Click here to watch the interview:
Lately I’ve been getting a lot of emails from readers asking me if I plan to review and/or rebut the controversial new book by Randall Sullivan, Untouchable: The Strange Life and Death of Michael Jackson. I have been honest in my responses, which is that first of all, along with so many other titles on my to-do list (many of which, frankly, I am looking much, much more forward to and that I know will be far more worthwhile reads) it is going to be awhile before I can find the time to actually sit down and read it. As a policy, I do not like to do book reviews until I have actually, well, read the book in question. It is often too easy to judge a book based on hearsay and kneejerk, word-of-mouth responses. I like to be an independent thinker and judge for myself. Sometimes, even if an author and I do not see eye to eye on some issues regarding Michael’s life, we may find common ground in others. The question then becomes: Does this book’s good qualities outweigh the bad? To what extent can a person knowledgable about Michael Jackson’s life overlook some egregious errors and flaws if there are compensating qualities the author offers and new insights? Usually, the reaction of the fan community is a very good barometor by which to gauge a book’s worth-and not because, as some detractors insist, simply because all MJ fans are blind worshippers who only wish to see positive things written about Michael. In fact, many fans, like myself, are far more interested in the human side of Michael Jackson than the public image. No, it has to do with something else-the fact that MJ fans, on the whole, are knowledgable, intelligent people who have, for the most part, invested many more years of researching Michael’s life than the average journalist for whom it is simply their latest project, and for which they hope to earn a quick buck and some notoriety. The fans know how to separate the junk from the gems; the knowledgable from the ignorant, and most of all, the difference between those who have a genuine love or at least respect for their subject vs. those who don’t.
One thing is for sure: If an MJ biographer doesn’t respect his subject, it will come through loud and clear. It will come through in what he/she chooses to emphasize; what facts they purposely choose to omit, and the overall, general tone of the book. A “sympathetic portrayal” (to borrow Sullivan’s own words) isn’t good enough if there are numerous egregious errors; good intentions don’t cut it if the overall result is simply to add to more misunderstanding of who Michael Jackson was, and to further contribute to the tabloid caricature rather than a true understanding of a complex human being.
Thus, while a negative buzz isn’t enough to turn me completely off of a new title, it usually is enough to put me on high alert. I certainly do not need all of the books I read to be warm and fuzzy love letters to Michael. But I do expect them to be knowledgable, well researched, and accurate. I expect a certain level of journalistic integrity in which the author does not simply rely on tabloid sources. And one thing that turns me off quicker than anything is when writers who never knew Michael attempt to psychoanalyze him. At best, such attempts come off as a kind of arrogant projection (this is who/what I think Michael Jackson was, and I will do my damdest to make every “fact” suit my agenda). At worst, they can do irrefutable damage by sometimes creating false perceptions and myths about an individual that can then take years to undo.
At this point, you may be thinking, wow. For someone who admits I haven’t even read Sullivan’s book yet, I am sure doing my share of judging it already. Well, let’s be honest. With all of the interviews Sullivan has already done, all of the book reviews that have already been written, and the excerpts I have seen (and yes, I have downloaded and skimmed a sizeable chunk of the book) I don’t think I am speaking too prematurely. For sure, I’ve seen enough to know what Sullivan’s general attitude is, as well as the overall tone and agenda of his book.
But really, what I intended this piece to be, as per this title’s post, is not so much a review of Sullivan’s book per se, as a rebuttal of his recent Huffington Post interview by Dr. Marc Hill. Now that I am perfectly qualified to speak out about, and all I have to say is…this interview is, by far, the biggest exercise in condescending, smarmy, arrogant ignorance I have seen in some time. And that isn’t directed at only Sullivan, but Marc Hill as well. Dr. Hill could certainly do well to take some lessons in journalistic integrity, but sadly, he is the norm rather than the exception. Once again, I find myself cringeing through an interview where some arrogant, clueless author (just because he has journalistic “credentials” with some big name magazine) sits and spouts decades-old misinformation about Michael Jackson, while he and the suck-up host (as equally clueless about Michael) sit and scoff at the fans who are actually providing credible facts and correctly calling this person out on their errors. Even if Marc Hill called himself being “balanced” or fair by allowing the tweets from fans and by allowing the other interviewers onto the show (even though sanemjfan was the only one with anything of substance to say) his smirking, condescending attitude toward the fans spoke volumes. Obviously, this had nothing to do with a genuine interest in presenting factual information or allowing viewers to actually challenge Sullivan’s egregious errors or motives. It was, as one viewer aptly commented, nothing more than a “fratboy gabfest.”
I don’t necessarily fault journalists if they don’t know everything about Michael, and if what they do know seems to come only from mass media reporting. After all, these aren’t people who have spent their lives researching MJ 24-7. But what I do expect is a certain level of professional neutrality; not automatic, knee-jerk dismissals of those who are attempting to refute the very misinformation they are helping to perpetuate. Just because someone has written a book on a subject doesn’t make their opinions infallible; it certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t knowledgable readers who may challenge that information. To simply dismiss these people out of hand as “crazy” Michael Jackson fans is insulting and shows a complete disregard for any interest in presenting truthful information. I was also very disappointed that of the three guest interviewers Dr. Hill allowed on the show, only one (sanemjfan, of course) presented any serious challenges to Sullivan’s claims. Thank God there was at least one strong advocate on that show who wasn’t turning this into a Sullivan butt-kissing fest! And seriously, what kind of Michael Jackson fan would have to ask Randy Sullivan, of all people, if Michael was working on new music in his last years? Sheesh! Although I thought Sullivan handled the question well and seemed reasonably knowledgable enough of the music Michael was working on in his last years (as he should, he is supposed to be a Rolling Stone reporter, for crying out loud!) this is mostly common knowledge material that any halfway educated MJ fan would already know. But it seemed to me that challenging Sullivan was the least concern of this show.
Here is a tip for Randall Sullivan: If you expect to sell copies of a book about Michael Jackson, it might be in your best interest to not alienate your prime audience. After all, who else is going to buy a book about Michael Jackson? People who don’t like him, or are indifferent, aren’t going to bother. Casual fans most likely aren’t going to bother (after all, the book is over 700 pages!). It’s the hardcore fans and researchers who will buy this book, if anyone does. But the hardcore fans aren’t interested in regurgitated tabloid information that is decades old, and researchers aren’t going to be interested in a book filled with errors and sloppy, one-sided research.
And by condescendingly dismissing those who are intelligent and knowledgable enough to call him out on his errors as “crazy” Sullivan certainly isn’t going to endear himself with the very audience he needs most in order to sell his book!
