RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil's children's television show host Xuxa has revealed that the late Michael Jackson wanted to marry her and that she had been sexually abused as a child.
Maria da Graça Meneghel, better known as "Xuxa," made the surprise disclosure in a television interview that shocked the country late Sunday.
"The entourage of Michael Jackson wanted him to marry, have children. They were looking for someone. I was working in Spain, they invited me to see his show several times," she told TV Globo's Sunday program Fantastico.
"Later they called me to invite me to Neverland (Jackson's ranch). He knew everything about me, he read everything about me. I had dinner with him," Xuxa said.
"And later came a proposal from his impresario asking me whether I would consider living with him because he wanted to have children, marry. They thought marriage with a person concerned about children in Latin America would be a good thing," she added.
"For me (Michael Jackson) was an idol, but from idol to something else there is a difference. My answer, obviously, was no," she noted.
The late King of Pop died suddenly on June 25, 2009 at his rented mansion in Los Angeles after an overdose of powerful prescription drugs as he was preparing to perform a series of comeback concerts in London.
In the 1990s the television actress and singer made headlines for, among other things, dating football legend Pele and the late racing ace driver Ayrton Senna, who died in a crash during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Xuxa shocked the television audience Sunday when she revealed that she had been sexually abused until the age of 13.
"I was abused in my childhood until the age of 13," a tearful Xuxa said. "I know what a child feels (when abused). We think it's our fault. I was ashamed, I kept quiet, I felt bad, dirty," she added, without giving further details on the abuse.
Now 49, Xuxa is Brazil's richest woman with a fortune estimated at $1 billion.