Jackson has children in his room for 'sleep-overs'
By Hugh Davies, Entertainment Correspondent(Filed: 04/02/2003)
Michael Jackson is still indulging in "sleep-overs" with children, despite his multi-million-dollar, out-of-court payment to the father of a boy nine years ago following allegations of sexual abuse.
The singer was questioned about the pay-out to Jordan Chandler, 13, by Martin Bashir in a television documentary screened last night.
He said: "I didn't want to do a long drawn-out thing [trial] on TV like OJ [Simpson] and all that stupid stuff. It wouldn't look right. I said, 'Look, let's get this over with. I want to go on with my life. This is ridiculous. I've had enough."'
Bashir had assumed that the singer was now more cautious about his house guests but, to his "utter astonishment", he discovered in visiting Jackson on his Neverland ranch that children were still sleeping over, "sometimes in his house, sometimes in his bedroom".
One 12-year-old boy told him that he slept in the singer's bed. Jackson said of the night that he slept on the floor in a sleeping bag, feeling he was "four" not 44. "I see God in the face of children. And man, I just love being around them all the time."
The singer said that "very few" had actually stayed in his bed. Asked if he thought it appropriate conduct for a grown man, he replied: "Why can't you share your bed? The most loving thing to do, is to share your bed with someone.
"Yes, we have guest units but whenever kids come here they always want to 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 said he felt uneasy, thinking Jackson had an obsession with children. The singer said: "When you say bed, they make that sexual. It's not sexual. We're going to sleep.
"I tuck them in and put a little like, er, music on and when it's story time I read a book and 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.
"If there were no children on this earth, if someone announced all kids were dead, I would jump off the balcony immediately."
Jackson insisted that the only surgery to his face was to his nose. "It helped me breathe better, so I can hit higher notes."
Asked about girlfriends, he spoke of Tatum O'Neil, "my first girlfriend who I really loved a lot".
He said: "I remember her telling me to come over to her house in Beverly Hills, and what she's going to do to me. All the sexual stuff. So I'm scared to death. Scared because I'd never done anything like that.
"I came over there trying to be Mr Big Shot and brave and I remember she cut out all the lights in bedroom, opened the curtains so you could see the whole skyline of the city over the cliffs. It was beautiful.
"And she told me to lie on the bed. And I did. She slowly walked over and she touched the button of my shirt to open it. I took my hands and I wouldn't let them down. And she just walked away. She knew I was too shy for it."