To be honest, there was a time when I would have defended the entire MJ fan community, but in recent years, I’ve come to the slow, dawning realization tha this “lunatic fringe” faction does exist. I know because as a blogger who has always attempted to write about Michael from a balanced perspective, I’ve had more than my own fair share of dealings with this faction-unfortunately, they are all too real. But they do not represent the majority. Most importantly, they do not represent any of the commentors I saw who were responding to Dr. Hill, to Randall Sullivan, or to this Huffington Post interview. These were, from everything I read, knowledgable fans who want the truth to be told, and who are rightfully concerned that the truth be told. I know some will come back with the old, trite, worn out responses: How do we know what is “the truth” when it comes to Michael Jackson? Perhaps that is a fair enough question. We may not know the whole “truth” but we sure know BS when we are hearing it.
And frankly, that is all I heard for three-fourths of this interview-a whole lot of BS mixed in with the occasional bits that I agreed with or where I felt Sullivan probably knew what he was talking about. Like most writers who set out to write on MJ, Sullivan seems to be a writer with some areas of strength and expertise. For example, some of what he had to say about Michael’s movie ambitions were interesting and informative (again, managing to put Dr. Hill in his place, whom I’m willing to bet has never seen “Ghosts” and also seems to have conveniently forgotten all about Captain EO as well as every extended music video Michael ever did!). But the problem with Sullivan is that his arrogance, his blatant ignornace of other areas of Michael’s life, and his seeming lack of desire to get past the tabloid headlines more than overshadows anything positive or truthful he might have to say.
For example, Sullivan appears most on solid ground when he is addressing Michael’s relationship with his family, but even here, there is nothing particularly new or revelatory for most diehard fans beyond the story of Janet’s feud with the estate over the $40,000 deposit for the burial, a story that has been denied by the family and which may or may not be true; other than that, most fans know Michael spent very little time around his family in his last years; we know all about the abuse from Joe, etc. Nothing new under the sun there! I also have to give him some kudos for the effective knock-out punch he gave to Dr. Hill’s poorly informed (and typically media-fed) assertion that Michael was a barely functioning, physical wreck in his last years “barely able to walk without drugs.” I loved the story Sullivan tells of how Michael completely “dusted” the doctor in Bahrain who challenged him to a foot race. He mentions how the autopsy showed all of Michael’s organs to be incredibly healthy for a man his age, but then, within the same sentence, destroys any credibility gained by falsely stating that the autopsy mentions his nose, implying that it mentions his having a prosthetic nose (it doesn’t) and needle marks, implying these were a result of drug use (when, in fact, the actual report makes no such insinuation; all of the puncture marks mentioned seemed to be in direct correlation with recent medical procedures-including those administered by Murray- and/or resusitation efforts). What the autopsy does mention is that a small bandage was on the tip of the nose. I am guessing that Mr. Sullivan, in his haste to assume his theory about the prosthetic nose, must have jumped on this as “evidence” of a prosthetic. But, in fact, this is standard medical post-mortem procedure. Gauze tape and cotton is often used to prevent post-mortem draining from bodily cavities. It is not at all unsual for gauze tape to be placed over the nose and beneath the jaw (the latter purpose is to prevent the jaw from opening). For those who can bear to look at the hospital gurney photo, it is obvious that both Michael’s nose and lower jaw have been gauzed, but again, this is completely normal and standard post-mortem procedure.
This gauze bandage is still visible in the autopsy photo; in both photos, his nose appears fully intact.
But what’s more telling is that if Michael had been wearing a prosthetic nose, this certainly would have been mentioned in the autopsy report! The report is quite detailed and graphic, and leaves no stone unturned. Certainly the least of their concerns was preserving Michael’s “image” or his fans’ idealism. Its purpose was as an official document declaring how his death occurred, and why. Any artifice that would have had to have been removed as part of the examination process would have been duly noted, especially given that a full examination was done of his oronasal passages.
For example, the autopsy report clearly states that his wig was removed to reveal a mostly balding hairline; the remaining natural hair was short and “tightly curled.” If they would put into his report that they had to remove a wig, you know they would have certainly documented the removal of a prosthetic nose piece! They also would have certainly documented if the nose appeared in any way abnormal or remarkable, even if that abnormality did not contribute to the death. With the autopsy report having been made public, I certainly would never attempt to argue with anyone that Michael had all of his natural hair and wasn’t wearing wigs when he died; to do so would be the height of absurdity and denial! Yet there are still those like Mr. Sullivan who choose to simply cherry pick what they want to believe about the autopsy report, while ignoring the rest!
One of the things that MOST irked and irritated me about this interview was when the person tweeted demanding to know where was his proof that Michael wore a prosthetic nose, and the best he could do was evasively allude to a photo on the internet. Sullivan never specifies the photo he is referring to. I agree with the fans who pointed out (correctly, I am assuming) that the photo in question is most likely this well-known photoshop:
I have to hope that SURELY an accredited journalist would be smart enough to not assume this as a genuine and legit photo! But given his evasiveness and apparent unwillingness to identify the photo in question, it seems this is, in fact, the photo he is referring to as “proof.” It is the only “photo” on the internet that shows Michael Jackson without a nose, and it is obviously a fake. So what else is there? If he is referring to the infamous photos taken on the day of his November 2002 Santa Maria court appearance, even those (as unflattering as they are) clearly show that he has a fully intact nose! In fact, many of those photos were intentionally doctored/distorted to make his nose look worse than the way he actually appeared that day in court.
Michael’s November 2002 Santa Maria court appearance.
What The Media Wanted You To See And Focus On:
Now look at this photo, taken the same day at the same court appearance:
Though I would still never argue that these are Michael’s most flattering photos, it is plainly obvious in the second pic that his nose looks perfectly normal for this particular era of his appearance. At any rate, it’s certainly intact!
Note in this video (thanks, Blue Lotus for the link!), beginning at about the 0:27 mark, how other photos taken of him on that same day, during the same court appearance, look perfectly fine!
So if Sullivan’s “proof” isn’t that hilariously obvious photoshop, or the Santa Maria court pics, what else is there? The only such photos on the internet are very obvious sick “joke” pics made by haters and pranksters. Simply put, there is no such pic on the internet. And if Sullivan does have such proof of an actual, legit photo that exists, he needs to put up or shut up.
