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"Living with Michael Jackson"
Excerpts from the programme transcript (from ITV.com)
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On Jackson's habit of sharing his bedroom with children:

Bashir: "When you are talking about children we met Gavin - and it was a
great privilege to meet Gavin because he's had a lot of suffering in his life
- when Gavin was there he talked about the fact that he shares your bedroom?"

Jackson: "Yes."

Bashir: "Can you understand why people would worry about that?"

Jackson: "Because they are ignorant."

Bashir: "But is it really appropriate for a 44-year-old man to share a
bedroom with a child that is not related to him at all?"

Jackson: "That's a beautiful thing."

Bashir: "That's not a worrying thing?"

Jackson: "Why should that be worrying, what's the criminal...who's Jack the
Ripper in the room? There's some guy trying to heal a healing child ... I'm
in a sleeping bag on the floor.
"I gave him the bed because he has a brother named Star, so him and Star took
the bed and I went along on the sleeping bag ?"

Bashir: "Did you ever sleep in the bed with them?"

Jackson: "No. But I have slept in a bed with many children.
"I slept in a bed with all of them when Macauley Culkin was little: Kieran
Culkin would sleep on this side, Macauley Culkin was on this side, his
sisters in there...we all would just jam in the bed, you know.
"We would wake up like dawn and go in the hot air balloon, you know, we had
the footage. I have all that footage."

Bashir: "But is that right Michael?"

Jackson: "It's very right. It's very loving, that's what the world needs now,
more love more heart ?"

Bashir: "The world needs a man who's 44 who's sleeping in a bed with

Jackson: "No, you're making it - no, no you're making it all wrong ..."

Bashir: "Well, tell me, help me ..."

Jackson: "Because what's wrong with sharing a love? You don't sleep with your
kids? Or some other kid who needs love who didn't have a good childhood ?"

Bashir: "No, no I don't. I would never dream ..."

Jackson: "That's because you've never been where I've been mentally ..."

Bashir: "What do you think people would say if I said well - 'I've invited
some of my daughter's friends round or my son's friends round and they are
going to sleep in a bed with me tonight'?

Jackson: "That's fine!"

Bashir: "What do you think their parents would say?"

Jackson: "If they're wacky they would say 'You can't', but if you're close
family, like your family, and you know them well and ..."

Bashir: "But Michael, I wouldn't like my children to sleep in anybody else's

Jackson: "Well, I wouldn't mind if I knew the person well. I am very close to
Barry Gibb - Paris and Prince can stay with him anytime; my children sleep
with other people all the time.

Bashir: "And you're happy with that?"

Jackson: "Fine with it. They're honest, they are sweet people. They are not
Jack the Ripper."
Speaking to Gavin:

Bashir: "What is it, Gavin, about Michael that makes him connect so well with
children? What is it?"

Gavin: "Because he's really a child at heart. He acts just like a child, he
knows how a child is, he knows what a child thinks".
"See, because I think that you don't necessarily have to be a child just
because society says that 18 and up you have to be an adult. Doesn't really
matter. You're an adult when you want to be one."

Gavin's sister: "They told my parents to plan for his funeral because there
was no chance. He wasn't going to grow, wasn't going to have kids ? he had
growth spurts during chemotherapy."

Gavin: "I went from 4 foot ten to 5 foot four."

Jackson: "See medicine don't know it all, do they?"

Bashir: "When you stay here, do you stay in the house? Does Michael let you
enjoy the whole premises?"

Gavin: "There was one night, I asked him if I could stay in his bedroom. He
let me stay in the bedroom."
"And I was like, 'Michael you can sleep in the bed', and he was like 'No, no,
you sleep on the bed', and I was like 'No, no, no, you sleep on the bed', and
then he said 'Look, if you love me, you'll sleep in the bed'. I was like 'Oh
mannnn?" so I finally slept on the bed."
"But it was fun that night."

Jackson: "I slept on the floor. Was it a sleeping bag?"

Gavin: "You packed the whole mess of blankets on the floor."

Bashir: "But Michael, you're a 44-year-old man now, what do you get out of

Gavin: "He ain't 44, he's 4!"

Jackson: "Yeah, I'm 4. I love, I feel, I think what they get from me, I get
from them. I've said it many times, my greatest inspiration comes from kids.
Every song I write, every dance I do, all the poetry I write, is all inspired
from the level of innocence."
"That consciousness of purity. And children have that. I see God in the face
of children. And man, I just love being around that all the time."

Bashir: "But when people hear that children from other families have come and
they've stayed in your house, they've stayed in your bedroom ..?"

Jackson: "Very few."

Bashir: "Well, you know, but some have, and they say, is that really
appropriate for a man - for a grown man - to be doing that? How do you
respond to that?"

