The nephew of the late King of Pop has revealed that the family once staged an intervention over Michael Jackson’s relationships with children. As reported by nme.com, Taj Jackson claims his uncle’s “achilles heel” was the need to help people.
In a new interview with the publication, Taj was asked whether the family ever attempted to pump the brakes on Jackson’s relationship with young children, and he confirmed that an intervention did take place.
“That’s exactly what happened after the trial,” he said, referring to Jackson’s 2004-2005 criminal trial in which he was charged with molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo. “And that’s why after the trial it was all family.”
Jackson pleaded not guilty to all the counts he was indicted on; four counts of molesting a minor, four counts of intoxicating a minor to molest him, one count of attempted child molestation, one count of conspiring to hold the boy and his family captive, and conspiring to commit extortion and child abduction.
The trial ended June 13, 2005, with the jury delivering a not guilty verdict.
Taj Jackson, Taryll Jackson and TJ Jackson attend the Launch Event For Lifetime Network’s “The Jacksons: Next Generation” on September 29, 2015 in Encino, California.
(Source: Jason Kempin/Getty Images North America)
According to Taj, the intervention was meant to encourage MJ to spend less time with other people’s kids and more time with his own family and those who truly loved him.
“We said to him: ‘You have plenty of family members. You have plenty of nieces and nephews’. And he agreed,” he explained.
“I asked him about Gavin,” he admitted. “He said to me, ‘I could not let that kid die.’ He had cancer at the time he met Michael Jackson. He doesn’t have cancer anymore but he had cancer and a lot of people forget that.”
Taj added: “When it comes to people who are dying my uncle…he felt like he had to be there for these people.”
Taj’s comments come amid the controversy over the explosive Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which has divided opinion among fans while radio stations around the world have banned Jackson’s songs.
In related news, Irish journalist Sam Smyth recalled the time he stayed in the same hotel as Jackson, who was accompanied by a minor boy.
Smyth covered the music icon’s visit to Cork as part of the ‘Bad’ tour in 1988 and remembered the child Jackson paraded around with was James Safechuck, one of the men who has accused the late singer of abusing him in “Leaving Neverland.”
“I remember thinking at the time… it’s very odd for a man in his 30th year to have his very best friend as this boy called Little Jimmy Safechuck who was 10,” he said on The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 show, per nme.com.
Smyth added: “The whole thing was odd, and deeply suspicious. Certainly not anything that I would ever want for anyone belonging to me.”
According to the report, young Safechuck had his own room at Jury’s Hotel, and a ‘do not disturb’ was sign constantly on display. The windows were also covered with sheets to block out views. Smyth said “the whole thing was adding to something very bizarre.”
When he learned the child would not be attending Jackson’s concert in Pairc Uí Chaoimh but instead staying in his room all night, Smyth devised a plan to rescue the kid. So he, along with Eamon Dunphy, used hotel stationary and wrote: “Dear Little Jimmy Safechuck, we are in the residents’ lounge… and if you are being held against your will or if you need rescuing contact us’.”
He gave the note to the hotel porter, along with a “handsome tip” and instructions to leave the note under Safechuck’s door. But they never heard from the child.
With regards to the sexual abuse accusations levelled against MJ in “Leaving Neverland,” Smyth’s says “I’m quite convinced that they are telling the truth. I think most people would be… I think the film is very credible and very skillfully made.”