While I’m not denying the whole body dysmorphia arguement (I have heard too many of Michael’s friends say that he did believe he was ugly, so I am forced to accept this as at least part of his psychological makeup) I really just think the whole issue has been played out. The notion that Michael was somehow desperately trying to not look like Joe is ridiculous, since Michael never resembled Joe to begin with. If anything, Michael bore a much stronger resemblance to his mother-the parent he claimed to adore-and to her side of the family. The theory that Michael was trying to erase any vestige of his father from his face goes back to Taraborelli, who in my opinion really started the whole body dysmorphia thing and the He-Didn’t-Want-To-Look-Like-His-Dad Theory, to which others have simply been latching onto ever since without bothering to do their own research.
This is followed by more of the usual tired, cliched’ speculation about Michael’s sexuality. I know I have addressed this issue dozens of times, but the fact that it continues to crop up in almost every media interview says everything about how persistently stubborn some people are to let go of these worn out notions. I’ve said before, and will say it again: WHY does there exist this prevalent need to de-sexualize and emasculate Michael Jackson? Why? Excuse me, it’s just that I have yet to understand why we can’t allow this perfectly grown man his humanity-and certainly allowing him his sexuality is a part of that. Just ask Michael’s millions of female fans all over the world, and we can certainly tell you: We weren’t fainting and passing out at all of those shows because we were seeing Peter Pan up there!
Sullivan says he believes that Michael died a virgin but again, when pressed for his “proof” or sources for such a claim, he becomes defensively evasive and falls back on the same old cliches’ about what Tatum said, or what Brooke said. It’s really high time that someone stepped up and said, Who Freakin’ CARES what Tatum or Brooke said? Tatum O’Neil and Brooke Shields are hardly the only two women Michael ever had in his life, and besides, what makes their word gospel? How do we know they’re not lying themselves, for one reason or another (just as people like Sullivan want to dismiss and discredit Lisa Marie Presley, because her version of events doesn’t suit their agenda!). Then, when pressed about Lisa Marie, he tries to back pedal by falling back on the old stand-by “I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.” Well duh! Then it gets even more bizarre as he tries to insinuate that he never said that Michael and Lisa Marie didn’t have sexual relations; only that he doesn’t believe any intercourse took place.
By this point I am just like…WTF??? Okay, so as if all of this wasn’t bizarre enough, now we are supposed to believe that two perfectly grown, adult, married people somehow managed to have “relations” without ever “doing it?” Come on, Michael and Lisa were not two high school kids sneaking a quickie in their parents’ bedroom; they were grown adults-married adults, at that. Sullivan was also quoted in another interview as saying that Lisa Marie doesn’t know what sex is. Wow! Talk about making assumptions. I’m sure Lisa would know more about that than Mr. Sullivan! Than, to further compound and confuse things, Sullivan then proceeds to state how he is convinced, from the conversations he’s had with his “sources” that Michael’s “baseline” was heterosexual, since he enjoyed checking out women’s backsides and such like! Okay, Sullivan, so now you’re saying he was heterosexual and enjoyed checking out women, when just a few sentences ago you said he was “presexual.” Is anyone else here as confused as I am?
And wouldn’t it stand to reason that a man who was interested in checking out women would then naturally proceed at some point to having relations with them, especially when he has women throwing themselves at him at every given opportunity?
It makes sense to say we can’t know for sure about his sexuality because we can’t ever be certain of anyone’s sexuality except our own (and some are confused even about that!). But Sullivan can’t seem to make up his mind. He veers from admitting he isn’t sure, to expressing outright doubt, to nevertheless pushing his “presexual virgin” agenda, all within the space of a single interview!
This is exactly what I mean when I talk about the arrogance of this man! To make such blatant and ridiculous claims is bad enough; to be passing them off as “fact” on a national platform is even worse. But the biggest tragedy of all is that gullible people will somehow find all of this nonsense “believable” because…well, simply because it’s Michael Jackson.
To cap it off, an inordinate amount of time is spent speculating on Michael’s alleged “mental health issues.” Again, it’s not so much the subject itself that bothers me. Bi-polar disorder, for example, runs in my family, as does major depressive disorder. I have dealt with these issues in one form or another my whole life. I do not think Michael was immune to such problems just because he was Michael Jackson. Michael was human like everybody else, and certainly prone to the same conditions and illnesses that many suffer from. Certainly we know he was taking anti-anxiety medications and medications used to treat major depressive disorder. But I have a problem when people like Dr. Hill just assume, as a matter of fact, that Michael had mental health issues and here we go again, with people who never knew Michael; who never even met him (like Randall Sullivan) attempting to psychoanalyze him. The segment that most irked me here was when Dr. Hill mentioned “climbing trees” as a symptom of someone with a mental illness, and of course, they show the Martin Bashir clip where Bashir is baiting Michael into saying he would prefer to climb trees to having sex. Aside from the fact that I think any reasonably intelligent person would guess that he was joking (how many times have we said something like, “I’d rather eat chocolate than have sex!” and of course everyone laughs) the fact is, both Bashir and now Sullivan and Hill all miss the main point Michael was making, which is that this was how he drew his artistic inspiration! I’m sure if Beethoven or Shakespeare had said, “I get my best ideas when I am sitting in this tree” people would have quite a different take! To be totally fair, although I know this was what Michael was trying to get across, he should have done a better job of articulating his purpose for taking Bashir out to The Giving Tree. Bashir used this segment to try to paint Michael as some sort of deranged, regressed child (or, more aptly, as the kind of dangerous pedophile who uses such childlike behavior to entice children) rather than an artistic visionary who drew creative inspiration from nature. Perhaps he could have done a better job of articulating how he drew artistic inspiration from nature and from sitting in The Giving Tree. But then again, knowing as we do how Bashir manipulated and edited that interview, who knows what was actually said, and what ended up on the cutting room floor!
I do not think it is necessarily hurtful to Michael’s legacy to think that he may have been bi-polar or that he had major depressive disorder (God knows, especially in the last years of his life, he endured enough to make anyone depressed!). But it IS hurtful to his legacy when we have armchair psychoanalysists like Sullivan who continue to pair the image of Michael Jackson with the words “bizarre,” “strange” and as someone with unresolved mental “issues.” The problem is that we are not-yet-at a stage where the tabloid damage that has been done to Michael’s legacy can be fully separated from, perhaps, a more compassionate view of those “issues”-even if, albeit, a compassionate view is the intent. In the public mind, Michael is still “Wacko Jacko” and, unfortunately, allowing a platform to people like Randy Sullivan does little to dispel that myth.
