In an interview recorded two weeks ago that will air Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel’s “At Large With Geraldo Rivera,” Michael Jackson says, “The bigger the star, the bigger the target. I’m not trying to say I’m the super-duper star, I’m not saying that. I’m saying the fact that people come at celebrities, we’re targets. But truth always prevails. I believe in that.”
He also talks about Neverland. “I created Neverland as a home for myself and my children. It gave me a chance to do what I couldn’t do when I was little. We couldn’t go to movie theaters. We couldn’t go to Disneyland. We couldn’t do all those fun things. We were on tour. We were working hard.
“And we did enjoy it, but this allowed me to have a place behind the gates where the entire world I love is there. Other men have their Ferraris and their airplanes or helicopter or wherever they find their bliss. My bliss is in giving and sharing and having simple innocent fun.”
Jackson says Neverland also provides a happy place for inner-city children “who haven’t seen the mountains, who haven’t been on a carousel, who haven’t pet a horse or a llama. So if I can open my gates and see that bliss, an explosion of screaming laughter from the children and they run on the rides, I say thank you God. I feel I won God’s smile of approval, because I’m doing something that brings joy and happiness to other people.”
I have no doubt he means it and has done a lot of good in this world, but …
Meanwhile — and there is always a “meanwhile” — the Smoking Gun got its grubby little hands on court documents relating to the confidentiality agreement Jackson’s second wife, Debbie Rowe, signed in exchange for a multi-million dollar settlement barring her from talking publicly about “paternity, Michael’s mental or physical condition, purported drug use, sexual behavior” or the lifestyle of her children. Hmm.
“There is a reference that mother is not allowed to communicate with the children, Michael or his agents, except to make travel arrangements or to send Christmas, birthday cards and letters to the children,” Rowe’s lawyer Iris Finsilver said in a document dated Dec. 23, 2004.
Under their 1999 divorce settlement, Rowe gave up custody of the children, son Prince Michael Jr. and daughter Paris, to Jackson and agreed not to communicate with them. Rowe met Jackson when she worked for his Los Angeles plastic surgeon – a match made in heaven! – and married him in 1996.
She apparently changed her mind about the custody arrangements when Jackson’s most recent legal troubles came to light and began action to regain custody.
It seems to me not particularly in his children’s best interest to prevent them from ever having contact with their mother – why would he want that? And yet another multi-million dollar hush-money agreement? Does this perhaps imply he has, I don’t know, something to hide?