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    LaToya says 'Michael was too good for this world'

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    LaToya says 'Michael was too good for this world'

    Писане by for all time on Пон Юни 21, 2010 12:20 am

    Michael's sister and his closest confidante, La Toya Jackson, reveals
    the man behind the legend - and how his loved ones are coping a year
    after his death

    By Louise Gannon, 20/06/2010

    IN a hotel suite in Las Vegas, La Toya Jackson is talking about her brother Michael.
    "He's still here," she insists. "He's still with me and he's just
    waiting to let the world know. I have to believe he's here because
    that's what keeps me safe. I have to believe he's still here for the
    sake of his little children."

    It sounds a bizarre thing to say, but then it's a mark of the very
    special bond between La Toya and her brother. Born just two years
    apart, the pair were inseparable as children. "My mother used to say
    how we looked identical," she laughs.

    "Michael and I loved that. We loved to play together, to dance
    together. Michael would put on a Fred Astaire movie and we'd watch it
    and then he'd say to me: 'La Toya, you do the dance, then I'll do it.'
    I'd do the first few steps and then stop because I'd need to see it
    again to copy the rest. Michael would just start dancing - every step
    was exactly right.

    "Even as a child I knew Michael was different, special. Everyone knows
    we had a strict upbringing, and that my brothers [Jackie, 59, Tito, 56,
    Jermaine, 55, Marlon, 53, and Randy, 48] were singing and dancing as
    children. But as a six year old it was Michael who would work out the
    moves. He'd be telling his older brothers where to stand, how to move -
    he'd even work out what they should all wear."

    In 1977, La Toya accompanied 19-year-old Michael to New York when he
    was filming The Wizard Of Oz movie The Wiz, in which he starred as the
    Scarecrow.

    "It was our big adventure together. We were these kids in New York who
    had never had any freedom. We were so close," she remembers.

    "He'd work and then we'd go out shopping. We'd buy clothes, lots of
    men's suits and hats then we'd come back, put on a Kenny Rogers album
    and dress up. Michael loved us to wear identical clothes and we'd stand
    in front of the mirror and laugh.

    "People don't realise that Michael had this amazing sense of humour.
    He'd love me to go out with him and see his fans. He loved to play cat
    and mouse with them. This was in the days before mobile phones but,
    wherever Michael was, fans would turn out in their hundreds. He loved
    them. He loved them chasing him about town. For him it was fun.

    "He never went off the rails. Michael was always very spiritual. He had
    this inner goodness and trust, which was what made him so beautiful,
    but also made him so vulnerable to people who wanted to take
    advantage."

    Later, however, La Toya's own relationship with Michael took a dramatic
    twist. After their strict Jehovah's Witness upbringing, in 1989 she
    stunned the family by stripping off for Playboy aged 32 and marrying
    her manager, Jack Gordon.

    When Michael was first accused of child abuse in 1993, La Toya appeared
    at a press conference and denounced her brother. The singer later
    claimed she was in fear of her own life during her abusive marriage in
    which her husband locked her in rooms, beat her and threatened to kill
    Michael. It took four more years before she escaped and returned to her
    family.

    "The most amazing thing about Michael was that he never held any of
    that against me," she says. "I remember when I'd got away from this
    total hell I'd been through where I'd been beaten, abused, controlled
    and forced to say those terrible things about Michael, which I didn't
    for a moment believe, he held out his arms and just hugged me. I was
    crying saying: 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry.' He just held me tight and
    said: 'I am your brother, I always knew it wasn't you saying those
    words.' I told him I loved him and he looked me in the eyes and said:
    'I will always love you more.'"

    La Toya says her greatest regret about Michael is that he never learnt how to mix with real people.

    "Michael was never really into going out on dates," she says. "He
    always told me that he'd never marry until he was in his 40s because he
    had so much he wanted to achieve. The loves of his life were always his
    music, his family and his children."

    Although, Michael married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994 aged 35 and Debbie
    Rowe in 1996 aged 38, La Toya says he never really fell in love.