One of the apparent problems with this book is that Sullivan seems content to waffle on the really important issues. Like so many biographers who attempt to have it both ways (appeasing the fans while courting the major publishers and hoping for the big bucks of s sensationalistic best seller) he seems to neatly skirt the issue of Michael’s guilt or innocence concerning the allegations. Notice in the interview that he mentions having “a shadow of doubt” and even makes a sick joke that “only Lisa Marie and Jordie Chandler” would know the truth about Michael’s sexuality (real classy, by the way, to make such a joke if you have “a shadow of a doubt” that this may have been an abused child!) but neatly tries to back pedal when sanemjfan challenges him with direct questions about the Jordan Chandler case. Perhaps I will come away with a different impression once I read the book, but just judging from this interview alone, Sullivan certainly did not strike me as very knowledgable or as someone who has done much beyond the most rudimentary research on the allegations. In fact, he says in the interview that when Rolling Stone asked him if he would be interested in covering the 2005 trial, he refused! (Consider that meanwhile, Aphrodite Jones, who was not only there for the trial every single day but did painstaking research even afterwards, was forced to self-publish her own account of the trial).
Which perhaps, for me, brings up the most sadly ironic issue of all and why I so detest seeing people like Randall Sullivan getting such a platform. It happens again and again, that those who are misinformed; who do shoddy research; who rely on biased and questionable sources, are touted as “the experts” while those of us who have actually invested hundreds of hours into meticulously researching Michael’s life are relegated to the “lunatic fringe”-all because we may not work for some fancy schmanzy publication, or because we’re not rich enough to afford publicists who can book us on national talk shows.
One of the first things I did, upon downloading Sullivan’s book, was to check who the publisher was. Somehow it did not surprise me in the least that it was Grove/Atlantic. A major New York publisher! How fitting.
Explain to me again why Aphrodite Jones, a noted crime writer, had to resort to self-publication to get Conspiracy out? Or why Michael’s bodyguards could not get their book published, despite having shopped it everywhere?
A lot of us are very excited about Lisa D. Campbell’s new book! But I can practically guarantee you, there will probably be little to no promotion for this book on the talk show circuit!
I will be writing more in regards to Lisa Campbell’s book later, but for now, suffice it to say that I’m very, very discouraged and disheartened by this trend which allows the best and loudest platforms to those who seem to do the least amount of proper research.
As far as the subject of vitiligo, I have heard conflicting accounts of Sullivan’s take on that. Some reviewers have said that he does acknowledge in his book that Michael had it. However, others have said he states that Michael bleached his skin-a myth that the very autopsy report he so often falls back upon clearly dispels. Again, the damage he is doing to Michael Jackson’s legacy by continuing to perpetuate these age-old tabloid rumors is paramount when one reads reviews like this one that appeared recently on the Examiner website:
But on the bright side, major reviewers like The New York Times (certainly not a biased, fan publication by any means) have been less than glowing. Note the passages I have bold-faced in Michiko Kakutani’s review:
Books of The Times
This Just In: He Was the King of Pop
‘Untouchable,’ Michael Jackson’s Life, by Randall Sullivan
He was the consummate performer, the ultimate showman. The creator of the biggest-selling album of all time, who three decades ago crashed through racial barriers on the music charts, ushered in the music video age and remade the pop music landscape. A song-and-dance man who took soul, funk, R&B, rock and disco and turned them into a sound distinctively his own, just as seamlessly as he drew upon the work of James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Fred Astaire to create otherworldly dance moves never before seen on this planet. An entertainer who would imprint the imaginations of several generations of fans and shape the work of performers from Justin Timberlake to Beyoncé to Usher.
The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson
By Randall Sullivan
Illustrated. 776 pages. Grove Press. $35.
In those days, before the Internet niche-ification of culture and the ridiculously accelerated spin cycle of fame, he was the avatar of the celebrity age, at once a self-conscious and self-destructive pursuant of publicity. In later years his private life — accusations of child molesting, and a swirl of lawsuits, financial woes, drug addiction and erratic behavior — increasingly came to overshadow his music. His drug-induced death at the age of 50 in 2009 would itself turn into a worldwide spectacle of grief, speculation and unseemly jockeying for money and position among family members and lawyers.
Michael Jackson — a k a “the King of Pop,” “the Gloved One,” “the Earl of Whirl” or simply “M J” — has already been the subject of yards upon yards of coverage: magazine and newspaper articles, documentaries, interminable Internet discussions and wall-to-wall television reportage. According to Randall Sullivan’s dreary new Jackson book, “Untouchable,” the evening news programs of ABC, CBS and NBC “devoted more than a third of their broadcast coverage for an entire week to Michael Jackson” after his death.
Mr. Sullivan, who was a contributing editor to Rolling Stone for more than 20 years, does an adequate job of chronicling Jackson’s over-the-top fame. He conveys the tabloid madness that orbited around the pop star for several decades, and the grandiosity of his later self-presentations. (An estimated $30 million was spent on the publicity campaign for Jackson’s album “HIStory,” which included nine 30-odd-foot-high statues, one of which was floated down the Thames in London.) Such accounts, however, will be highly familiar to even the casual follower of Jackson news, and all too often, this volume feels as if it were constructed out of recycled materials.
Much has already been written about Jackson’s fiscal woes (a result of insanely extravagant spending sprees, convoluted financial dealings and declining record sales) and the shameless maneuvering of family members and business associates over his estate (which, despite his huge debts, soared in value as his death led to a surge in sales of Jackson merchandise). Still, Mr. Sullivan devotes a huge and depressing amount of this haphazard and unconvincing book to these subjects — in large part, it seems, because two anonymous sources had a lot to say about them.
At the same time Mr. Sullivan makes no serious effort in these pages to communicate or assess the artistry that first propelled Jackson to the pinnacle of pop music. He provides only the most cursory account of the performer’s musical apprenticeship — as a Motown artist and as a member of the Jackson 5 — and sheds little new light on his discovery of his own voice as an artist, the relationship between his music and his life, or the evolution of individual songs and albums.
As for the infamy that attached to Jackson since he settled a 1993 child-molesting lawsuit for some $20 million, Mr. Sullivan says he told Jackson’s mother that he — Mr. Sullivan — “didn’t believe Michael was a child molester.”
Although Mr. Sullivan acknowledges that the detailed account that the boy in the 1993 case gave to police investigators about how a sexual relationship had developed between himself and Jackson is “undeniably disturbing,” he promotes a theory that the singer may have been “presexual.”
“Of all the answers one might offer to the central question hanging over the memory of Michael Jackson,” Mr. Sullivan asserts, “the one best supported by the evidence was that he had died as a 50-year-old virgin, never having had sexual intercourse with any man, woman or child, in a special state of loneliness that was a large part of what made him unique as an artist and so unhappy as a human being.”
