Perhaps the most speculated upon sector of Michael Jackson's life, is the faux pas of Jackson sharing his bed with underage children. This practice led to Jackson's demise, and because of that, people speculate more often that Jackson was a child molester. Why? The norms of society, did not allow Jackson's behavior in regards to sharing his bed with children, to go unnoticed and instead, ruined Jackson's image severely. Jackson's bed sharing was a fait accompli in regards to his image being destroyed, and is a very delicate subject to discuss upon. There's no easy way there could be assumptions made based on the wording of the statements Jackson made, because that is a useless endeavor. More so than his music career, this seems to be the most fastidious part of Jackson's life.
Statements Regarding Bed Sharing
Michael Jackson made several statements about bed sharing over his lifetime, in a few interviews. This connotation mainly gained heat when Jackson admitted to sharing his bed with children and called it a "beautiful thing" in a Martin Bashir interview, which was featured in his inflammatory 2003 documentary, Living with Michael Jackson. To my fair opinion, the fact that Jackson shared his bed with children does not indicate at all, that he molested them. There are bucket loads of children, mostly boys, who Jackson was friends with and shared a bed with, who defended Jackson more so than those who accused him. If you were not in the bedroom with Jackson and Brett Barnes, then you cannot say that Jackson molested him. Same thing goes for Jordan Chandler, of course, however the fact remains that his father, Evan Chandler, was nothing less of an extortionist.
Despite that, Jackson's statements regarding the bed sharing will be analyzed here.
Martin Bashir Interviews
Bashir: “But is it really appropriate for a 44-year-old man to share a bedroom with a child that is not related to him at all?”
The statement which Jackson made, Jack the Ripper, is often taken by Jackson's detractors as a sign of guilt, implicating that he was using a psychological device in order to sway the audience that he is not Jack the Ripper, the 19th Century English Serial Killer. Just because he is saying that he is not Jack the Ripper, and not incorporating the word "pedophile" in there, doesn't mean he was either a molester, or even trying to manipulate the audience. First of all, Jackson's wording may have sounded finagle, but his intentions certainly weren't.
Martin Bashir's glib speech does seem to work the trick on some people, however, whom of which, limit Jackson to being a pedophile. The next statement which Jackson made was:
Bashir: “Did you ever sleep in the bed with them (the Arvizo brothers)?”
Jackson makes the point and admits to the audience that he shares his bed with many children, and takes the name of Macaulay Culkin and his brothers and sisters. Culkin was Jackson's most famous child friend, whom of which, defended him several times both before and after Jackson's death, including the 2005 trial. Jackson also had no problem in admitting that he "slept in a bed with all of them", which if he were trying to pull a red herring and avoid the topic, he wouldn't do. This inevitably proves that Jackson was not trying to manipulate the audience, had he been and had something to hide, he would not say this in front of the camera where millions' of people are watching.
Bashir goes on to question Jackson because of these statements, acting all puzzled:
Bashir: “But is that right Michael?”
Jackson was clearly out of words here, and did not know how to respond to Bashir because he was being cornered. Bashir, reveled in how he was looking like the hero in this interview, questioning the so-called monstrous Michael Jackson. Jackson thought that perhaps he may ask Bashir the same question, trying to prompt Bashir into thinking the way he would — of course to Bashir, this tactic wouldn't work, and he would keep his spartan attitude and continue to question Jackson.
Bashir: “No, no I don’t. I would never dream …”
It's either Jackson doesn't understand that it's not okay to share his bed with children, or he probably thinks that it depends on what the circumstance is. Bashir says that he wouldn't dream of it, to which Jackson responds to him by saying that he [Bashir] hasn't been where he [Jackson] has been mentally, implying that Bashir did not have Jackson's rough and terrible childhood, or that Bashir did not suffer the same as Jackson, which is what Jackson meant by "mentally". Bashir tried to demonstrate Jackson's infamy to the audience, by questioning him in a slightly different regard, by putting his own self [Bashir] into a scenario, asking Jackson whether or not it would be okay to share his bed with his children's friends. Of course, Jackson responds by saying it's okay, because for him, sharing his bed with children is perfectly fine.
These comments from Jackson, and Bashir's suave wordings and questions, led to Jackson's ultimate demise, and eventually the 2003 allegations from Gavin Arvizo.
Primetime Interview 1995
Diane: …What is a thirty-six year old man doing, sleeping, with a twelve year old boy? Or a series of them?
