PREVIOUSLY: Leaving Neverland has brought about a renewed interest in the controversy surrounding Michael Jackson.
But while the doc spelled out the allegations of Wade Robson and James Safechuck in great detail, there were a number of other accusations against the King of Pop.
Some have been forgotten or obscured over time, some were so overshadowed by the little boy stuff, you may never have even heard them.
But Vanity Fair reported Maureen Orth spent YEARS conducting and compiling interviews with the folks in MJ’s orbit. And based on her work and new insights since, we’ve summarized some of the most startling here…
Michael reportedly got desperate toward the end of the ’90s. So desperate he allegedly resorted to some pretty bizarre lengths to get what he wanted.
He reportedly paid six figures to a voodoo doctor for a “ritual cleansing” in sheep’s blood.
It’s reported that witnesses also recounted another time, in Jackson’s hideaway in Switzerland in the summer of 2000, in which a “witch doctor” performed a ritual cursing his enemies.
MJ apparently had a list of 25 people who had wronged him, whom he allegedly hired a voodoo practitioner to kill.
The first person on Michael’s alleged list, number one with a bullet, was record producer David Geffen. Michael apparently blamed the music magnate for ruining his career. Also, surprisingly, beloved director Steven Spielberg, who Michael reportedly hated for 86ing his passion project, a movie in which he played Peter Pan.
We guess Spielberg made Hook with Robin Williams instead?
The hex reportedly involved wiring $150,000 to a man in Mali who slaughtered 42 cows.
The witch doctor announced everyone on the list would soon die, starting with Geffen, who wouldn’t last a week.
But nothing happened. The voodoo murder ritual didn’t work. And we didn’t lose two thirds of Dreamworks.
In a third reported ceremony, at the Hôtel d’Angleterre in Switzerland, another witch doctor purportedly conjured up cash into an empty bathtub for Michael, who was already in debt for millions.
Apparently the magician told Michaels money manager it was $50 million in cash he’d vanished right out of the Federal Reserve.
But the money would disappear again unless Michael paid thousands for yet another ritual slaughter of animals.
Long before Scarlett Johansson was getting canceled on Twitter for playing white versions of anime characters, Michael was trying to whitewash… himself.
First, there was his actual skin.
Michael never publicly admitted to any plastic surgery other than rhinoplasty. But he obviously got his skin bleached. That’s not even a conspiracy theory, it’s just an observation.
However, it was much more extensive than just on the surface.
His old friend, Thriller dancer Eddie Reynoza, once said:
“The whole inside of his face is artificial implants. He told me, ‘I can’t go out in the sun. My face would fall off.’”
Years later Orth saw him up close during his trial and said he was caked in white makeup.
He was also said to have a removable prosthetic nose. Someone who saw him without it on said he looked like “a mummy with two nostril holes.”
But MJ wasn’t just trying to change the way he looked. He was trying to erase the old Michael from existence entirely.
When Michael was consulted on who should play the younger version of himself in the TV miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream, he reportedly recommended an “11-year-old blond, blue-eyed white boy.” Apparently he told Pepsi commercial producers the same thing.
That little boy? Young Joseph Fiennes.
OK, obviously that’s a joke.
But the idea of Michael hating his appearance so much he tried to erase it? It’s tragic.
According to biographies on the Jackson family, Michael’s older brothers bullied him over his “big nose” and his bad acne.
When combined with the intense scrutiny of child stardom? It apparently drove him to hate everything about the way he looked, including his race.
In an affidavit, a former maid of Jackson’s confirmed he bleached his skin white — and that he told her it was because “he does not like being black and he feels that blacks are not liked as much as people of other races.”
But that hatred wasn’t all inward.
According to multiple sources, Michael was generally racist against black people and even came up with his own racial epithet: “spabook.”
Near as we can tell this never caught on as the only definition we can find on Urban Dictionary is “a book about spas.”
Jackson was also accused of antisemitism after the release of his song They Don’t Care About Us, in which he originally sang:
“Jew me, sue me, everybody do me,
Kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me”
He later apologized and reissued the record with new lyrics.
BTW, that track was rumored to be about one Jewish person in particular — Larry Feldman, who represented 1993 molestation accuser Jordan Chandler.
Ironically, during his criminal trial in 2005, Michael gave an interview to Reverend Jesse Jackson in which he blamed racism for the accusations against him, citing a huge conspiracy.
“I’m totally innocent, and it’s just very painful. This has been kind of a pattern among black luminaries in this country.”
Really?! Were the little boys racist? Or is he saying racists were paying them to lie just to ruin him?
Did MJ invent the myth of “crisis actors”??
Michael avoided prosecution in 1993, and by a decade later he must not have been worried about it happening again.
Starting in 2002, he agreed to participate in a documentary by British journalist Martin Bashir, who followed around the pop star for months with a film crew. What they filmed was, as had been widely publicized in 1993, a disturbing amount of contact with young boys, including holding hands and sleeping together.
He even said in an interview in the doc that he didn’t see any problem with sleeping with boys. Others saw red flags. The boy was about the same age as Jordan Chandler; Jackson even seemed to have the same pet name for the little boy: “Rubba.” It was all too disturbing.