Mr. Sullivan, however, does not present any persuasive evidence regarding this assertion. What’s more, he leans heavily, throughout this book, on his “tremendously helpful” source Tom Mesereau, the lawyer who in 2005 helped win Jackson an acquittal on all charges in another child-molesting case. Remarkably enough, Mr. Sullivan ends this book’s last chapter with the suggestion that you might even grant Jackson “the wish that he isn’t sleeping alone tonight.”
Despite such sympathy for his subject, Mr. Sullivan fails to give us any new insight into Jackson’s enigmatic personality or his growing retreat into a fantasy bubble world of his own making. Instead, Mr. Sullivan just reiterates the sorts of observations made countless times before. He tells us that Jackson had been emotionally scarred as a boy by his brutal father’s verbal and physical assaults; that as a child star he was deprived of an ordinary childhood; that he was appalled by the behavior of groupies who circled his older brothers; and that his early Motown lessons in public relations increasingly morphed, in later years, into the belief that “there was no such thing as bad publicity.”
Cutting back and forth from Jackson’s earlier days to the period following the 2005 child-molesting trial, Mr. Sullivan spends way too much time chronicling the pop star’s depressing later years: his restless travels to Bahrain and Ireland, his growing dependence on drugs, his downward-spiraling finances and his reluctant decision to embark on a 50-show comeback tour.
Jackson was rehearsing for that tour at the time of his death in June 2009, and rehearsal footage was quickly edited together into a documentary (“This Is It”) released several months later.
Mr. Sullivan cites insiders as saying that the concerts would not only help stabilize Jackson’s finances, but also, in the words of Kenny Ortega — who collaborated with Jackson on the show — would give him back “his dignity as an artist.” And Jackson emerges from the rehearsal footage in “This Is It” not as a frail drug addict, but as a perfectionist, very much in control of his vision and focused on everything from the show’s tone to the phrasing and pacing of the music.
The never-to-be-realized concerts were meant to be multimedia extravaganzas — with 3-D videos, Broadway-like numbers with backup dancers, hologramlike effects and an elaborate save-the-Earth sequence — but it is Jackson alone on the stage who commands everyone’s attention. Conserving his energy, he doesn’t do “Billie Jean” full out — the sequence is only a shadow of his dazzling and now legendary performance on the “Motown 25” television special nearly three decades ago — but he reminds the other dancers and crew (and the viewers of the movie) of the magic he could still work as an artist.
Fans of Jackson’s talent (and even those readers only curious about the onstage phenomenon he once was) would be way better off viewing that documentary — or YouTube clips of the Motown show — than reading this bloated and thoroughly dispensable book.
Now, for those who still want to believe that Sullivan is simply offering up a fair, balanced portrayal of a flawed human being, and that we fans are being “irrational” and “crazy” when we attempt to point out the errors and inaccuracies in the book, consider for a moment this very well-informed review that appeared on Amazon from a reviewer named Katerina:
How is it possible to write a book and already have it considered out of date by information that has been released over 2 years before it was published? It’s a good question, and one I’d raise to both Randall, his publisher and the people who’ve excerpted his story all over their tabloids (where Randall’s info mostly originates).
Any book which now proclaims that Michael did not have a nose, insinuates he bleached his skin recreationally, hems and haws over his innocence, claims Michael hated his race or claims Michael didn’t have relationships with women is frankly anachronistic. There is much publicly available information which sheds light on all of that – none of which is covered here. Michael’s autopsy report is publicly available, why is that not used as a source for the information about his nose and instead misatributed quotes from The Sun are presented as though they are fact? It would seem to me that Randall didn’t even look at the autopsy report but got distracted by some tabloid recreation of it back in the days after his death and failed to research beyond that point. He goes on for pages about this supposed Bobby Driscoll’s prosthetic nose he imagines Michael had, all of it entirely fictional and so absurd that I wondered at the degree of shame the author lacked in its recounting, at no point in this fictional nose nonsense did he seem to stop and reconsider how he was making himself sound ridiculous with this obsession, and not Michael. His nose is right there in his autopsy; and yet here he writes almost 4 pages about a fake nose that never existed. But it goes to show how absolutely anything goes with Michael and Sullivan – it seems there is no tabloid story too crazy or wild that Sullivan doesn’t believe has a degree of truth in it. The Michael here is a monsterized version of tabloid literature come to life.
— He now claims the autopsy not revealing a prosthetic is based on the fact that Michael removed it at night. I’m not sure if he’s aware but in the autopsy photos Michael clearly still has his nose, and neither the coroner, the bodyguards, paramedics, or even Murray ever mentioned the lack of a nose in their reports. Did Mike keep this jar of noses by his bed? At what point during the day would it be glued on? Why have none of these noses ever gotten out? Mike left his phone everywhere, almost his entire life has been ransacked and paraded for show, but his detachable take-it-off-at-night-nose never went missing? None of the thieves around him ever bothered to run off with it to Ebay? Wouldn’t these fake noses be worth bazillions? Why weren’t they photographed by the crime scene photographers? Cited anywhere by anyone involved that day? Did it manage to re-attach itself to him during death for the photos? How exciting for it. It’s also at odds with the original description in his book of how the coroner had to cut away the prosthetic (coroner never says this). Either he had it in the autopsy or he didn’t; either way, we can clearly see in death his nose was with him, the coroner did not mention this lack of a nose and the nose seen there was the one he was normally seen with, i.e. this prosthetic nose business has absolutely no basis in reality.
He uses a quote from Taraborrelli’s biography to claim Michael started bleaching in the 70s with his sister LaToya. Of course no source are named, and it’s easily debunked as Toya has always been naturally very light skinned (their father Joe Jackson has green eyes because his mother is biracial and his father is listed as mulatto, as are all Michael’s grandparents.) These stories about Michael’s skin have been going on since the 80s because of his skin disorder, with the media seeking to fill in the blanks to explain the lightness in his skin for him, but when his vitiligo became public it should’ve illuminated many people on how easy it is to lie and perpetuate the lie about him, but instead Sullivan seems to lack any common sense and can’t see what is obvious in hindsight. Or like the nose, was it that he just liked the idea of Michael hating his race so much he just couldn’t let it go? Does he not ask himself why it’s only the people who have something against Michael who claim he hated his race and bleached his skin (Blanca Francia, Stacy Brown, Bob Jones) and not people he was really close to? That he let his children be raised by an African woman and insisted on ensuring they were raised well versed in African history and that besides his mother he wanted a black woman raising them (Diana Ross)? His daughter even says, “I’m black and I’m proud of it.” Obvious questions go unasked and unanswered here.
