Talking about the PERFECT WOMEN - The MICHAEL JACKSON TAPES by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
SB: The same principle of not being overexposed. Would you advise women in relationships to do the same thing? Would you say to people today who get bored of one another, "You know fifty percent of marriages end in divorce and so much of it is that husbands and wives just get tired of one another, They get weary and bored. Would you say that if there was more mystery, if they learned to hold back and leave room to discover one another , then there would be more adventure in their relationship?
MJ: Yeah, yeah.I think going away is good. Like they say " Absence makes heart grow fonder". I totally believe it. Going away is really important. I don't understand how people can be together all day with each other and be totally fine. I think it is sweet and beautiful...
SB: Have you seen marriages like that?
MJ: I have seen couples, yes. I don't know how they do it. Because creatively they have to do so many things.
SB: So women you have dated, the ones where smart enough not to throw themselves at you, were they the only ones that you were more interested in, the ones who weren't always available and you had to chase them a bit?
MJ: The ones who were classy and quiet and not into all the sex and all craziness because I am not into that.
SB: They are the ones that you are more interested in?
MJ: Aha. I don't understand a lot of things that go on in relationships and I don't know if I ever will. I think that is what has hurt me in my relationships because I don't understand how people do some the things they do.
SB: Mean things?
MJ: Mean things and vulgar things with their bodies. I don't understand it and it has hurt my relationships.
SB: So for you love is something very pure?
MJ: Very pure. It shocked me some of the things.
SB: What was it about Diana, that kind of a woman, her dignity, that kind of innocence? Do you see often in people where they have a regal bearing to them?
MJ: No, we don't see it and that's what I love. I think she truly cared about people's feelings and really tried to make the world a better place. I really believe that her heart was out for other people. You could see it in some of the photos where she is touching those little baby's face and they are sitting on her lap and she would be holding them. That is not faked. You could see it. When you see the queen come out she has got those gloves on and she is waving from distance, you can see the heart. You can see. You put your money where your mouth is and you go in those huts and go in those ditches and sit with them and sleep there. That's doing it, That's what I do . Remember when you said you saw my pictures in China in some hut some lady's hut. I go there and I touch the people and I see them.
Michael was reading my mind. When I watched the videos of Princess Diana holding disease-ridden children in her arms, it moved me just as much.
SB: When you are in meeting, are you able to see who is the hard -nosed businessman, bottom line is everything, he''ll manipulate,lie whatever it takes, and the ones who are pure , more innocent , who you want to do business with? Can you see immediately? Or, on the contrary, do you see with a child's eyes and see goodness in everybody, witch is why you have sometimes ended up with people who aren't the nicest people?
MJ: That's true, too. It works both ways, but you can detect it and fell it in another person. There is a man in LA and he works in vinyl record shop and he has got to be in his fifties and he has the spirit of a eleven-year-old boy. I always stare at him and he stares at me and there is like this telepathy going on. I say to myself,"This is so interesting." I's like to get to know him better and find out what is this. I mean it. It's amazing. I feel it. I feel it in children right away, of course. I pick up on it like that and children can tell it in you.
SB: It's almost like a relief. Here is someone who understands me?
MJ: Yeah. Their eyes light up when you come over and they want to play and they feel it.
SB: Michael, have you never met a woman like that who loves those same things, who'd play hide and seek with you, who'd love the water fights with you?
MJ: Not yet. The ones I have had are jealous of the children. All of them. They get jealous of their own kids and start competing with them. That rubs me in a bad way.
SB: Theoretically, if you were Adam in the Garden of Eden and you found Eve like that, would that be your ideal woman?
MJ: Absolutely. I haven't found it [women who want to play ] ...I think more guys are more apt to goof off. Even when they are much older, their thirties, and women will come in and say, "What are you doing? Don't do that. Are you crazy?" The guy will go, "What, we are just having fun?"
SB" Women almost feel that it is immature if they behave that way, no?
MJ: Yes, but if you look in history you never see real serial killer women.
SB: Yes, but they don't play the way boys do.
MJ: I know they don't.
