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Prime Time Live (1995) with Diane Sawyer

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Diane Sawyer: Make no mistake about it, for all that fantasy and flash Michael Jackson is serious business. Ask anyone in this town. Ask the people at Sony Music who say his next album and videos alone could bring in close to one billion dollars worldwide. So it’s not hard to understand why the shockwave of those allegations two years ago registered like the last earthquake out here. What everyone wants to know, is he really on his way back? This is the old MGM set at ‘Sony Pictures’ where all those dreams were put on film. Seemed like a good place to begin this hour. Because whatever you think about Michael Jackson, you cannot ignore what he achieved, a little boy with all those dreams in his voice.
It’s the once upon a time story that we all know by heart. Out of this tiny house in Gary, Indiana, where among the nine children of a crane worker at the steel yards, came the raw talent that rocked Motown.

This is the audition, which Michael Jackson charms, glides, and spins his family into stardom. But we’ve also heard the other side of this fairytale. The brothers claimed that their father drove them brutally, beat them. This is the man Michael said made him nauseous with fear.

Joe Jackson: I don’t know anything about him being sick but, regurgitating but if he, did ’gurgitate, he, he ’gurgitated all the way to the bank.

Diane Sawyer: But on stage the little boy felt invulnerable. Wielding the voice that would enchant for the next twenty-five years, even as the singer radically changed. We sat down a week and a half ago to talk only about music. We looked at the Ed Sullivan Show, 1970. He remembers exactly what he was thinking.

[Interview of Michael about his work]
Michael: That the whole world was like watching me. My father used to always say, don’t mess up, you know, and I felt I knew every part and if something went wrong, I felt I could cover it.

Diane Sawyer: But by adolescence a private price was being paid. He said it was agony. That people stared, clearly wishing that he was still that cute little boy. At the time, his mother worried that he was withdrawn.

Katherine Jackson: Michael is quiet now. When he was younger he wasn’t that quiet. And I don’t know I think the stage might have done that to him.

[Footage of an interview with Sylvia Chase, taped in the late 70’s]

Michael: Bein’ around, you know, everyday people and stuff, I feel strange, I do.

Sylvia Chase: Shy?

Michael: Yeah.

Diane Sawyer: 1979, 20-20. He told Sylvia Chase people won’t let him be just normal.

Michael: They won’t talk to me like their, well, their next door neighbor.

Diane Sawyer: But somehow Jackson used isolation to sharpen his sense of what was exotic and new. By 1983, the 25th anniversary of Motown, another Michael Jackson emerged. His own creation. From the music, to the muscle, to the magic. It was a triumph. But, he still sees only what he missed.

[Interview of Michael about his work]
Michael: I wanted to do the five spins and go on the toes and freeze there, and just hold it, and stay there, you know. And I didn’t, but they didn’t know.

Diane Sawyer: It’s the doubles bargain. A perfectionist trying to give the audience more. A chameleon, whose changes are more and more extreme, making you wonder if it’s all still part of his plan or like his prison. Because even today Jackson obsesses over every word, every note, every sound. Listen. What you’re hearing is not an electric drum machine; it’s a hard-wired, 48 track, digitally mastered human.

[Interview of Michael about his work]
Michael: [mimicking various instruments with his voice box] … You know what I mean. I’ll take that and use that as the main foundation for the track, and build, all the sounds around that. You know what I’m saying?

Diane Sawyer: So, whatever the future, the music will always be inside the man, who says soon he’ll be back, where he’s most at home.

Diane Sawyer: Are you really anxious to get back onstage?

Michael: Hmmm, I miss the fans. That’s my chance to get to really, you know, see them and, feel their presence.

When we do a concert, and there’s like a hundred thousand people out there, and you see a sea of people singing there, all in unison, holding up candles, and, you go, wow! You know it’s, it really makes your heart happy and that’s what really makes me feel like everything’s O.K..

[…]

Diane Sawyer: And with me, of course, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Welcome to Prime Time.

Michael: Thank you.

Diane Sawyer: Glad you’re here. It occurs to me, looking at the two of you, I have got to start, by asking, how this marriage took place, how it began. Let me guess that it was not over miniature golf and a hot dog, or something. When did it start? When was the dating?

Michael: Well, we first met, she was seven years old and I was seventeen. This was in Las Vegas. She used to come and see my show all the time. We had the only family show on the strip, the Jackson 5. And, she used to come, as a little girl, and sit right up front. She came quite often. She came with a lot of bodyguards. And…

Diane Sawyer: Had you stayed in touch with her?

Michael: Sure, sure. And then she’d come backstage, then I’d, you know, talk and say hi and then she’d come again. And I thought she was sweet, and loving, and I hoped, I always hoped I’d see her again.

Diane Sawyer: And who first talked about marriage?

Lisa Marie: We didn’t stay in touch… after that.

Michael: We didn’t stay in touch after that, no.

Lisa Marie: He, he… go ahead, you wanted to say it. Go ahead.

Michael: No, you can say it. You can, you have a good memory.

