Michael Jackson, his artistic heritage, his media treatment, his unwavering support, his family, his special relationship with France… Tariano Jackson, said Taj Jackson, the legend’s nephew, confided in Forbes exclusively – sharing in particular personal photos never seen – on the occasion of the commemorations around the death of the King of Pop, who died on June 25, 2009. A date in all memories.
Twelve years after the disappearance of your uncle Michael Jackson, and two years after the shocking HBO documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’, what state of mind are you in today?
That Jackson : It has been 12 years since I have the feeling that I am still in mourning. When Michael Jackson died, the world lost an icon, but on my side I lost an uncle, my best friend, my mentor and my role model. I miss spending time with him, laughing out loud, having fun! My state of mind today is that I feel both hope and sadness for the life of my Uncle Michael, and for his legacy. “Leaving Neverland” is a propagandist documentary, an intellectual swindle whose design is none other than to harm a person who is no longer able to defend himself. ‘Hope’, because I know that most people educate themselves to seek the truth in order to form their own opinion. It was heartwarming for me to see all these voices being raised in defense of Michael Jackson’s honor.
The goal of this documentary is to try to cancel the legacy of the greatest artist of all time, but also to earn exorbitant sums by embarking on a media-judicial kabbalah. We are talking about several hundred million dollars claimed by the two protagonists Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
Taj Jackson: Oprah Winfrey has removed from her social networks all the mentions she made on the documentary… It’s a first step, but she still owes us a public apology.
A new judgment of the Los Angeles Court of Appeal has just strengthened the position of the Michael Jackson Estate at the end of April (the wealth manager of the artistic heritage of the star, Editor’s note) by dismissing Wade Robson’s charges. This other victory for your family does not seem to weaken the determination of Wade Robson who continues to claim millions in damages. For you, money is the sinews of war?
T.J : Sure ! Money is the reason Wade Robson and James Safechuck go after the Michael Jackson Estate. To this end, they changed the scenario several times until they could initiate lawsuits against the Michael Jackson estate because you cannot attack a deceased. It was only later that the public discovered their motivations, especially financial. They should have been honest from the start. So obviously, they lost their case because at the end of the day, justice does its job objectively. Also keep in mind that each accuser of Michael Jackson went to a lawyer to demand money instead of going to see … the police. This is what any victim would do. My aunt Janet Jackson expressed herself in very strong terms when she said in 1993: ” If this really happened, do you think a father will accept money? The only possible answer is to see the executioner of his son in prison by addressing the police and justice! ».
You recall that the FBI did research for more than ten years on Michael Jackson and was never able to produce evidence of pedophile assaults on the occasion of the great trial of 2005 which resulted in the acquittal. All of this factual evidence, along with the many divergent versions of accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, made these many court successes possible. However, from a media point of view, this new affair was devastating… Where does this gap come from?
T.J : After the death of my uncle in 2009, the FBI made public 333 pages of the file resulting from their investigations on Michael Jackson. Documents accessible to all. Nothing incriminates my uncle. However, many media are racing sensationalism, it is more lucrative! The fraudulent film “Leaving Neverland” has more than 50 lies that have been documented, but in the end there was very little echo around these untruths. There is a noticeable imbalance between the words of accusers versus those of defenders. The media must be able to give all the keys to the public to form a critical opinion. Fortunately in the age of the internet, people are doing research and it has resulted in a lot of demystifying about this pseudo-movie.
You are particularly angry with Oprah Winfrey for refusing you a right of reply following the debate organized at the release of the documentary. How far are you willing to go to rehabilitate your uncle’s memory?
T.J : Angry, no, disappointed, certainly. Let us all remember that it was his exclusive interview with Michael Jackson in 1993 that propelled him to the fore. This interview still holds the record for the most watched interview in television history with 90 million viewers around the world. No one knew Oprah Winfrey before. My uncle opened up his privacy to him at his refuge, the Neverland Ranch. So, yes, my family felt betrayed by Oprah because she came across as a friend. She had privileged access to everyone, which allowed her to obtain exclusives each time. We were stabbed when she put on an hour-long special and took us away from the proceedings. How to talk about debates if only one party is invited to speak? Now, that justice has dismissed Wade Robson and that the many untruths have been highlighted, she is of course trying to distance herself from this case in which she hastily rushed. Moreover, Oprah Winfrey deleted from her social networks all the mentions she had made on the documentary… It’s a first step, but she still owes us a public apology.
