News Of the World
Interview: News Of the World, 2001
NoW: Are you worried about the anthrax attacks in America and are you taking any precautions?
Michael: Yes. I’m taking medication myself. Because — I don’t know if I should say this — I’m very sick.
NoW: You’re coughing a lot. Do you have the flu?
Michael: I don’t know. They’re going to test me and the children for anthrax. We’re all very, very sick right now. I’ve never felt so bad in my entire life. […]
NoW: Are you scared?
Michael: No. I’m just praying that it’s not getting worse. I feel very, very weak and sick.
NoW: Can you describe your symptoms?
Michael: My chest burns very, very much. It’s hard to breathe. And when I swallow it stings. It burns so bad. You can’t stop coughing. And your eyes burn. And you’re tired all the time. And your back hurts very much. There are some rashes. I’ve been seeing the doctor every day. They’re going to take me in and do tests with me and my children.
NoW: Are you taking anything to treat it?
Michael: Yes. And I won’t open any envelopes now. I don’t want to open anything. I’m very concerned about the children. I pray for them constantly. That’s my main concern. I want them to be safe. How can you explain to them what’s going on, and make them feel everything will be okay?
NoW: Do you think the Afghanistan crisis could result in World War III?
Michael: I think a lot of what is going on is Biblically prophesied. But God promises he will not let man destroy the earth. That man will try, but he will not let them do it.
NoW: How much do you think America changed after the terrorist attack on September 11?
Michael: People have never been so close in this country. Everybody has flags up everywhere. They speak again to each other. They say hello. They’re hugging. It’s like we’ve gone back to the 1930s or something.
NoW: How did you feel when the terrorists attacked New York?
Michael: I felt my world end. I felt such grief. I cried and I cried.
[The conversation eventually turns to his album.]
Michael: Oh boy! Y’know… we shared the same life. We shared the same pain. And that’s what we could talk about on the phone. We were like two caged animals. We could talk about it. And that was our therapy-speaking to each other.
NoW: What was the most memorable thing Diana ever told you?
Michael: To continue the work I’m doing to help the children. And whatever I do, don’t stop. To continue to love and to travel and to go to the hospitals. That was her favourite thing about me — how much I loved them, sincerely, from the heart.
NoW: Did you love Princess Diana?
Michael: I’m crazy about her. I adored her.
NoW: Would you have married Princess Diana if you’d had the chance?
Michael: Yes! Yes!
NoW: Did you ever propose to her?
Michael: Uhmm. There was some talk between us.
NoW: So did you have a chance to ask Diana to marry you?
Michael: Er… oohh
NoW: Come on, Michael. The whole world wants to know.
Michael: We talked in that area. I will say that much. I think we lost a precious jewel when she died. We lost the heart of the world. It was like when we lost Mother Teresa. The world isn’t the same place any more.
NoW: What’s the best thing about being a pop star?
Michael: Getting to share your gift from God with the world and hope and pray they accept it and love it. I just want to make wonderful music and give them a treat to the eye with song and dance and a sense of escapism, that’s all really.
NoW: What was the loneliest time of your life?
Michael: The loneliest? Oh boy, that’s a tough one. I’m always lonely.
NoW: Are you lonely now?
Michael: Of course. It’s part of what I have to go through to be the artist that I am. I have to paint with a palette of different emotions.
NoW: What was the saddest time in your childhood?
Michael: Wanting to be with other children and I couldn’t. I was thrust into an adult world. All my childhood I was with grown-ups — playing nightclubs and fights break out and people drinking — Chicago, New York, Indiana, and all throughout the south and Philadelphia. I was never with children.
NoW: Were you ever physically abused?
Michael: Of course, of course. I was beat up a lot when I was a little kid.
NoW: When you addressed the ‘Oxford Union’ earlier this year you criticised your father for not showing you enough love as a child and depriving you of your childhood. Do you regret making that speech?
Michael: No. Because out of the criticism came forgiveness. The speech was about how to forgive our parents for their wrongdoing and laziness. And I had a lot of harsh bitterness embedded in my soul. It was so bad that whenever I’ve been in the presence of my father — even now — I feel dizzy. I feel like I’m going to faint.
NoW: Have you spoken to your father since?
Michael: Yes. He was at the Garden show [Madison Square Garden in New York where he celebrated 30 years in showbiz last month]. I love him and I totally forgive him.
NoW: What made you write the track ‘Speechless’?
NoW: Tell me about the message in your song ‘The Lost Children’.
Michael: I’m saying there are souls out there that are lost. People who have disappeared and have never been found again. I remember when I was a little kid, I was in a department store with my mother. I was no more than five, I think. I turned around and she was gone.
I’ll never forget the feeling. I felt my world was ending. So imagine really, really being lost. It’s like Armageddon of the brain.
NoW: Finally Michael, are you at all optimistic about the world’s future?
Michael: Very. When I see a baby smile, I bubble with a sense of bliss. And I believe in that smile. I see God in that smile.
http://www.mjfriendship.de/htdocs/blau/general-en-08.htm (Fanship turns to Friendship – we care for Michael Jackson)