A 60 Minutes interview of Michael Jackson has resurfaced, where the then 29-year-old singer is asked about his controversies and talks about his love for kids.
The interview was conducted by Molly Meldrum in 1987 in Tokyo, during Jackson’s Bad World tour. At the time, Jackson was the subject of a lot of controversies ranging from his plastic surgeries to the attention he devoted to young children. Maybe for this reason, Jackson’s face was covered by large black sunglasses and he was accompanied by his manager, Frank DiLeo, for the duration of the interview.
Jackson was accused of molestation by 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo, whom the singer had befriended and often brought to his Neverland Ranch. In a 2003 documentary on Jackson, made by journalist Martin Bashir, Gavin had revealed that he had once slept in Jackson’s bed at night. Jackson also revealed during the documentary that many other children, including Macaulay Culkin, had slept in his bed.
In 2005, Jackson went to court over a total of 14 charges including molesting a minor, intoxicating a minor, attempted child molestation, conspiring to hold a boy captive and conspiring to commit extortion and child abduction. He was declared not guilty of all 14 charges.
In the 1987 interview, Meldrum asked Jackson if the claims were true. The singer hesitated. His manager stepped in, saying, “I’ll answer that question, if you don’t mind. It hurts me and if it hurts me, I know it hurts Michael. He’s a little more blasé about it than I am. He just sort of shrugs it off. But I find it very terrible some of the stuff that is written.”
Even though he did not say anything about this issue in particular, Jackson said, “I love children and animals and Quincy [Jones, record producer] and Frank [his manager] and that’s what’s so wonderful about traveling. I get to see all the cultures, the people and the children, it’s wonderful.”
In later interviews, Jackson also said that he did not find there to be anything weird about a child sleeping in an older man’s bed. He said he would let his own kids sleep in other men’s beds if he knew and trusted them, and that this whole controversy was a ploy on the part of the child’s parents to get some money out of him.
Since being posted less than a week ago, the video has already amassed over 38,000 views. In it, Jackson also talks about his bigger picture goals, saying, “One of the main [goals] would be as simple as making the whole world happy and world peace, and that is part of the reason why I do what I do.”
He also talked about his love for disguises, saying, “I like to sneak into theatres without being noticed sometimes. I have incredible disguises. I can fool my own mother and I enjoy doing it because I get to see life the way it really is.”
Jackson passed away in his home at the age of 50 after suffering a cardiac arrest. He left behind three children, Michael Prince Jr., Paris Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II.