Jackson: "I feel sorry for them because that's judging someone who just wants
to really help people."
"Why can't you share your bed? The most loving thing to do, is to share your
bed with someone."

Bashir: "You really think that?"

Jackson: "Yahhh. Of course."

Gavin: "You are taking the position that you use every single night that you
sleep and you're sharing it with another ..."

Jackson: "You're saying you can have my bed if you want, sleep in it. I'll
sleep on the floor. It's yours. Always give the best to the company, you
know. Like to him. Because he was going to sleep on the floor and I said 'No,
you sleep in the bed and I'll sleep on the floor.'"

Bashir: "But haven't you got a spare room or a spare house here where he
could have stayed?"

Jackson: "No.. yes, we have guest units, but whenever kids come here they
always want to stay with me, they never want to stay in the guest rooms."
"And I have never invited them into my room, they always just wanna stay with
me. They say, 'Can I stay with you tonight?', so I go 'If it's OK with your
parents then yes you can'."

Bashir: "Were your parents happy that you were here with Michael?"

Gavin: "Yeah, well, my ma was very, very, very happy. And I know they're
happy, because I'm happy."

Bashir: "Did they come with you?"

Jackson: "Most of the time I wasn't busy with my parents, I was mainly with

Bashir: "But they were happy that you were here?

Jackson: "Yeah."
On why he dangled Prince Michael II from a Berlin hotel balcony:

Bashir: "You've had a tough week ? the media say you've been irresponsible
with children?"

Jackson: "The media's wrong. I love my children. I was holding my son tight.
Why would I throw a baby off the balcony - that's the dumbest, stupidest
story I ever heard."
"I love them and two mins before they saw the baby, Prince did exactly the
same thing. I had him in my arms."

Bashir replied: "I saw that."

Jackson: "I've done it, you know, but I've got him strong in my arms."

Bashir: "Were you just over-excited?"

MJ: "No! They were chanting they want to see the baby. So I wanted to show
them the baby. I'm not going to let him fall."

MB: But you didn't really show them the baby ? they didn't see the baby
because the baby was covered."

MJ: "Yes, they did. They got the full spirit. He was responding. He was
On the family bond:

Jackson: "People don't even eat with their fathers anymore, or their mothers
... the family bond has been broken, it's an outcry for attention."
"Why are kids going to school with guns? They would not ... they want to be
touched, they want to be held, but they [the parents] are busy off on their
day job and they leave them at home on the computer and they just doing all
kinds of crazy stuff."
"And that's destroying our bond. We need to bond again, that's very important

Bashir: "Why does it mean so much to you?"

Jackson: "I'm just very sensitive to their pain and I am very sensitive to
the family,the human condition, you know.
"On that subject, it means a lot to me and I want to help. Whatever I can to
help that you know, it's like I said before and I'll say it a million times,
I'm not afraid to say it."
" If there were no children on this earth, if someone announced all kids were
dead, I would jump off the balcony immediately, I'm done, I'm done."
On allegations of molesting 13-year-old Jordy Chandler, which Jackson has
always denied,
He paid the boy's parents 18 million to drop a civil case against him:

Bashir: "I suppose the problem for many people is what happened in 1993, or
what didn't happen?"

Jackson: "What 'didn't happen'?"

Bashir: "Just cast your mind back, what was that like when you first heard
the allegations that were being made against you?"

Jackson: "It was shocking and I'm not allowed to talk about this by way of
law, so ..."

Bashir: "But how did you feel about what was being said? I'm not asking you
to talk about what was said."

Jackson: "I was shocked because, um, God knows, in my heart how much I adore

Bashir: "Isn't that precisely the problem, that when you actually invite
children into your bed you never know what is going to happen?"

Jackson: "When you say bed, you're thinking sexual, they make that sexual,
it's not sexual."
"We're going to sleep, I tuck them in and I put a little like, er, music on
and when it's story time I read a book."
"We go to sleep with the fireplace on. I give them hot milk, you know, we
have cookies, it's very charming, it's very sweet, it's what the whole world
should do ?"

Bashir: "The reason that has been given for why you didn't go to jail is
because, because you reached a financial settlement with the family?"

Jackson: "Yeah, I didn't want to do a long drawn-out thing on TV like OJ, and
all that stupid stuff, you know, it wouldn't look right. I said, look, get
this over with. I want to go on with my life. This is ridiculous, I've had
enough, go."
On his children and why the mothers are no longer involved:

Bashir: "When I was talking to Prince one day, he said he didn't have a

Jackson: "He said he didn't have a mother?"

Bashir: "Yeah ... I said where is your Mummy and he said I haven't got a

Jackson: "That is right."

Bashir: "Did you tell him to say that?"

Jackson: "No."