SB: Even at a younger age they are playing with dolls and they are marrying Barbie and Ken. In other words, the quintessential thing is that if boys are shooting spit balls at each other, the girls will say, "Stop doing that.". Even then they want to be older. It is almost against their gender. Have you ever found girls who like the practical jokes that you like? Have you ever found a woman who collects comics?
MJ:It is a rarity. If I found one I will go nuts. Especially, if she has those qualities and is beautiful inside. It would be a home run for me. That's why guys hang out. Because they can do that.
SB: Thinking about mothers and fathers, mothers are really good at doing homework with their kids and being more nurturing. But the rough playing is what the fathers do. They get on the floor and get dirty, wrestle, build castles with them in a sandpit. Isn't that interesting? It creates an imbalance in the book to an extent. On the contrary, it is the girls in school that are always ridiculing the boys for being immature."Look at those boys. Look at the way they are behaving." Maybe the women need be taught the art of playfulness as much as the men.
MJ: Do you not think it's embedded in them biologically? Biologically, as a breed, don't you think women are just different species?
SB: They are definitely different, but the question is , "Why don't they want to play?" The funny thing is this: when they play , it's when they flirt. In other words, if you chase them around the room and there is something romantic going on, then they will run around with you and laugh and giggle. But it's specifically when it is romantic. They don't do it with each other. You don't see two girls running around the room, playing hide and seek or wrestling each other, the way they're prepared to suddenly when it's a boyfriend. A lot of fans-the women who are interested in you - would do all these things just to make you happy. But you don't know if they were doing it because they are really enjoying it. It seems that it's only romance that makes women playful. But then, sometimes it bothers men, because the women become like a tease and, you know, they have this power over you with these little games they play. I have got to find four or five women who fit into this opening chapter who are successful but who have retained child-like qualities and, so far, we have come up with one. When you think of Bill Clinton don't you think of a guy as being pretty playful? He goes to McDonalds and he jokes and...
MJ: Riding his bike at the White House. Did you see it? He was riding his bike in the White House to get him to the next meeting. A great shot of him in Vanity Fair. Can you think of Hillary doing that? Nope, not in a million years. I can think of little girls who would join in with play. Girls who are tomboys.
SB: Okay, when they are tomboys. but when they get older, do they still play to the same extent?
MJ: Do you think it is in their heart that they can just be themselves and be dignified?
SB: What women seem to look forward to more than anything else is falling in love. They don't look forward to the playfulness in the same way . But once they're in love a carefree palyfull side is released.
MJ: I have to play.
SB:Is there a difference in how your male fans and female fans relate to you?
MJ: Sometimes. But I am finding today, and it is so true that guys today are really changing and I have watched it happen through my career. Guys scream with the same kind of adulation that girls do in a lot of countries. They are not ashamed. They are shaking, "I love you". We have guys chasing us around.
SB: But the fanatics are the women.
MJ: Yeah, they are so loyal, women. They have been loyal. They are activists. They will fight you about me.
RElationships and wannabe girls
SHMULEY BOTEACH: Do you like creating romance? Are you a matchmaking kind of person?
MICHAEL JACKSON: No I don't do that. I am too shy to do all that stuff. I am a lot like my mother. We used to ask my mother, "Do you kiss Joseph?' She goes, "Don't ask me those questions." WE go, "Well, how did you meet him? Who asked who to get married?" She says. "I don't want to talk about it."
SB: So you were bought up to be shy and modest about things pertaining to love and romance?
MJ: Yes we don't talk about it.
SB: You have been married twice, Michael. Do you still believe in romance, or have you had some negative experience and it is therefore more difficult to believe?
MJ: No, I believe in it, but I am shy about it. None of us have invited our parents to our weddings. We don't believe in it. We are too shy. I wouldn't dar in a million years tohave my mother at a wedding of mine. I can't have myself walking down the aisle and my mother sitting there. That's why we all ran off an got married secretly and my mother reads it in a paper and she don't mind. Because we are just like her. She would have done the same thing .
SB: So love has to be something hidden and conceald?
MJ: It's like private,like mushy stuff.
