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For most of his life, Michael Joseph Jackson has been in the spotlight. 40 years after he started his career, he has now taken a break. All of the recent scandals have torn Michael down. I decided to sit down with the king of pop to clear everything up; About Neverland, the surgurys, the sexual mulesting charges and his career.
Let’s start with the painful questons: The sexual mulesting charges.
How do you feel about this?
They are totally false. Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists. I would never hurt a child. It's totally false. I was outraged. I could never do something like that.
Did you know this kid? How was your relationship with him?
Yes, I knew him. For a long time I’ve helped children; kids with cancer and kids with leukemia. I’ve helped thousands. This boy was one of them.
Michael Jackson says his accuser is among thousands of children he’s invited to his 2600 acre Neverland Ranch in California to play in his amusement park. Neverland also contains a zoo, a movie theater, you can play video games and eat your favorite food.
Tell me about Neverland; Why did you develope it?
Because I wanted to have a place that I could create everything that I never had as a child. So you see rides. You see animals. There's a movie theater. I was always on tour, traveling. And I never got a chance to do those things. I can't go into a park. I can't go to Disneyland as myself. I can't go out and walk down the street. There's crowds, and bumper to bumper cars. I wanted to create my world behind my gates. Everything that I love is behind those gates. We have elephants, and giraffes, and crocodiles, and every kind of tigers and lions. And and we have bus loads of kids, who don't get to see those things. Sick children come up from the hospitals and enjoy it. They enjoy it in a pure, loving, fun way. It's people with the dirty minds that I would mulest a child. I don't think that way. That's not me.
OK. Last question about the boy. When he would come home to you, what did you do?
When I first saw him, he was total bald-headed, white as snow from the chemotherapy, very bony, looked anorexic, no eyebrows, no eyelashes. And he was so weak, I would have to carry him from the house to the game room, or push him in a wheelchair, to try to give him a childhood, a life. Because I felt bad. Because I never had that chance as a child. Not being sick, but not having had a childhood. So, my heart goes out to those children. I feel their pain.
He had never climbed a tree. I had this tree that I have in Neverland. I call it "My Giving Tree." I like to write songs up there. I've written many songs up there. So I said, "You have to climb a tree. That's part of boyhood. You just got to do it." I helped him up. Once he went up up the tree, we looked down on the branches. It was so beautiful. It was magical. And he loved it. I gave him a chance to have a life. Because he was told he was going to die. They told him. They told his parents that they should prepare his funeral, that's how bad it was. And I put him on a program. I've helped many children doing this. I put him on a mental program.
Do you think people see you as a pervert because of the things they read?
If they have a sick mind, yes. If they believe the trash they read in newspapers, yes. Just because it's written in magazines and papers, doesn't mean it's the gospel. People write negatives things, because they feel that's what sells. Good news to them is bad news for me.
Most of the things that are written in magazines are false. Don’t believe everything you read!
It’s pretty obvious that you’ve had some plastic surgurys. Why?
I’m getting very sick of that queston! My father, Joseph Jackson, was not a good father. We were ten siblings growing up and I was number eigth. He pushed us over the limit. He tried to make us stronger by critizising us and saying we’re ugly. He especially pointed out my nose. That’s why. I’ve never had good confidence. I’ve never looked in the mirror and liked what I saw, so I tried to make myself happy with surgurys. I thought my confidence would become better if I “fixed” my nose and the other things, but it didn’t.
Do you regret having them? Is there anything you would do differently?
I don’t regret it. But if I could go back in time to do something differently, I would. For example I can’t breath through my nose. I wouldn’t go the extreme level I did with the nose. Listen! I have never done any surgurys on my skin. It’s a desize. It’s redikilous how people can think I’ve gone so far with the surgurys that I can’t go out in the sun anymore.
“The king of pop”. Do you agree with it? How do you feel about it?
Agree with it? The reason people call me that, is probably because they’ve known about me since they were born. I’ve been in the spotlight since I was five years old, which is about 40 years now. What the fraise actually means is: ”The old pop man”, I think at least.
Like I said, I started when I was five. Four of my oldest brothers and I became “The Jackson 5”. I was the lead singer. Our father wanted us to become famous, and we did! Our first four singles became a number one hit, and we got a reckord deal. But I wonder now if it was all worth it. I mean, look at me. I’m exhauset. I often think about how it would have been with a normal childhood. Off course I’m gratefull, I’ve gotten the chance to help others. And I’ve gotten to know all of these wonderfull fans and people in the buisness. But still, what if...
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
I would tell them I love them very much. If you really want to know about me, there's a song I wrote, which is the most honest song I've ever written. It's the most autobiographical song I've ever written. It's called, "Childhood." They should listen to it. That's the one they really should listen to. And thank you for your support, the fans around the world. I love you all with all my heart. I don't take any of it for granted.