When Living With Michael Jackson aired in March 2003, the Santa Barbara county prosecutor IMMEDIATELY started a criminal investigation.
The young boy filmed in the documentary suddenly became a focal point for investigators AND for Jackson’s trusty team of defenders.
According to sources speaking to Orth, the family was brought to Jackson’s home and not allowed to leave the premises — the were literally kept from leaving Neverland.
In one of the stranger accusations, members of Jackson’s team allegedly took the family’s clothes and other belongings and put them into storage — but wouldn’t tell the fam where. Later when they got everything back, they complained the boy’s underwear was missing.
Jackson’s publicists reportedly put out stories about the family’s past legal troubles and involvement in a previous lawsuit (they sued after a J.C. Penney security guard allegedly got too rough with them while trying to stop them shoplifting — the chain settled for $150k).
In the end, the boy, who was recovering from cancer at the time, agreed to testify against Jackson. And testify he did.
He said MJ gave him and the other boys white wine hidden in Coke cans. He said Michael called it “Jesus juice” and told the boys, “Jesus drank it, so it must be good.” The boy also alleged Jackson gave them vodka, rum, and what the child referred to on the stand as “Jim Bean.”
His brother, who also hung out at Michael’s house, said they played a drinking game where they made prank phone calls and had to drink if no one answered. The brother also said Jackson gave their sister sleeping pills.
The accuser testified MJ had shown him and the other boys pornography, a claim backed up by magazines police had found at Neverland — with the kids’ fingerprints on them.
As for the molestation, well… once again it’s [EXTREMELY DISTURBING CONTENT]:
The boy said Michael spoke to him one day, on the way home from playing games at the arcade, about masturbation:
“He said that if men don’t masturbate that they can get to a level where they can — might rape a girl or they might be like, kind of unstable…. He told me a story of [knowing] a boy one time who didn’t masturbate and he had sex with a dog.”
Yeesh. He testified Michael offered to “do it for” him if he didn’t know how.
And later when they were in bed, Jackson again told him how it was “natural for boys to do it”:
“I was under his covers and then that’s when he put his hands in my pants and started masturbating me.”
The boy said after about five minutes, he ejaculated. The next time he said Jackson tried to switch it up:
“[He] grabbed my hand in a way to try to do it to him. I pulled my hand away, because I didn’t want to do it.”
If you’re wondering how Jackson could possibly have been acquitted after that?
The defense didn’t even call character witnesses for Michael — as they were scared about previous statements many defenders had made, such as La Toya Jackson saying she saw a $1 million check to Safechuck’s family to buy their silence.
Instead the defense went hard at the prosecution’s witnesses. They got the accuser to admit one of the stories he’d said Jackson had told him about masturbation was one he’d actually heard from his grandmother. The mother was apparently eccentric and not very believable in the prosecution’s hands — and fell apart under cross-examination.
Once again, Jackson’s defense was that the family were grifters out to make a buck with phony accusations.
And people wanted to believe it. Because he was Michael Jackson. He was beloved.
And yes, on June 13, 2005, he was acquitted on all charges. The defense worked.
Here’s the thing though…
All those families of those little boys didn’t trick Michael Jackson into having their children come to his home, and hang out with him on tour, and sleep in his bed, with his secret alarm system.
Perhaps the most startling accusation of all?
Some close to the troubled star have said all the bizarre behavior was just for show!
Obviously they don’t mean the molestation accusations, but the monkey, the extravagant purchases, the impulsiveness? Could these have been the work of a strategic mind pushing the boundaries to keep his name in everyone’s mouth?
We DO know Michael was a shrewd businessman.
For instance, in 1985 he did a duet with Paul McCartney, who advised him to hold on to his song rights and told him of his plans to finally purchase the rights to the Beatles song catalogue, which would soon become available and would only grow in value over the years.
Michael went behind his back and bought the Beatles catalogue himself! (The investment really paid off, too; he purchased the rights for $47.5 million and reportedly later sold HALF to Sony for $90 mil!)
But that was in the ’80s. What about the behavior later on?
Photographer Harry Benson, who had spent a lot of time working with MJ, said:
“Michael Jackson is about as crazy as Colin Powell. He knows everything he is doing. He holds his baby over the balcony and everybody goes crazy, but he’s in every newspaper around the world.”
A former publicist told Orth the star was a big believer in the old showbiz adage about there being no such thing as bad press:
“Michael doesn’t think bad publicity is bad — he thinks more is more. He just doesn’t want to be forgotten.”
The “Wacko Jacko” moniker may have kept him in the tabloids, but they did not help his sales.
But the question isn’t whether it worked, the question is whether he believed it. Whether he really was faking the oddness.
The childlike demeanor could have been an act; certainly the childish pursuits with which he surrounded himself — toys, candy, amusement park rides, a zoo — have been called out as bait for children.
But the body dysmorphia? The drug use?
These were forms of self harm it’s kind of tough to fake.
Do YOU think it’s possible???
[Image via Rudi Keuntje/Future Image/WENN.]