He claims Michael Jackson was a virgin, a moment in the book where I audibly laughed – a reaction I’m sure his ex wives and girlfriends would also share on such news. Even if he couldn’t find people around them willing to speak, Randall should’ve perhaps taken note of those two G spot articles the police found amongst his things in 2003? Lisa Marie is quoted here as saying Michael was “somewhat asexual”, you’d think with the way he presented this remark that this was a damning comment about their sex life: no, in reality she had been asked about his physical appearance, and that was her description. This is the kind of casual misquoting and omitting of information Randall does throughout his book. If it doesn’t fit in with what he needs, he ignores it or re-contextualizes it. None of Lisa Marie’s other remarks are included here (he made the moves on her, she wouldn’t have married him if the sex wasn’t good). He believes Bob Jones and the Neverland 5 (successfully countersued; exposed as liars on the stand) who claim nothing happened between Michael and Lisa, even though they had obvious agendas against Michael, were seeking to profit from the scandal, had left their jobs before they’d even married and were thoroughly discredited as witnesses (their testimony is like reading a surrealistic comedy); but we must forget, those are his best sources here. — He’s now claiming Lisa Marie and Michael may have “sexual contact”, but suggests Lisa doesn’t really know what sex is. That must be a real shocker to Mike who was trying to have a baby with her. He says that only Lisa can say if Mike was a virgin – that’s funny, she’s repeatedly confirmed they’ve had sex.
He claims that Debbie has never said she’s had sex with him. This isn’t true. The only reason we know Debbie’s name is because in the News of the World exclusive in 1996 which broke the story, a journalist had befriended her undercover for 2 months while she was pregnant, this is what they taped her saying: “We started by fooling around a bit and the next thing we knew we were doing it. We knew we were going to try for a baby.” And taped again undercover in 1997: “I can’t wait to see him again. We’re going to stay all day and night in bed – I can’t wait.” He claims Michael’s kids didn’t know who Debbie was until after his death. This is untrue, Paris has said that Michael would talk to them about Debbie. She also didn’t only meet him when Michael “spilled bleaching agents on his scrotum,” in early 93, she met him in 1981. The confidentiality agreement she signed after the divorce where she agreed not to talk about him or the kids in public was there to protect him, the kids, in case she wanted to hurt him in the future, and to protect Debbie from herself, as she’d already been caught speaking about both unawares before, it does not say anywhere Michael is not the father – Debbie and Debbie’s custody lawyer have repeatedly stated he was.
He claims Sneddon had 5 victims who were going to show up and testify for him, and only one did (Jason Francia; could go down as “the one the juror’s laughed at”), Jordan refused to testify against Michael, he was prepared to go to court in order not to have to testify. Randall doesn’t say that the other 3 supposed victims? Absolutely testified. They were the defense’s first witnesses; Wade, Brett, Mac. Randall also doesn’t note that it was these boys that the Chandler’s allege Michael had abused (because we all know Michael is the most selective pedophile in the world with all the kids he befriended and never abused) – kind of takes the sting out of that whole argument, huh? Neither does he go into the bizarre attempts of the prosecution attempting to convince their own supposed victims they had been molested. He doesn’t counter the alcohol in cans story, even though that one was easily debunked thanks to the prosecution’s own witnesses, the airline stewardesses.
There are so many other casual egregious errors throughout the book that it gave me a headache reading, just some – the proposed book circulated between Jermaine/Stacy was not written by Jermaine, but by Stacy (he’s admitted as much, but now blames others). In that Stacy Brown (he’s never properly met Michael, never worked for Michael, etc) proposal he claimed Michael had shocked the family in the manner he had held his 3 young nephews after their mother’s death – perhaps they were just shocked that Michael could fit his arms around 3 twenty year old men on a bed at the same time. Yes, they were full grown men, not children, so how would that work? Ask fanfic writer extraordinaire Stacy Brown. It did not circulate during the trial, but in 2006, which speaks volumes about its validity as attention hungry Stacy never mentioned it in 2005. Britney didn’t supposedly cheat on Kevin Federline with Wade Robson, she supposedly cheated on Justin Timberlake. Debbie Rowe didn’t have her first boyfriend at the age of 30, she had already been married/divorced by then (that was another moment of laughter from me). Jessica Simpson I doubt has ever visited Neverland. Michael didn’t move into Neverland in 1990. Michael was not called “liver lips” by his brothers. LaToya didn’t claim sexual abuse by her father in her book, she claimed it on the book tour. Michael never said he used any medication for his skin on Oprah. Uri Gellar is about as close to Michael as Martin Bashir. Corey Feldman was the one to ask about the book of skin diseases which involved STDs on Michael’s table, so Michael explained them to him, is Randall really suggesting skin diseases and STD’s were Michael’s hook for kids, really? Mike had many books on skin diseases because he had skin diseases. Michael Jordan says it was Michael himself who called him up to ask to do the music video, which makes me suspect that he may have known who he was on the set – just a suspicious though, don’t quote me as a fact on that, Randall (using Bob Jones’ as a source for anything will just embarrass you; ask Tom Sneddon). On that note, there is no mention of head licking in any Jordan case documents, that ridiculous story came entirely from Gavin, then was bizarrely copied by Bob Jones/Stacy Brown; their testimony about it on the witness stand was another moment of comedy gold. The Jacksons contacted Branca 2 days after Michael’s death because they knew he had the will, so how could they also claim they didn’t know they had a will that first week? He quotes Schaffel saying Michael was scheduled to perform in the United We Stand Benefit concert in Washington but Michael failed to show up, that’s odd as he also managed to perform “What More Can I Give?” at this same concert. He says TJ Jackson had 3 sons, he doesn’t. He calls Eddie Cascio by his brother’s name throughout the book. He mentions that Michael stayed with the Schleiter family after the trial and makes it seem like Michael only spent time with the son (who was in his 20s, not a kid), for some strange reason his sister Franziska who was there throughout is completely ignored (all the females in Michael’s life are given this treatment, no mention of any of the female kids he’d befriended too, even in Wade’s testimony Randall never mentions Wade said his sister also slept in the room with him, she testified to that too, so did Brett’s sister and Simone Jackson). He brings up the panic room in Michael’s bedroom – in reality that room came with the house, the original owner had installed it when he built it. He uses the locks on the door as a sign Michael wanted to keep people out; yeah dummy, that’s why it’s a panic room, do you normally have a welcome mat outside one of those? And if you think it’s odd he needed this room, ask yourself why the original owner, one of the richest men in California at the time, had wanted it. If he was not a deviant, why is Michael? He mentions online posts where fans wish death upon Evan but fails to mention the death threats and stalkers Michael had which are both a matter of police and FBI record and also can be found on gossipy sites online, which he used as sources. Evan Chandler did not kill himself on November 14/15th, he killed himself on the 5th and the media reported about it before November 17th, which is when he bizarrely claims Evan was found. The stuff about Michael buying Elizabeth Taylor for the Private Home Movies thing is from Schaffel, I’m amused the price of that supposed jewellery has gone up with each retelling.