SB: And mushy stuff is always private?
SB:Well, I also believe that romantic love thrives through mystery and cocealment. But we can't overdo it. Your parents should definitly be at your wedding. So romance is something you believe in but you have been taught to be shy about it?
MJ: I am shy. I don't know hoe good I am at it because I am shy. I am verry differnt in that way. I have heard guys be really poetic with girls and, "Oh baby, this and that." I am not like that. I am like straight to the point and say it simply.
SB: So what do you do in things like music videos when you're expected to portray romance and dolove scenes and things like that?
MJ: That's why it is my job to cast the girl, because it is my job to think they are cute. So I can do it if I really like them, like some of the girls you seee in my videos. I have cast them because I really like them and it caused a problem afterwards because they start to like me, and I don't want to get that serious, and it becomes a problems somethimes.
SB:You probably face this all the time because not only are you famous, but you are the kind of a guy who women want to be around - soft, gentle, not afraid to express his emotions.[This was obviously said before Michael's arrest and the torrent of allegations about him that later come out.] Women die for guys who aren't afraid to show vulnerability and softness, whereas a lot of the guys in Hollywood are stereotypically self-absorbed, sefl-obsessed, and can't commit.
So do you often find that this happens, that women get clingy?
MJ:What do you mean?
SB:Like you said, it is supposed to be a professional thing. You just film something with a female costar, but afterwards they become attached.
MJ:Yes, it happens.
SB:How do you break the news to them that you don't reciprocate?
MJ:When they see me running the other way. Yeah. Some of them follow me around the world and it is so hard.
SB: That probably makes them chase you even more because they probably are drawn to that boyish shyness. To be sure, many women like "bad" boys. But for the same reason, a lot like shy guys. In the same way they believe that they can redeem the bad boy and polish up this coarse diamond, they believe the same thing about the shy guy.
They think, "Only I can bring him out of his shell". But I guess after a while, with you running halfway around the world from them, they get the message. But you never tell them directly?
MJ:No, because it would hurt them too much.
Crushes and puppy love
SB: What did Cindy Crawford want from you last night?
MJ:I have seen Cindy from afar several times, and she was with other guys, and we have met up at other functions...from afar. I think she felt this was her chance to really meet me. She probably admires me. A lot of the people come over. What you saw was nothing.
SB:You have seen celebrities behave like that, like a pack of dogs, chasing after someone who is more famous than them?
It was so degrading.
MJ:Yes ! it's worse.
SB:What did she talk to you about?
MJ:[Imitating Crawford] "How are you?'' I go, "I'm all right." "Oh, you are sure you are okay? Oh, I just love your work, and love what you do. How long are you in town?' I said, "I am working here. I'm recording."
SB:So do you think there was a romantic interest?
MJ:Yeaaah. I kinda think so.
SB:Was she asking you out?
MJ:Those girls flirt...they flirt. She is pretty.
MJ:A woman I really liked and respect was Princess Diana.
MJ:B ecause she was classy and sincerely cared about people and children and the plight of what was going on in the world. She didn't do it for show. I like the way she made her kids wait in line to get on a ride for something.
I had read the same thing, that Princess Diana made her kids wait in line at Disneyland.That is pretty amazing.
I hate waiting In the lines at Disneyland and if I could use clout to cut them, I probably would. This is areal sign of character and a sincere desire to raise humble rather than entitled kids.
SB: CAN WE SAY THAT THERE was an ever so innocent slight romantic attraction? Or do you not want to say that? Do you just want to say that you thought she was a very special woman?
MJ:I thought she was very special.
SB: Was she a feminine kind of woman?
MJ: Very feminine and classy. She was my type for sure, and I don't like most girls. There are very few I like who fit the mold.It takes a very special mold to make me happy and she was one of them. for sure.
SB: Because of her love of kids?
MJ: It takes a lot to find a mirror image. People always say that opposites attract and I think that that is true, as well.
But I want somebody who is a lot like me, who has the same interests and who wants to help and they gotta go to hospitals with me and care about Gavin[Michael's later acuser]. That's why you saw Lisa Marie and me those kinds of things. She cared about that stuff, too.
