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Things in the kitchen drawer
You know those miscellaneous things you indiscriminately throw into the kitchen drawer? You know what I'm talking about; those things you don't know quite what to do with. Well, it's the same with miscellaneous "info-bites" about Michael Jackson. While they're not quite top shelf, arguably, they may still be newsworthy; behind the scene things that "inquiring minds" want to know. These involve people who at one time or another had varying degrees of involvement with the King of Pop; from family member to distant employee. Since the kitchen is where the wife and/or mother has traditionally and historically operated, this article will center primarily on women; starting with the wife and mother who gave birth to Michael Jackson.
Katherine Jackson: Here's an interesting tidbit that demonstrates Mrs. Jackson's love for Michael's fans. On one occasion when we were at Neverland, a crush of fans anxiously approached her. Though I had not been empowered or authorized to do so, I felt duty bound to protect her from the zealots. To my surprise, she waved them past me and warmly welcomed them; even embracing those close to her. Afterward, she heartily reprimanded me (as I had seen her do with her own sons), and told me that not only were the fans endearing to her, but that there would be no "Michael Jackson" without these same fans. I could see the mild, loving, but righteous intensity in her eyes. I also sensed her deep, sincere, and abiding love for the fans.
In my capacity as a Biblical scholar and university instructor of comparative religion, Michael summoned me to discuss spiritual and religious issues and answers. Our discussion involved--among other things--what religious instruction his children were to receive. Other discussions centered on business and legal matters. We never talked about his romantic encounters. This was because Michael compartmentalized his life. Everything went into its own category; and his love life was out of my lane. Still, some things could not be hidden from public view.
Lisa Marie Presley: Kudos to MJ's first wife, Lisa Marie Pesley, for stating the truth and sticking by her man in connection with the molestation charges against Michael. "I understand and support him," she stated in a press release. Here's what she said seven years ago in a Playboy (July, 2003) interview. PB: "Did you and he ever have children join you in your bed?" LMP: "Never. Never, never, never, never. I never saw him sleep in bed with a child, ever." PB: "Did you ever see him with photos of nude children?" LMP: "Never. Never." PB: "Do you have any reason to think he's a child molester?" LMP: "If I'd had any reason to suspect that, I would have had nothing to do with the guy. I had no reason to, other than the allegations themselves. The only two people who know are Michael and that kid in the room. I've never seen him behave inappropriately. He was great with my kids. He does have a connection with kids, babies. He's a kid, and other kids sense that in him."
When asked, "Did you and Michael discuss having kids?," Ms. Presley answered: "Yeah. [Laughs] I got out of that one. ... I knew Debbie Rowe was offering to do it for him while we were married, according to him. She was a nurse who had a crush on him and offered to have his babies."
Debbie Rowe: I tip my hat to MJ's second wife who, in my humble opinion, Fox News attempted to manipulate when I was a guest on the network shortly after Michael's death. During the trial, at a press conference I held outside the Jackson Family Encino compound, Mary Hart of ET challenged me with the substance of these questions, "Do you know Debbie Rowe? Have you ever met her?" I answered, 'I wouldn't know Debbie Rowe if I saw her. No, I have never met her.' Another mildly interesting miscellaneous morsel. Now for the juicy stuff.
The Shana Saga: By all accounts, Shana Mangatal is the polar opposite of the three women mentioned above. She's not at all in the same class. She's mentioned here to demonstrate just how far she is from the pack. In fact, I'm taking this opportunity to make a full retraction of what I wrote in the October 1, 2009, article, "Michael Jackson: Womanizer," wherein I unequivocally stated that Shana was internationally known as Michael Jackson's "secret girlfriend." In an attempt to prove Michael innocent of child molestation, I stepped out of my lane. In all candor, I was clueless in "The Politics of Personal Relationships" involving Michael Jackson. In a sense, I owe Shana an apology, for it seems that I thrust her from the backburner into the spotlight; an irresistible light that mesmerized her.
This past June 29, 2010, Shana wrote: "I [received] a few comments on my page stating that you're writing a negative article about me?" She asked that I not mention her in any more of my articles and proceeded to say: "You called ME, asking questions." She concluded by writing: "I supported MJ on ET in 2003, because the situation was dire and he needed someone to speak up and say something positive. He was my friend and I will always stand by him through thick and thin." My response?
"It is quite unfortunate that you have been misinformed regarding my intention to write a 'negative' story about you. That is not my style. As they say on the street, 'I don't roll like that.' The reality is that I ill advisedly stated unequivocally that you were Michael Jackson's 'secret girlfriend.' I violated the rules of Journalism 101 in making such a definitive statement without any 'proof.' Therefore, after several months of quiet reflection and investigation, it is incumbent upon me to admit my journalistic mistake to my readers. So, in reality, it is not about you. Rather, it is about my own shortcoming.
"You are correct in stating that, as an investigative journalist, I contacted you to verify what I had been told, namely, that you were Michael's secret girlfriend. You were one of several women I called or attempted to contact who reportedly had had close contact with Michael Jackson. I mentioned a total of four in the article that included what I said about you being one of those women. In short, since I put the story out there that you definitely were Michael's 'secret girlfriend' I am obliged to correct my mistake my making a retraction. After the retraction is printed, I will then be pleased to honor your request not to mention your name again in any of my articles. As you may suspect, there would not be any reason for me to do so. Rest assured that it is not my intent to cast aspersions on your character."
Shana responded by making a heartfelt personal appeal to reconsider the retraction. She asked that I just leave things as they are. I answered: "The matter is out of my hands. This is a business matter, not a personal one. Papers make retractions all the time. It comes with the territory. The truth trumps personal feelings. Therefore, 'leaving it alone' is not an option. To do so would be to sink my credibility and that of the Sentinel. Regrettably, you seem to be missing the point. It really is not about YOU or your 'haters.' Again, I, as an investigative journalist, have stated something that I did not verify. Of course, if you have convincing 'evidence' or 'proof' that you were indeed Michael Jackson's 'secret girlfriend,' that would change matters considerably." I ended with: "I will let this note to you end our exchange on this matter. Thank you for understanding. Again, I wish you all the best."
To this she replied: "And this will be my last e-mail to you. I'm not trying to 'prove' anything and never was. You came to ME asking for help with YOUR article. ... Everything I told you was the absolute truth. Anything you added to my quotes were [sic] your additions, not mine. ... I never said I was Michael's 'secret girlfriend'. You did! Why should I have to 'prove' anything? This was all your doing, not mine."
Well, for the record, there it is. The retraction has been made. This miscellaneous item can now be removed from the kitchen drawer and thrown in the trash. We can turn off the lights now. The kitchen is closed.