Originally, Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask, An Insider’s Story of the King of Pop, by 30-year Jackson PR man Bob Jones (who was fired unceremoniously last year by Michael’s brother Rand) and journalist Stacy Brown, was scheduled to be published in April.
It now appears that the King of Pop—a sobriquet Jones himself concocted—can thank his lucky stars for the publication delay. According to Fox News’s Roger Friedman, who has spent much of the trial belittling the charges against Jackson, the Jones book will be a devastating blow to Jacko and those who hold out for his “childlike innocence.”
“Michael had a sinister gift for identifying these boys; it was as if he had some sort of radar. I was continually amazed by how he could determine which of the many children he came into contact with might be ‘woo-able,’ whose parents could be bought off and counted on to keep quiet about what was going on. I came to understand that Michael manipulated people and events with a great deal of finesse,” Friedman quotes the book, which also “details Jackson’s trips abroad in the late ’80s and early ’90s, before the famous Chandler family settlement, with boys who were essentially his dates.”
More: “One kid [name changed], with whom Michael managed to carry on a clandestine relationship for years… Michael and [the boy] spent nearly all of their time together.”
Another boy described is Brett Barnes, who denied any wrongdoing by Jackson in the trial. “All of us, including the State Department official and Jet magazine Publisher Bob Johnson, saw the boy enter Michael’s private bedroom numerous times and remain for a long time. Characteristically, Michael did whatever he wanted to — hang the risk.”
Friedman also writes, “while Jones’ book may be discounted by Jackson’s current PR people as the work of a disgruntled employee, I got this reaction today from an insider who took a look at Jones’ copy: ‘He’s telling the truth,’ my source said, shaking their head.”
The distributor, Midpoint Trade, describes the book thusly: “‘Michael Jackson: The Man behind the Mask’ is the INSIDE STORY of the truth behind the rumors, ugliness and mystery surrounding Michael Jackson.
“Is Jackson just a confused person who got too much fame too soon or is he a cold and calculating villain who will stop at nothing to have his bizarre appetites satisfied? Now you can read about it for the first time from the man who knows everything!
“The author, Bob Jones, is not a journalist conducting interviews but somebody who has known and been with Jackson for 34 years as his chief of Public Relations; by his side since Michael was 11 years old. Bob Jones is the one person with this unique inside view of Michael Jackson’s world. To a certain degree, Bob Jones CREATED Michael Jackson. He created his image. For example, Bob Jones created Michael Jackson’s famous nickname ‘The King of Pop.’
“This book is explosive and will make any other book about Michael Jackson instantly forgotten. You won’t find this inside information anywhere else.”
Incidentally, both Jones and Brown testified for the prosecution in the trial.