As private as Michael Jackson was, for years tabloids would publish bizarre reports about him as if he wasn’t even human. “Michael Weds Alien” a tabloid once reported, while another magazine ran with the headline, “Bubbles the Chimp Bares All About Michael.”
He gained nicknames like 'Wacko Jacko' because he seemed strange, but as Rev. Al Sharpton said during his memorial on Tuesday, there was nothing strange about Michael, there was something strange about what he had to deal with.
He seemed strange to the world because hardly anyone knew who the real Michael was. Now that he's passed, friends, family and close confidants are speaking out about the man in the mirror, trying to give the world some insight as to who the real Michael was.
Most of us can never relate to the things Michael became accustomed to, like not being able to shop at a grocery store, not being able to take a walk on the street, or drive himself anywhere. Our day-to-day activities were things he could never understand.
He was strange to us because we never understood him. And perhaps the only people who did understand him are the three children he's now left behind. Prince Michael Joseph, 12, Paris Michael, 11, and Prince Michael II, a k a "Blanket," 7, were a complete mystery to us up until a few days ago.
When Paris took the mic and spoke about her father being the "best father you could ever imagine," it humanized a man who for so long did seem like a caricature. So who was the real Michael? Friends closest to the King of Pop claim that although he has remarkable talent on stage, above all he was a remarkable father. He was a father first and Michael Jackson second.
One record producer told Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli via the NY Post that Michael would teach his children how to take responsibility for themselves.
"Prince Michael once spilled popcorn on the studio floor, and the producer bent over to clean up the mess, fearing Jacko would have a diva-like tantrum. Instead, the megastar apologized."
"He's my kid. I'll clean up after him," Jackson said, according to Taraborrelli.
The producer recalled, "I looked down and there's Michael Jackson on his hands and knees picking up his son's popcorn. I'm not sure you would see Madonna doing that."
Michael's longtime pal Dieter Wiesner told Life & Style, "He made breakfast for them -- a lot of people don't know this side of Michael."
It seems there is a lot about Michael that people never knew. Perhaps that’s how he wanted it to be. We'll never be able to distinguish the difference between Michael the performer and Michael the person. He never got a day of rest in his life, so perhaps now that he's passed, everyone, including the tabloids can let the legend finally have his peace. Michael gave us so much, its time for everyone to return the favor.