Speaking of apologies, we are also dismayed at the discovery of the fraudulent journalistic methods of ex-BBC star journalist Martin Bashir and his production team. The facts that have just come to light concerning the lies to which they resorted to obtain the confessional interview of Lady Di, are terrible! We also want light to be shed on these methods for his 2003 interview with my uncle in “Living with Michael Jackson”. The public restitution did not correspond at all to the original maintenance! Fortunately, my uncle had his own camera on during this series of talks with Bashir, resulting in a rephrased focus: “The Michael Jackson’s Interview: The Images You Were Never Supposed To See”. A video that we can always watch on Youtube.
This form of journalism which consists of making friends, of gaining confidence in order to better manipulate is immoral! But, one day or another, there is a backlash because today Martin Bashir is under investigation and is held to account.
How can he sleep at night knowing what he did to Princess Diana and my uncle, Michael Jackson?
Editor’s note: The disgraced ex-BBC star journalist Martin Bashir is accused of falsifying documents to obtain an exclusive interview with Princess Diana in 1995. He allegedly claimed that a relative had betrayed him in revealing explosive information to him about his private life, forcing Lady Di to come out of her reserve by granting her a confession interview. A case which caused a scandal in Great Britain, tarnishing the reputation of the BBC.
Michael is an unrivaled showman and one of the greatest philanthropists in history who have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to various charities. Michael Jackson used his gift from heaven to make the world a better place
Madonna spoke of ” lynching “And considered that a person” is innocent until proven guilty “. We have the feeling that there are two clans …
T.J : Madonna knows what it’s like to be falsely accused in front of the public. She also knows what it is to see her words distorted by certain media. Or the search for buzz at all costs… When you’re a superstar, that’s one of the negatives. People are starting to see you more as a brand rather than a person. Madonna knew Michael Jackson personally, it’s very hard for her to listen to complete strangers tell you who he was, to see rumors spread. Just like me, by the way! I spent four decades with this member of my family, but some dare to come and tell me that Michael Jackson was this or that, while they have never approached him! The propagandist documentary on my uncle does not contain any conclusive evidence. Not one. This is why Madonna knowingly said, ” Prove it ! ».
Besides this notorious support from Madonna, who are Michael Jackson’s supporters today?
T.J : The answer is simple: people who think for themselves. Obviously there are the millions of Michael Jackson fans who have researched and know 100% that he is innocent. There are also all these famous people or not, who really knew my uncle. There are also many individuals who first believed that Michael Jackson was guilty, then decided to educate themselves on the subject. Today, they are certainly among the most zealous defenders. And then, we have received a lot of support from the younger generations, who do not immediately trust and source each other from several media.
Despite these recurring controversies, the work of Michael Jackson remains as powerful and timeless as ever. What do you think Generation Z, who did not know it, will it remember?
T.J : I see so many young people discovering and dancing to Michael Jackson by staging themselves on TikTok, Instagram or Youtube! It makes me happy. My hope is that this generation that did not grow up during the King of Pop’s lifetime, as well as future ones, will continue to learn from this incredible artist. An unrivaled showman and one of the greatest philanthropists in history who donated hundreds of millions of dollars to various charities. Michael Jackson used his gift from heaven to make the world a better place. The seven-part documentary mini-series I’m working on are very important in this regard, since it will be about documenting the real Michael Jackson for new generations and aggregating even more support. Contrary to the tabloid version. At the time of ‘Cancel culture’, I can see every day that we can never cancel the work of the greatest artist of all time.
Your prestigious and well-respected media outlet, Forbes, relays its highly anticipated list of the most bankable deceased celebrities every year, and it has been eight years in a row that my uncle Michael Jackson has held the crown.
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What do you want to share with the French and the French-speaking public?
T.J : I would like to thank the French in general because you were one of the first countries to question the propagandist documentary “Leaving Neverland”. The French are very educated and do not blindly believe what they are told.
My uncle has always nurtured a special love for France, to the point of baptizing his only daughter, Paris.
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