    "The hardest thing about being a Jackson is this feeling of being
    isolated from normality. I fought very hard against that. The reason I
    wanted to do Celebrity Big Brother last year is that I wanted to mix
    with people who I'd never normally meet.

    "Michael was fascinated when I went into the Big Brother house. We even
    talked about him coming on the show as a huge surprise. He loved the
    idea but he was also terrified because being as famous as Michael makes
    you very scared. He never had a single day of his life that he
    remembered not being famous."

    Despite their problems, La Toya remained the woman closest to Michael -
    his beloved older sister. She was at the hospital on the day that he
    died, she signed the death certificate and right now she is committed
    to an ongoing case of involuntary manslaughter against his doctor, Dr
    Conrad Murray.

    "There are lawyers, investigators, a lot of people working on this.
    It's taking a long time but it's still going on. I honestly believe
    that Michael died because the people around him were evil.
    "He was being controlled, mentally controlled, and the people who
    surrounded him in the last year tried to keep his family away so we
    couldn't get to him," she says.

    "There is so much about his death that doesn't make sense. I get so
    angry when I think about his final hours. My brother was surrounded by
    very bad people before he died. It breaks my heart because I was in
    that situation in my life and Michael was the one who helped me through
    it.

    "Even now a lot of people around me say to end this fight but I won't.
    I'll carry on, no matter what it takes. I'm doing it for Michael."

    "So many times I look up at the sky and I expect him to appear. To do something amazing and miraculous to show us he is here."

    La Toya admits she still can't bear to look at photographs of her brother or listen to many of his songs.

    "It's too painful. There are some days I don't even like to look at my own face in the mirror because I look so much like him."

    The resemblance between the two siblings is uncanny - although La Toya
    denies she has ever had plastic surgery herself, merely hinting: "I
    think it's up to each individual and if you're not happy with
    something, knowing you can probably alter it a little, that's OK."

    She also worries about his three children - Prince Michael (known as
    Prince), 13, Paris, 12, and eight-year-old Prince Michael II (known as
    Blanket) - who are being looked after by Michael's mother Katherine,
    80, now their legal guardian.

    "In those days after Michael died they were so vulnerable, like little
    flowers standing alone in a field," she says. "There were so many
    moments when I felt like I was going to fall apart, but I'd look at the
    children and it would make me strong.

    "They are a tribute to their daddy. I always smile when I remember him
    with his kids. I'd go up to the house and there would be classical
    music playing. Michael didn't listen to pop. In his house you would
    hear a Mozart symphony, not Thriller.

    "He was very much aware he had to be a mother and a father to his
    children and he was very sensitive. As a father he was incredible. He'd
    play with his kids but he was also very strict. They didn't watch
    television and there was no internet access in his house because he
    always said he didn't want them to be diseased by the world we live in.


    "As a brother he was incredibly sensitive. Whenever I was feeling down
    he'd send me fashion magazines, or turn up and just sit with me and
    talk or watch The Three Stooges together. One time he rang me up and
    said: 'You love Frank Sinatra, don't you?' An hour later he arrived
    with a huge photograph of Frank he'd had him sign for me," she
    remembers.

    "Michael went through so much. In many ways he was too good for this
    world. He was like a child in an adult's body and his children were
    everything.

    "What is amazing is how well the children seem to be now. My mother is
    doing an amazing job. There is a lot of laughter in the house and so
    many pictures of Michael everywhere.

    "I feel sorry for my mother because when Michael died a piece of her
    died too. She has changed, but I know she finds comfort looking after
    his children.

    "I also know Michael wanted them to be happy and all of us, as a
    family, have come together to make those three little ones our
    priority."

    To mark the anniversary of his death, La Toya says the family is
    planning a reunion and will spend the day doing some of Michael's
    favourite things.

    "We don't want it to be a sad day," she insists. "We want to celebrate
    Michael's life, his wonderful personality, his incredible talent and
    his beautiful spirit. Maybe we'll watch some old movies, play some
    music and have a party.

    "One thing is for sure, Michael will be with us. On that day, Michael will be there



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