Bashir: "What do you think he means when he says he doesn't have a mother?"

Jackson: "Like he said, he didn't have a mother ..."

Bashir: "Do you not think, though, that your children would benefit from
contact with their mother?"

Jackson: "No, because ... because she doesn't ? it is private information.
She doesn't - she cant handle it ?"

Bashir: "She can't handle her own children?"

Jackson: "She'd prefer them to be with me than with her."

Bashir: "Did you know that she didn't want to have relationships with the
children when you married her?"

Jackson: "Yes ... She did it for me. She did it for me."

Bashir: "So - just so I understand this correctly: she knew that Michael
Jackson loves children and she knew that Michael Jackson wanted children -"

Jackson: "Yes, that's why. She said you need to be a daddy."

Bashir: "Right, she said you needed to be a daddy more than she needed to be
a mother?"

Jackson: "Yeah. And she wanted to do that for me as a present."

Bashir: "As a present, what do you mean?"

Jackson: "As a gift, I used to walk around holding baby dolls -"

Bashir: "Really?"

Jackson: "- yes because I wanted children so badly."

Bashir: "What you've just said is that your wife gave you two children as a
present because she knew that you wanted to be a father?"

Jackson: "Yeah. It was a lovely gesture."

Bashir: "It is an incredible gesture."

Jackson: "Yes, there are surrogate mothers who do that every day. That
happens every day in the world - it is happening right now."

Bashir: "Is that how Blanket was born?"

Jackson: "I used a surrogate mother and my own sperm cells. I had my own
sperm cells in my other two children. They are all my children but I used a
surrogate mother and she doesn't know me, I don't know her."
"And so he was born."

Bashir: "How did you select the mother ... out of interest?"

Jackson: "It didn't matter to me as long as she was healthy. I didn't care
what race as long as she is healthy, as long as she didn't have eye ... and
her vision is good - and her intellect, I want to know how intelligent she

Bashir: "Would you have conceived a child with a black woman?"

Jackson: "Of course."

Bashir: "But I have seen Blanket and I think it is safe to say that his
mother was probably white."

Jackson: "No, you are wrong."

Bashir: "I am wrong?"

Jackson: "You are wrong."

Bashir: "So Blanket's mother is black. But blanket is so light?"

Jackson: "Black people were called coloured people because we come in all
colours from very white - as white as my hand - to very dark, as dark as your
"My father has blue eyes. And when they see Paris, they always say Debbie but
that could be my father's genes, you know ..."

Bashir: "Really?"

Jackson: "Of course ..."

Bashir: "So when do you think you are going to have your next child?"

Jackson: "I wish I could have it today ..."

Bashir: "Really?"

Jackson: "I am thinking about adopting two kids from each continent around
the world."

Bashir: "A boy and a girl from every continent?"

Jackson: "From every continent. That is my dream."
On Prince Michael II's mother:

Bashir: "Were you present for his birth?"

Jackson: "Yes."

Bashir: "And what's he like and what's his name?"

Jackson: "Prince Michael II but we call him Blanket."

Bashir: "You call him Blanket? Why do you call him Blanket?"

Jackson: "Because it's an expression I use with my family and my employees. I
say 'you should blanket me' or 'you should blanket her',meaning like a
blanket is a blessing. It's a way of showing love and caring."
"So the third one is Blanket, and Blanket is really sweet."

Bashir: "And who is Blanket's mother?"

Jackson: "Blanket's mother? I can't say. Because she will be bombarded with
... you know."
We have an agreement that we can't - a contractual agreement that we can't
talk about who she is, that's how we worked that out."

Bashir: "And was she someone you had a relationship with?"

Jackson: "Yes."

Bashir: "But you've kept it secret?"

Jackson: "Yes."

Bashir: "And that's because she doesn't want anybody to know?"

Jackson: "Yes, and I don't want anybody to know. She doesn't want to be in
papers and tabloids and she doesn't want it, and I don't blame her. Because
she knows how scumbag their comments can be, you know."

Bashir: "Do any of the mothers live with you now?"

Jackson: "Live with me now? No."

Bashir: "And is that difficult for you and the children?"

Jackson: "No .. no .. why would it be difficult?"

Bashir: "Are the children not looking for their mother?"

Jackson: "No. they're fine. How many babies live with their mothers and they
don't have a father around. Nobody says nothing. No, they're having a good

Bashir: "With you, it's the other way round?"

Jackson: "Yeah. They're having a great time. They have enough women in their
lives. They're everywhere. Women are everywhere in my house, I mean they're
with them all day long."

Bashir: "What would you say to somebody who said that's all a bit strange?"

Jackson: "People can always have a judgment about anything you do, so it
doesn't bother me. Everything can be strange to someone. This interview is
strange to some people out there. So who cares, right?"

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