Jackson was questioned by Diane Sawyer on why he slept in bed with boys, to which he responded that it wasn't just boys he slept with, rather it was all children. That indeed was a ridiculous question, however it must've been an quintessential subject for the interviewers, especially given the time was right after the 1993 allegations and the 1994 settlement. Jackson had no problem in answering this question and while he might've been not completely accurate in some regards to the details, it certainly doesn't matter because this was his private life.
The argument put forward that Jackson did not sleep in the bed with girls, and instead young boys, as a sign of guilt is rather absurd. For starters, if you put the allegations of sexual abuse from the boys aside, and instead Jackson hung out with little girls, and admitted to sharing a bed with a series of young girls only, wouldn't that also be of concern, if not more, to people? Jackson himself was a man, and men prefer to hang out with their own gender in terms of friendship. You cannot blame Jackson for hanging out with boys, in the stead of girls. Here is a letter from Marie Nicole, one of Jackson's young girl friends, which detractors of Jackson cite:
Dom, Angel, Frank were all your babies and since I am a girl I can’t be.
This is not even substantial, let alone incriminating.
The interview continues:
Lisa: I can say…I can, I can say…sorry. I’ve seen this. I’ve seen it a lot. I’ve seen kids. I’ve seen him with children in the past year. I’ve seen it enough to where I can see how that can happen. It’s, you know,…I understand.
The mantra of the detractors constantly accusing Jackson because he shared his bed with children, is something which is unfathomable. The amount of confidence they display when writing about Jackson's bed sharing, seems to be a problem for them. If they were not there, then it's impossible to make a baseless assumption based on the words of a few disgruntled employees, accusers, and other people with motives and incentives.
Ed Bradley Interview
Ed Bradley: That British documentary last February — which you didn’t like --
Jackson's defense of the bed sharing did not change even after the notorious documentary, and in fact, it stayed there even stronger. This shows, as a matter of fact, that Jackson had strong views on this, and wasn't like many other manipulative people, who would've narcissistically changed their views after the controversy and after the confrontation. Most people would have an avant-garde view in public on the issue they faced dear controversy for, because they would want to guise their behavior, opposite to what Jackson did.
ED BRADLEY: Do you know how this looks to a lot of people? I mean, do you understand that?
Michael Jackson explicitly mentioned that he would not share his bed with a child for sexual reasons, neither would he do anything sexual to a child. Jackson's bravado when admitting that he shares his bed with children, is that of someone who has nothing to hide from the public, despite the allegations and the Bashir documentary. Sure, Jackson may have been not entirely honest about certain things, but that doesn't mean that he was lying when it came to very important aspects, such as this.
Despite the brusque manner of questioning from the interviewers whom Jackson had to face interrogation from, he maintained one thing; sharing your bed with children doesn't mean that is for sexual reasons, as Jackson stated several times. And most of Jackson's detractors say that he owned child erotica, paid boys, and that's why he was guilty and molested boys in the bed; that is the epitome example of their ignorance. For starters, they don't have any direct evidence that Jackson molested anyone; the jury did not approve of Jackson's bed sharing, however they unanimously decided that he was not guilty because there was no hardcore evidence. They could've deemed him guilty based on just the bed sharing, but they didn't, because that is not evidence of guilt.
Ed Bradley: You’re a parent. You’ve got three children.
Derived from this, it's obvious that Jackson would have allowed a man such as him, with allegations, to sleep in the bed with his children as long as he knew him. This implicates, as the fact was, that Jackson was a loving father who wouldn't put his children in harm's way (aside from the inexcusable Berlin balcony incident), would allow his children to sleep in the bed with a man who has allegations such as him; what also could be derived based on this, is that Jackson projected that man onto himself, implying that he was innocent.
What Would Go On There, According To Witnesses
Several witness accounts of those who were in the room with Jackson and the children are present. Most people just disregard what these people have to say, but if they do this, then they would be ignoring the complete and total facts. Opposite to the detractors of Jackson who so confidently parade his (alleged) guilt, the people who were actually in the bedroom with Jackson and some of the kids are miles' more valuable and so are their testimonies.
Michael Lee Bush, Jackson's longtime stylist and fashion designer, along with Karen Faye, Jackson's longtime hairdresser and makeup artist, said the following in an interview with ABC about Jackson's bed sharing:
Michael Bush: When they say bed, a lot of people think sexual, and that was a farthest thing from Michael's mind. I mean we would go do an award show, you come back, everyone jumped on there with 15 people on a bed, watching a show or cartoons or whatever a movie he had to show.