SB:Did you ever think of asking Princess Diana out?
SB: So why didn't you have the nerve to ask her ?
MJ:I have never asked a girl out in my life. They have to ask me.
MJ:I can't ask a girl out.
SB: If she would have asked you out?
MJ: Absolutley. I would have gone. Brooke Shilds asked me out every time you saw us together. It was her idea to go out and do it every time.I sincerely liked Brooke Shilds too. I liked her a lot.
SB:Does she like s kids?
MJ: Yes. My first girlfriend, Tatum O'Neal, she'd won the Academy Awrd for PAPER MOON...I was sixteen, she was thirteen. And was I naive. She wanted to do everything and I didn't want to have sex at all, because there were a lot of values associated with being a Jehovah's Witness. I said, "Are you crazy?" One of those was to be kind to everyone. When I held Tatum's hand it was just magic, better than anything, kissing her, anything. Her, Rhyan O'Neal and myself went to this club and were watching a band and underneath the table she was holding my hand and I was melting. It was magical. There was fireworks going on. It was all I need. But that means nothing to kids today. She grew up too fast. She wasn't into innocence, and I love that.
Now Brooke Shields, she was one of the loves of my life. We dated a lot. Her pictures were all over my walls band mirrors. I was at the Academy Awards with Diana Ross and she just came up to me and said, "HI I'm Brooke Shields. Are you going the after party?'' I said, "Yeah, and I just melted." I was about twenty-three...Doing OFF THE WALL. I thought
,"Does she know [that photographs of her are] all over my room?" So we gett to the party and she says , "Would you dance with me?'' And we went on the dance floor. And man, we exchanged numbers and I was up all night, spinning around in my room, just so happy/ She was classsy. We had one encounter when she got real intimate and I chickened out. And I shouldn't have.
Lisa ... we are still friendly, but she's running around. She just changed her number and we don't have the new one yet.
SB:Can you immediately tell innocence?
MJ:Right away, although I find it harder to tell with women because they are smooth. But with men, I can usually tell, because they're more open and like puppies, while girls are more like cats. You know how if you been on vacation and get home and a puppy is all over you, while with a cat, it's ,"Hey, I don't need you . You walk over to me and pick me up." They give you attitude. They'll walk right by you even though they haven't seen you in three months. Women are very smart. Walt Disney always said they're smarter than men, and[he] always hired more women.
Women and trust - Lisa Marie Presley and His Brother's Wives
SB: How do you feel about men who are not faithful to their wives?
MJ: I don't think it is good. But I understand it. I know that is a strange answer.
SB: You find women fall in love with you all the time as this megastar, so you don't judge men who are unfaithful, because sometimes you'll ascribe it to women who make themselves available?
MJ: I don't judge them because women can do some things that make guys very unhappy. I have seen it with my brothers. I have seen my brothers crying, in tears and pulling the grass out of the lawn with frustration because of their wives.
SB: Do you think a lot of their wives were more interested in their success than in them?
MJ: Absolutely. They were after their money. That's why I said to myself that I would never be married. I held out the longest, I stayed at home until I was twenty-seven, twenty-eight.
SB: So was part of the attraction to Lisa Marie that she had her own money and her own fame and you didn't have to be anxious that she was interested in you for the wrong reasons?
MJ:Absolutely, and she didn't take a penny[when we got divorced]. She didn't want everything. She makes about a million dollars a year from Elvis memorabilia and selling all that stuff and she has her own thing. She is not here to take, you know.
Michael always spoke with affection and respect for Lisa Marie Presley, with the one exception when he told me that she had wanted him to get involved with Scientology and got pushy. He had to tell her that he had no interest in becoming Scientologist. Michael was dismissive of Scientology and spoke of how practices Of Scientologists that he had been exposed to were not sufficiently spiritual or substantive for him.
SB: So that means there was like one girl in the whole world that you could marry because even a rich woman would want your name. You needed someone with money and a name. You were down to a Prestley or a McCartney or something like that.