He claims here that the Chandler’s attempted to keep a low profile after 1993. Does he know about the book deal they sought immediately after Michael’s insurance settled? How Ray Chandler admitted in court records that Evan moved him in right after the allegations broke just so he could write it? Does he know about how Ray sold stories about Jordan to the National Enquirer throughout the 90s on behalf of his brother? Did he think Evan Chandler’s 1996 lawsuit and demand for a record album to be released was a show of Evan seeking to be low key? Ray claimed he hoped the 2005 trial would bring vindication, why did he not ask why the Chandler’s didn’t seek this in 1994 with a criminal trial instead of book deals and frivolous lawsuits and demands for record contracts? Why didn’t he ask Ray why he didn’t take the stand in 2005? Why didn’t he ask Ray why he claims now he told Jordan to testify in 2005, when in 2005 during his various paid for media appearances he claimed he had no contact with either Evan or Jordan at the time, as well as claiming that in his subpoeanas? Was Ray lying? Which time was he lying? (At the time he also claimed Jordan was out of the country as an excuse for why he didn’t testify, but then he was photographed skiing in the US.) Does he know how on the audio recording before he claims Jordan had even confessed Evan said that he himself wanted to make it as public as possible? That recording was on July 8th; Jordan was supposedly drugged to confess on July 16th. How does that jibe with his claims it was the Chandler’s who wanted to keep it low key and Michael who made it a public issue? Why doesn’t he explain Evan’s failure to report MJ was molesting Jordan at June’s custody hearing, but the police only learned by the psychiatrist the next day? Is it because he didn’t want Michael to sue him for making false allegations? Why does he not realize the explanation given for why Jordan cut off contact with him in 2005 doesn’t make sense? If Evan suffered from cancer and manic depression, wouldn’t he sympathize with him? Why wouldn’t Jordan care about the man who rescued him from supposed “anal sex” when he died, a moment most people would forgive their parents any mistakes? Why does he act like the crazy fans made the Chandler’s stop from going to criminal court (not even in defense of poor cancer victim Gavin), when he can only cite one instance which involved a fan (Pfeiffer) just graffitying outside his dental place in 1994 and making phonecalls? Does he realize that the Arvizo’s, Francia – hell, the most hated of all, Diane Dimond, all have online accounts and recognizable faces and have managed to survive unscathed for years? Does he think it’s a bit strange the only person who’s hurt Jordan and scared him to the point of criminal action in all these years was his own father? How did Evan abandon his two younger kids but still lived with Jordan, who was apparently close to both? Why did he abandon the two kids with no money, but stuck with the millionaire son? Why does Ray Chandler need to research books on pedophiles, if Michael was one and he can just go by that? Why does he need to further inform himself of how they work? Who describes their nephew’s abuser as someone who just “had needs”? Do you think the relatives of Sandusky react the same way to him? He claims Evan stated in his petition to remove custody from June that she had “prostituted” her son to Michael; does he not think what Evan Chandler threatened on those tapes on July 8th (“It’ll be a massacre if I don’t get what I want”), how he had been demanding money in private over the idea his son was molested (“irrelevant to me”), just according to a psychiatrist who had not met any of them personally, and how he only wanted a civil lawsuit, a book deal, an album deal, a script deal (initially), and a further $60 million was not also prostitution? But according to Ray, this was “protecting” his son?
He claims Michael was paralytic with drugs almost the entire way through the last 20 years. It seems every drug story about Michael on Earth has been added here as a fact. It amuses me greatly that Michael was such an opiate addict, and yet managed to wean himself off these drugs entirely by the time he died, and the only drugs inside him were non opiate sedatives administered by Murray. Isn’t it a bit ironic that Michael could wean himself off this huge addiction to every drug known to man, but only died because of another non addictive drug? That none were found in his home or autopsy? That none are presented in any medical documents from the last months of his life, besides Demerol for the treatments with Klein, which the drug addict specialist in the trial even admitted did not fall into an addict’s level of use? He even copied and pasted a remark from a tabloid about how Michael shirked away from sunlight at one point as evidence for Michael’s drug use – in reality, Michael was photo sensitive because of his discoid lupus.
It makes me wonder if it’s possible to write a book about Michael where almost the entire source material doesn’t come from people who have been found to have lied about him in court cases, lawsuits or found to have stolen from him, considering the sources Randall mainly uses here: Tohme (stole $5,000,000 million from MJ), Schaffel (stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Michael, planted negative stories about him in the press, Debbie Rowe amusingly recounted Schaffel’s creepiness in her testimony in 2005), Adrian McManus (successfully countersued by Michael; was found to have stolen toys from sick children & from her own nieces and nephews), Mark Lester (claimed to be Paris’s father 4 years before he’d been re-acquainted with Michael, even his ex wife came out and denounced him as a liar desperate for media attention), Matt Fiddes (only met Michael briefly after Blanket was born; known as a “vainglorious attention seeker” by Channel 4 producers) Howard Mann (has lost many lawsuits against the estate, blackmailed Michael’s mother into dodgy deals involving his kids), Ray Chandler brother to Evan (Michael subpoenaed him in 2004 demanding he show up with the evidence he claimed he had in his book; Ray refused and eventually he admitted he had no such info, his book was essentially fiction), Terry George (he wasn’t found out because rumors reached the LAPD, what nonsense, he had a gay sex chat line back then and when the scandal broke he seized on that to sell a story in The Sun for thousands of pounds, this is why anyone knows about him; FBI and DA didn’t find him credible, he’s changed his story a few times since – the one here is a new fancy retelling, he was and is still obsessed with Michael and even he admits Michael refused to take his calls, so much for grooming kids) Stacy Brown (admitted to lying in his book for money in his 2005 testimony; sued by juror’s for plagiarism after that, a habitual liar who admits he never even really met Michael), Bob Jones (admitted he had an axe to grind, admitted to lying about money in the trial, and yet his book is used here as gospel) and so on and so on. Were these the only people willing to speak to Randall? Or, more likely, were these the only people Randall wanted to hear about Michael from? Was he incapable of deducing which things were lies by the amount of evidence, or did he assume the things which were the most ghastly and often repeated (what sells more?) had to be true? Would he be shocked to discover not everyone around Michael was a liar and a thief and there were many, many decent sources he could’ve used? Did he just not care? Whatever the answer, in the end the result is an almost entirely fictional book.
