackson 5," was the lady who took of ALL her clothes. Threw her panties into the audience and the men would grab them and sniff them. I saw all this. Her name was Rose Marie and she put these things on her breasts and moved them around and she showed everything. So when I became 16, 17 and guys would say, "Let's go clubbing," I would go "Are you crazy?" And the guys would be like, "No, are YOU crazy? We can get girls, we can get liquor." But I had done that. I did that when I was a baby. Now I want to be a part of the world and the life I didn't have. Take me to Disneyland, take me to where the magic is."
Why He Didn't Hang Out With Hollywood:
"They love the limelight and I don't have anything in common with them. They want to go clubbing. Afterwards, they want to sit around and drink hard liquor and do marijuana and do all sorts of crazy things that I wouldn't do."
Things He Didn't Like About Celebrity, Like Tabloid Stories:
"Hate them. I hate the jerks for doing that sort of thing. I think racism, jealousy, and just hate, evil, are part of it. They vent out their frustration on people who are trying to do good and it is just sad. If anyone believes it, they are like crazy. I mean I wish there was a way to totally get rid of those kinds of things."
The Tabloids Going After Him and the Mission He Feels God Gave Him To Help Children:
"I'll tell you. Because with the pain, and the arrows that people have shot at me nobody else would have been able to take it. They would have probably committed suicide by now....they would have become a drunk. Because they have been very cruel and rude to me. And if they don't think I hear it and see it, I do. I do. It's been the children. I am holding on for them or else I wouldn't have made it. I really wouldn't have made it.....God gave me a mission, I feel to do something for them and they have given me the support and the belief and the love to hold on, hold on. When I look in the mirror I feel healed all over again. It's like being baptized. It's like God saying, "Michael, everything will be okay," when I look in the eyes of a child.
On Trusting and Being Wary of Adults:
"I trust adults....(but on being warily initially)....Yes, because they have betrayed and deceived me in so many different ways and at so many different times. I have had adults with tears coming down their face, saying, "It's a shame what you have been through and I would never ever ever EVER hurt you or do anything. And they turn around and they hurt me. Honestly, that's the kind of crap I have been through...tears rolling down and hugging me. And they end up a year later suing over some ridiculous....like a photographer over some pictures, or some person who gets terminatedd and I didn't terminate them, but I get sued by them and I didn't do it. This is the sort of silliniess.
On Wondering About People's Motives:
"But that is the perfect representation of what people have let themselves become. Somewhere along the line they have gotten lost and I believe in just staying childlike and innocent and simple. As Jesus said, "The greatest among me is like this little child here. Be like him and you are the greatest in my eyes." When a lot of adults first come up to me, they look at me and they are checking out what you are wearing and who you are with. I see it. Then once they speak to me and they see that I am just a simple person who wants to be a friend, their hearts melt. I see it."
On His Being Like His Mother:
"I was like that. My Mother always told me, "Don't let people hurt you. You are too much like me." She would cry. "You are too much like me. I don't want you to be like me. I hurt so much." Because people take advantage."
On Not Striking Back and Trying To Make Other People Miserable:
"Yeah, I'd rather suffer. I hate to say it because I have suffered a lot. God, have I suffered. But I would rather suffer.....I have seen the worst...the nightmare of the human condition, the human soul. I would never even think that common man would be capable of behaving in such a way."
Two Types of Fans & Being Nothing Like What Some People Thought He Was:
"...once they meet me face to face they always, always change. They see I am nothing like that guy. I have people really start to cry in front of me after meeting me. There have been fans, and there are two kinds of fans. There is the fan who goes, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!" And they faint and you have to hold them. Then there's the other fan, who say an abrupt, "Hi." I go "Hi, nice to meet you. What's your name?" They give you their name, but they have got an attitude. I am just as simple and warm with them and then I see them start to cry. I say, "Why are you crying?" And they say, "Because I didn't think you would be this nice." And they go away a different person. I go, "Well, what did you think I was like?" and they'd go, "I thought you would be suck up and arrogant." I say, "Please never judge a person. I am nothing like that." They have been so impressed. I am sure they go away loving you tenfold, a thousand times more. Nothing beats kindness and love I think. Just simplicity."
On Growing Old and The Man Michael Saw When He Looked At His Own Man In The Mirror:
"I cant' deal with it. I love beautiful things too much and the beautiful things in nature and I want my messages to get out to the world, but I don't want to be seen now....like when my picture came up on the computer, it made me sick when I saw it.....Because I am like a lizard. It is horrible. I never like it. I wish I could never be photographed or seen and I push myself to go to the things that we go to. I really do.....I wish I could never be photographed and I wish I could never be seen. Just for entertainment so I design the dance the way I want it to look, and the film the way I want it to look. I love movies, but I can control it, you see. I can't control how those pictures come out with the lighting and my expression at the time. Arggh.