MJ: I know. Lisa was great. She was a sweet person. But it is hard to tie me down. I can't stay in one place one time so that's why I don't know if I [can] really be completely married all the time.
SB: Did you want to be the father to her kids?
SB: Do you still stay in touch with the children?
MJ: Yes, and with her.
SB; But marriage is too confining?
MJ: Yes. I don't know whether I am disciplined enough because I am such a rolling stone. I have such a life when I am always on the move and women don't like that. They want to be settled in one place al the time but I have to move. I have been in the same city as where my house is and I'll check into a hotel just to feel like I am going somewhere. My house is right there. I guess I am just moving all the time, moving.
At the entrence to MIchael's home Neverland, there were large suitcases that were permanently packed and always ready to go. In the same way that some people buy two of everything-one for the primary home, and one for the weekend home-Michael had a version of that, only the spare things were permanently in the suitcases.
He explained to me that he travels so much that he doesn't see the point in ever packing or unpacking. The things in the suitcases never came out.
SB: You have gotten used to it. That's your lifestyle.
MJ: I love being on the move, love it.
Talking about Madonna
I asked Michael about his celebrity friends . Why could he connect with them more than noncelebrity?
MJ: Yeah, but I don't really have Hollywood friends. I have a few.
SB; Why don't you ?
Why don't you hang out with more celebreties?
MJ: Because I don't think they are all real people. They love the lime light and I don't have anything in common with them. They want to go clubbin' and afterwards they want to sit around and drink hard liquor and do marijuana and do all kinds of crazy things that I wouldn't do. We have nothing in common. Remember the line I TOLD YOU ? Madonna laid the law down to me before we went out. "I am not going to Disneyland, okay?" That's out. " I said , "But I didn't ask you to go to Disneyland." She said "We are going to the restaurant and afterwards we are going to a strip bar." I said, " I am not going to a strip bar." Guys who cross-dress! Afterwards she wrote some mean things about me in the press and I wrote that she is a nasty witch, after I was so kind to her. I have told you that we were at the table eating and some little kids came up . " Oh my God , Michael Jackson and Madonna . can we have your autograph?" She said, "Get out of here. Leave us alone. "I said, "Don't ever talk to children like that." She said, " Shut up." I said, "You shut up." That's how we were. Then we went out again and went to the Academy Awards and she is not a nice person. I have to say it. She is not a nice person.
SB: Did people around you feel that it was important to be seen with her?
MJ: They knew nothing about it. This was totally betwen her and me.
SB: So you gave it a chance and it didn't work?
MJ: Yeah, I gave it a chance like I try and give everything a chance.
SB: You basically saw that your values do not match those of most Hollywood people.
MJ: No, they do lots of crazy things that I am not into and at the time I was with Madonna ahe was into these books, a whole library of books of women who were tied to walls. She said, "I love spanky books." Why di I want to see that?
SB: I think a lot of it is the image. She once said something to the effect that she would much rather read a book than have sex. i THINK THE OTHER VULGAR STUFF IS PART OF THE OUTRAGEOUS IMAGE SHE TRIES TO CULTIVATE.
MJ: She's lying[about preferring to read a book] I can't judge. I don't know if she has changed oror if she [is] trying to claim she has changed.
SB:Why does she say mean things?
MJ: I think she likes shock value and she knows how to push buttons on people. I think she was sincerely in love with me an I was not in love with her. She did a lot of crazy things and that's how that went. I knew we had nothing in common. But I am pretty sure that having a baby has to change you. I don't know how much she has changed. I am sure she is better person than before.
SB: She has two children now.
MJ: Yeah, I know. How would you like getting a phone call and she is telling you that she is putting her fingers betwen her legs. I would say,"Oh, Madonna, please. "She said, "What I want you to do when I HANG up the phone is to rub yourself and think of me." That's the kind of stuff she says. She does. When I see her she says, "this is the finger i USED LAST NIGHT. " Wild, out of control.
SB: But you were raised that all things romantic should have a certain modesty... the values you were raised with are very similar to core Jewish values. That kind of thing that Madonna was saying is only shocking at firest. Then it quickly becomes humdrum and boring. That's why she has to push the envelope and become more and more shocking just to sustain our interest in her. When people have their breats out the whole time then you stop looking. Do you see that as vulgar?