Very strong, reliable, and convincing testimony from the people who actually knew Jackson, on how his mind would work, according to their own encounters, and how he would share a bed with many people.
Via Twitter, Karen Faye, said the following in regards to Jackson's bed sharing:
I would spend hours in Michaels bedroom doing his hair at night, as children would be sleeping all over his room. He would even go tuck the covers over them making sure they were warm and comfortable. I had free access to everything in MJ’s homes and hotels.
Not only explaining the bed sharing, but Faye also reveals how some of the parents of the children whom Jackson befriended pushed their children onto him, asking him for credit cards, and shopping missions. This inevitably proves that the parents of the children whom Jackson befriended, most of them, were greedy and wanted money from him; out of most of them, it was only Evan Chandler, Janet Arvizo, and Blanca Francia who pushed the button a bit too far and accused him of sexually molesting their children.
Kit Culkin, the father of Macaulay Culkin (Jackson's closest friend), said the following in his book titled Lost Boy:
“Michael’s bedroom (an enormous room with alcoves and dressing rooms and a fireplace and French doors leading out to a private garden, as well as a stairway leading to the entire upstairs) was almost always an open place to hang out in, as was most all of the rest of the house. My children would sit on the bed, as would I, to play cards or checkers, or watch television or whatever, but then we would do so most everywhere else also. They might of occasion fall asleep there, just as they might of occasion fall asleep most anywhere else, and at most any daylight hour. While they had a bedtime, I rarely enforced it, as they were, after all, at Neverland to play; and as is most always the case with children (as any parent will tell you), they never enforced it themselves, thinking that they should get some rest so as to be better rested to play again the coming day. Children don’t worry about “the coming day”. Therefore, I was constantly and most usually after suppertime, having to round them up and often carry them (sometimes by golf cart) to their accommodations. They’d fall asleep watching a movie at the movie theater or playing with the toy trains in the toy trains room, and there was one occasion, I well remember, when one of them was actually found asleep on the carousel!”
Kit Culkin described Jackson's bedroom in a very vivid way, and also showing the truth about Jackson's bed sharing while he was at it.
Frank Cascio, another one of Jackson's closest friends, said the following in his book, titled My Friend Michael:
“In Bashir’s interview, Michael was shown holding Gavin’s hand and telling the world that kids slept in his bed. Anyone who knew Michael would recognize the honesty and innocent candor of what he was trying to communicate. But Bashir was determined to cast it in a different light.
Frank Cascio, explains in vivid detail in regards to what happened when Jackson was in the bedroom with children, and also clarified that Jackson's interest in young boys was nothing sexual, and as a young friend who was a boy himself, that does mean a lot in this case.
Lottie Rose, Jackson's hairdresser, and her daughter said the following:
“Lottie Rose: He would allow me to bring my daughter with me. She would stay the nights and slept in Michael’s bed. I would be working on him. At Neverland, because the drive was so long, I would stay and we would have our own little room.
Most of these explanations show that Jackson befriended virtually everyone, and allowed them to enter his life, just the same he did with those boys. In fact, it is also shown here, that Jackson called Rose's daughter on the phone, just the same way he called all the other accusers, who made it into a grooming tactic. In fact, none of these children accused Jackson of molesting them.
In fact, an adult man and his family also shared the bed with Michael Jackson too, whom of which were his friends.
Michael Jackson's bed sharing was certainly not normal, excusable, or even tolerable. However, in his case, it should be known that the full context of the situation should be analyzed and understood. It's clear from Jackson's words and the words of other people, that Jackson's bed sharing was not sexual. What's the harm in sharing your bed with someone? This was Jackson's mindset (at least from what he said). Jackson shared his bed with most of the girls in the families, which also explains that he did not just allow boys in there. One not from one of Jackson's friends (Marie Nicole) doesn't prove that Jackson did not allow girls into his bed. There's other proof, such as Kellie Parker, Lottie Rose's daughter, Nicole Richie, Lily Cascio, and more.
According to most, Jackson's bedroom was the size of a duplex apartment, which inevitably makes it clear that he did not have the normal and small bedroom like most people do. If that were the case, then it would be even more suspicious on his part. Elizabeth Taylor also made it clear that there was no sexual behavior in the bed with Jackson and children, and it was just good old fun, watching movies. This is not just a fan myth, this is something said by many people, especially those close to Jackson, and who shared a bed with him. Most other people, such as Jackson's detractors, make it an extremely complicated issue which is dark, however once analyzed, it's nothing more than overblown speculation and baseless assumptions of those who were not there with Jackson.