Michael Jackson : I wanted to become such a wonderful performer that I would get loved back. Michael Jackson : Anybody else would probably be dead by now, or a junkie, with what I've been through. Rabbi Shmuley : What about jealousy from other stars and things like that? Is there a lot of jealousy? Michael Jackson : Absolutely Hate to say that on tape. Michael Jackson : I think growing old is the ugliest, the most, the ugliest thing. Rabbi Shmuley : I don't think that Michael Jackson will ever be looked at the same after this book.
It's impossible. There's just too much rawness and honesty of Michael in this book for anyone to ever perceive him as the same. Now, for the first time, spilling out acrossand on tape: Michael Jackson in his own words. Up until now, these recordings have never been released. Rabbi Shmuley : You could see that there was a woundednessto him, he wasn't very trusting, he opened up very slowly. Meredith Vieira, NBC News : But one of the first questions that people might ask is "did you betray his confidence in any way by releasing these tapes now, after his death?
Rabbi Shmuley : Not only have I not betrayed any confidences, Michael used to hold the tape recorders directly to his mouth. He would constantly talk to me about the book. He counted mega-celebrities like Diana Ross and Elizabeth Taylor among his closest friends. But this is Michael Jackson bluntly dissing Hollywood. Rabbi Shmuley : Why don't you hang out with those celebrities, more Hollywood people?
Michael Jackson : They love the limelight and I don't have anything in common with them. They want to go clubbing and afterwards they want to sit around and drink hard liquor and do marijuana and all kinds of crazy things that I wouldn't do. And forget the mask, the chimp, the baby dangling, and any other eccentric behavior we already know about. Here, Jackson talks openly about his oddest -- and saddest -- habits. Michael Jackson : I needed someone. That's probably why I had, uh, the mannequins, I would say. Because I felt I needed people, someone, and I didn't have, I was too shy to be around real people.
I love them, it's like real babies, and kids, and people, but it makes me feel like I am in a room with people. Rabbi Shmuley first met Michael Jackson inand began recording their conversations a year later, when Jackson was 42 years old. Theirs was an unlikely friendship -- but the Orthodox rabbi had became a confidant and spiritual advisor to the King Of Pop.
Rabbi Shmuley : As we got to know each other more, I think he began to believe that I got him. Meredith Vieira : Did he see in you then, Rabbi, the opportunity to be a regular guy? Rabbi Shmuley : So many of us look at Michael as strange and weird, that's not what I experienced. He never wore a mask in my presence. The kids were never veiled in my presence.
Michael wasn't a celebrity for me anymore. Rabbi Shmuley : Indescribable pain.
Tremendous remorse and regret. Shmuley says Jackson, who was still reeling from sexual abuse allegations, wanted the public to hear his voice.
Meredith Vieira : The plan was always to publish the conversations? Meredith Vieira : But why did he want that out there? Why did he want a book of the conversations? Rabbi Shmuley : He knew that the public was deeply suspicious of him. I think he wanted be known as a man without a mask.
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During the nine-month period when the tapes were made, the rabbi says he and Jackson were so close, he considered him part of the family. Shmuley's children still have Marshmallow, the dog Jackson gave them, along with fond memories of the many Friday nights when the King Of Pop ed them in Englewood, New Jersey for Sabbath dinner.
Rabbi Shmuley : He used to tell me they were the most special evenings of his life. He would arrive with Prince and Paris, very often his-- security detail would us.
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And we would just sit around and Michael would just laugh and giggle. Prince and Paris, who were toddlers at the time, were often in tow when the tape recorders were rolling too -- sometimes jumping right into the conversation.
If the world sees him as the strange father who cloaked his children in masks, the tapes reveal the tender dad we didn't see. The rabbi says family bonding was such a central part of his friendship with Jackson that they began working on a national campaign to promote Friday nights as family night.
Rabbi Shmuley : A national family dinner time. Because families who eat with their children, it minimizes drug use, early sexuality, there are so many benefits.
He go "Well, want to go to the movies? With his tears sometimes audible, the Michael Jackson you'll hear now comes out from behind his mask, unveiling a man few people knew —or could ever comprehend. Michael Jackson: And I'm -- I'm going to say something I've never said it before, uh, um, and this is the truth, Shmuley.
I-- I have no reason to lie to you. God knows I'm telling the truth. I think all my success and fame --and I've wanted it. I've wanted it. Because I wanted to be loved.
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That's all. As the lead singer of the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson was hood sensation. But behind his beaming smile, there was searing pain. Michael Jackson: It's true, Shmuley. I suffered a lot in that way. Rabbi Shmuley: Michael had a broken childhood. There were always two Michael Jacksons.
And then, there was the King Of Pop. Jackson, the King Of Pop, has talked about Michael, the boy, before But never like this. In unsettling detail, he opens up about his fear of his father and manager, Joe Jackson. Michael Jackson: You'd look in the audience, and he'd make a face like this.
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You'd go,"I can't mess up, he's gonna kill us. Rabbi Shmuley : There was no one on Michael's mind more than his father Joseph, no one. His father came up constantly, usually in painful, negative stories. Jackson told Shmuley that growing up, he and his siblings would dread the moment their father came home.
Michael Jackson: We'd hear his car comin' the driveway. He always drove a big Mercedes and he drives real slow.
Like there's sometimes I'd be in bed at night sleeping, it's 12 at night. The door is locked.
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He said, "I'm giving you five seconds, you don't open, I'm going to kick it down. Like breaking the door down.
Why didn't you that contract today? I go, "I don't know.
If you don't it, you are in trouble. Michael Jackson : I had to! He would, he was very physical. He'd throw you and hit you as hard as he can. Michael Jackson: He was rough. The way he would beat you, you know, was hard, you know.