MJ: What she does? Absolutely. She is not sexy at all. I think sexy xomes from the heart in the way you present youself.
SB: Have you ever found women who are a bit more modest to be more attractive for that reason?
MJ: Yeah. I don't like the women who are always saying, "My nails need to be done. I have to do my toes. I need manicure." I hate all that. I like it when girls are a little bit more tomboyish . If they wrestle, climb tree...I love that. It is sexier to me. I like class, though. Class is everything.
SB: I f a woman walks round with all her cleavage showing...
MJ: Frank loves it.
Michael gestured to Frank Cascio, who was sitting next to us. We all laughed.
SB; A man might want to have sex with a woman like that. But it doesn't mean he would want to fall in love with a woman like that.
MJ: Of course you want to look. I am in love with innocence and I tell Frank that.
SB: Have you met women who have that innocence or by and large would you say that this generation is cultivating women who are not innocent, who are not encouraged to preserve their innocence?
MJ: I wish they were.
SB: Celebreties are targets for people who marry them for the wrong reasons, thier fortune and therir name. But don't you know when someone is interested in you for the wrong reasons?
MJ: You don't know.
SB: The ancient rabbis said that words that emanate from the heart penetrate the heart. That sincerity cannot be faked. You can't tell when someone is faking it and it is full of it?
MJ: It is hard because the women today can do a good job of faking it. I mean a real good job. They are so smooth. Look in the Bible. Women have taken the most powerful men down to nothing because of what is between thier legs. Samson, nobody could cut his hair, and he had sex with Delilah.
SB: Monica Lewinsky and Clinton ...what everyone overlooks is that she went after him, witch doesn't excuse Clinton, but she's not off the hooks either.
MJ: Didn't I say that the other day?
One woman did so much pain to this presindent. How much can a woman do to try and hurt a president?
Look what she caused, and that's why I don't like Barbara Walters because she instigated a lot of it. She made it all on television. She tried to come here today and I cancelled it.
Michael's view of women was shaped by his childhood experiences-wich were not childlike at all. I believe this negative image of women has unfortunately remained with Michael and may count for why there were few woman in his inner circle. Michael saw women as catty, fomenting jealousy betwen men, as he believed his sisters-in-law did betwen The Jackson 5 . Women, to Michael's mind, could be sleazy. They were materialistic and more interested in MIchael's money than in him. Of course, this misogynistic view, for witch Michael may not be to blame, is widly offensive. But it speaks volumes of the kind of people -and perhaps the kind of women-Michael had drawn to him in the past and how it had scared him in the present.
But there is something more. As I noted earlier, there can indeed be a connection between these prurient sexual scens that Michael witnessed as a small and impressionable child and what many believe to be his adolescent sexual interests.It could well be that at that vulnerable age Michael developed an impression of adult sexuality as manipulative and squalid, and searched, in his own broken way, to find a carnality that was much more innocent. Of course, conjecture in this regard is not always helpful. What is certain, however, is that children are scared by exposure to adult sexuality that they are not equipped to handle.
MJ: I don't like clubs now, I did all that when I was eleven, eight and going back-nine, eight, seven, six. Fights break out, people throwing up, yelling, screaming, the police sirens. Our father never let us become a part of it other than to perform and leave. But sometimes in having to do that you would get caught upin some of the crazinesss. I saw it all .The lady who came on right before when The Jackson'S were little, "and now next , The Little Jackson 5" was the lady who took off all her cloths. THrew her panties into the audience and the men would grab them and sniff them. I saw all this. her name was Rose Marie and she put these things on her breasts and moved them around and she showed everything. So when I become sixteen, seventeen and guys would say ,"Let's go clubbing," I would go. Are you crazy?" And the guys would be like, "No, are you crazy?" We can get girls, we can get liquor ". But I had done that. I did that when I was a baby. Now I want to be a part of the world and the life I didn't have. Take me to Disneyland, take me to where the magic is.