Perhaps the author had the best intentions for this book (though I suspect, not for Michael). Perhaps he really believes the information he presented is fair and objective. Perhaps he felt this was all there was to the story. But I can’t understand why so many problematic sources were used as though they were absolutes, why so much information was not properly researched beyond tabloid articles, and why so much info has been seemingly intentionally misquoted. It comes across intentionally done and I can’t understand why.
I find it bewildering really that he will talk about Michael as being a good father – something even the liars and the thieves around him have all agreed upon, and yet people still fail to realize the way he was with his own children was how he was with every other child. It doesn’t take a genius to have to work that one out, but it’s an inconvenient truth for many, so instead we’re left with all the liars and thieves and rehashed The Sun articles, and can now count the willfully uninformed Randall Sullivan among them.
Now I ask you, who really comes across as more credible and knowledgable here, Mr. Sullivan or the “fan” who wrote this review? In fact, the above reviewer did such a knock-out job I am not so sure I even need to bother, as it would be pretty hard to top this or to do a more thorough job of debunking all of the nonsense in this book!
I will repeat, just to be fair, I have not read the book yet. But based on the reviews and everything I have heard so far, and having seen Randy Sullivan’s Huffington Post interview, I feel like I can offer up a pretty fair assessment of this book’s contents. And a lot of it bothers me, for reasons that have nothing to do with my “fandom” of Michael Jackson. I am a journalist myself, even though I may not have the credentials of Randall Sullivan. I haven’t worked for Rolling Stone, or any other major music publication. But I have probably interviewed just as many people who knew Michael Jackson. Why is it that I have managed to walk away with a completely different perspective? Why is it that none of my “sources” have talked about prosthetic noses, or have given me the impression of some presexual virgin? Perhaps because, when all is said and done, we did not approach our subjects with the same agendas. Or perhaps because of who those “sources” are. I found it funny-in an unintentionally scoffing kind of way-when Sullivan mentioned in the interview that some of Michael’s friends and family simply wouldn’t talk to him. Which, of course, begs the big question he then so neatly skirts-WHY? Hmm. Yes, why indeed.
As it turns out, his major sources are no huge surprise-Tohme Tohme, Deiter Weisner, Marc Schaffel, Stacy Brown, etc, etc. I am not saying these people may not have some relevant things to say about Michael (and, heck, I still have some begrudging respect for Schaffel for the wonderful gift that was Michael Jackson’s Private Home Movies) but it doesn’t take much putting together of two and two to figure out where the bulwark of Sullivan’s information was coming from.
I would also like to add a word of caution to anyone who feels compelled to buy this book just because they are so anti-Jackson family that they will support anything that paints the family in a negative light. I will admit that after all of the events that took place last July, I have been forced to re-think some of my own long-held positions and beliefs when it comes to certain members of Michael’s family. But as always, we have to keep in mind that we simply don’t know all of the inner workings of this family’s life. While the Jacksons take some hard punches in Sullivan’s book, we have to ask the bigger question: Who is really being hurt the most?
If you are among some small and minority percentage of anachristic Michael Jackson fans who still want to believe he was an asexual, skin bleaching “possible” pedophile and general, all around psychological wreck of a human being, this is probably the book for you. But for all the rest of us who have moved on into the 21st century and have discovered a wonderfully complex human being and artist, probably not so much.
No, it isn’t fair to judge a book I haven’t read-yet. But I have had ample opportunity to observe Sullivan’s arrogance, his continued evasiveness of the tough questions, and his condescending attitude towards the most knowledgable people of all when it comes to all things MJ-his fans. Not the blindly obsessive; not the lunatic fringe; but those of us who love Michael in all his flawed and human complexity. This has nothing to do with some desire to maintain a false ideal. It simply has everything to do with expecting fairness and accuracy in reporting. Mr. Sullivan calls his book a “sympathetic portrayal” of Jackson but should a “sympathetic portrayal” be one that reduces his image, his entire legacy and complexity as a human being and artist to the same old tabloid caricature that we have spent years advancing away from?
Don’t be fooled! Remember, Thomas O’Caroll (aka Carl Toms) claimed his book was a “sympathetic portrayal” as well!
The time has long past when fans were so grateful for anything that was half-heartedly positive that we forgave shoddy research, overlooked egregious errors, and put up with pseudo, armchair pontificating. If there are still those misguided few who genuinely think all of this outrage is simply because fans only want positive books about Michael Jackson, think again. It’s not about needing him to be perfect, but it is about allowing him to have his humanity. In closing, I found this quote from yet another commentor on the Huffington Post site to be the most apt of all. This was in response to a commentor who questioned why so many were upset about a book that simply discusses Michael’s “vulnerabilities”:
“We’re not talking about vulnerabilities, we’re talking about letting the man have his own goddamn nose, his race, his sexuality. Basic human things.”-Mirella_Conti.
Amen, sister! Amen!
UPDATE: (11/23/12): When Randy Sullivan appeared on The Katie Couric show this week, he was challenged to address the issue of Michael’s “prosthetic nose” and what had been stated in the autopsy report. This was his response:
“I have MJ’s autopsy report (which is cited in my Chapter Notes) and have read it closely. I’ve also seen the photos of MJ’s autopsy, which show the condition of his body at death in graphic detail, and I am basing my description to a substantial degree on those. The autopsy report in no sense states that MJ’s nose was intact, merely that he had a nose. That nose was, as I described, so cut away that it was little more than a nub of bone with two nostrils surrounded by ridges of shriveled cartilage. I didn’t say he had no nose, just not much of one. And that is the same description that has been publicly made by several doctors who examined or treated him in the last five years of his life. Anyone who doubts this can find a photograph of himself without a prosthetic that MJ allowed to be taken, widely available online. Compare that photo to photos of him in public appearances and there can be no question that he was wearing a prosthetic.”
This is allegedly an official response made by someone in the LA County Coroner’s office, after they had been contacted to verify Mr. Sullivan’s statements made on the program:
“As far as Mr. Sullivan’s book information he might have a copy of the report since it is a matter of public record, however I can assure you that he does not have the autopsy photos or other photos involving Mr. Jackson. The photos have been secured, and the location is only known to two of us that have them. I can tell you that Mr. Jackson did in fact have a nose and that it was nothing like described by Mr. Sullivan. I guess he just wants to sell books…”
The ones who contacted the coroner’s office have posted this very interesting video on Youtube. You can draw your own conclusions, but I am inclined to believe them, as their findings are consistent with everything that Randall Sullivan has already been called out on. Sometimes all it takes is a little simple fact checking to uncover the truth.