Lisa Marie: Well, you said you were going to say it.

Diane Sawyer: Our first argument here, um, this hour. Who, who proposed? I mean, how did marriage actually get discussed?

Michael: Well, well, at first this is what happened. When she was 18, I used to tell my lawyer, John Branca. “Do you know Lisa Marie Presley?” He’d go, “Well, I represent her mother.” I’d go, “Well, can you get in touch with her, ’cause, I think she’s really cute.” And he’d laugh everytime. He goes, “I’ll try my best”, that’s what he’d say. Then he’d come back and I said “Well did you find out?” He said, “No, there’s nothing.” So I would worry him about this all the time. The next thing I noticed, there was a picture on a magazine cover where she’s married, which really tore me to pieces, because I felt that was supposed to be me, I really did.

Diane Sawyer: And what, what was the countdown to your marriage? Tell me, who said the word marriage first?

Michael: I did.

Lisa Marie: He did.

Diane Sawyer: When? Where?

Michael: When, where?

Lisa Marie: On the telephone.

Michael: Oh yeah, oh yeah on the telephone.

Lisa Marie: He first asked me, we were dating now for four months… right? Four months?

Michael: I don’t remember.

Lisa Marie: Anyway, we were spending a lot of time together. I don’t know how it didn’t manage to get in the press, because we weren’t hiding it. I was in Las Vegas, we were in…

Michael and Lisa: We were everywhere together.

Lisa Marie: Everywhere.

Michael: Went to bookstores,…

Lisa Marie: … to bookstores. We were not hiding it.

Diane Sawyer: And you said yes right away?

Lisa Marie: I was separated for four months now, and he said: “What would you do if I asked you, to marry me?” And I said, “I would.”

Michael: A big ‘I would’, you were really enthusiastic! [giggling] 

Diane Sawyer: I have to ask you this, because I can only imagine there are a number of lawyers involved in a pre-nuptual agreement, between these two fortunes. Is there one? A careful one?

Michael: Well, we’ve worked out things and we’ve signed certain things but, of course… that’s very confidential.

Lisa Marie: We agreed, we made agreements prior, yes.

Diane Sawyer: As you know, the reaction to this marriage, and I know you feel strongly about it, but the reaction to this marriage has been across the spectrum, everything from astonishment, to delight, to… suspicion. That it was somehow… too convenient. Lisa, did you ask Michael about the charges? Did the two of you think about the impact, of the marriage, on the allegations?

Lisa Marie: Absolutely not. He called… I was in touch with him through the whole process of this, charges going on. I was talking to him when he disappeared. I was actually supposed to go to Santa Juan, Puerto Rico, when he left and disappeared, and I got a call that he wasn’t going to be there, and I was actually part of the whole thing with him, by talking to him on the phone. So…

Diane Sawyer: Did you say to him: “Are they true?”

Lisa Marie: No, I didn’t. No… I actually did not.

Diane Sawyer: I want to take a minute here, and I’m gonna come back to the marriage…

Lisa Marie: Could I just… sorry. He, he, went, on and on and on about it, so I didn’t really have to say, “Are the allegations true?” He was gggrrr [imitating Michael’s outrage] on the phone, you know, and…

Diane Sawyer: Over and over.

Lisa Marie: Just constant… yeah.

Diane Sawyer: Well, [turning to Michael] because I know that you’ve wanted to express similar sentiments for a long time, I want to ask a few things about the charges. But first I want to establish for the viewers here, there are no ground rules. You have said to me you are not afraid of any questions. So, I wanted that understood by everybody before we proceed. I think I want to begin by making sure that the terms are clear. You have said you would never harm a child. I want to be as specific as I can. Did you ever, as this young boy said you did, did you ever sexually engage, fondle, have sexual contact with this child, or any other child?

Michael: Never, ever. I could never harm a child, or anyone. It’s not in my heart, it’s not who I am. And it’s not what I’m… I’m not even interested in that.

Diane Sawyer: And what do you think should be done to someone who does that?

Michael: To someone who does that? What I think should be done? Gee… I think they need help… in some kind of way… you know.

Diane Sawyer: How about the police photographs, though? How was there enough information from this boy about those kinds of things?

Michael: The police photographs?

Diane Sawyer: The police photographs.

Michael: That they took of me?

Diane Sawyer: Yeah.

Michael: There was nothing that matched me to those charges, there was nothing!

Lisa Marie: There was nothing they could connect to him.

Michael: That’s why I’m sitting here talking to you today. There was not one iota of information that was found, that could connect me…

Diane Sawyer: So when we’ve heard the charges…

Michael: There was nothing…

Diane Sawyer: … markings of some kind?

Michael: No markings.

Diane Sawyer: No markings?

Michael: No.

Diane Sawyer: Why did you settle the…

Michael: Why am I still here then?

Lisa Marie: You’re not going to ask me about them, are you? [laughing] Sorry. About the markings?

Diane Sawyer: You volunteered.

Lisa Marie: No, I’m just… the point is, is that when that finally got concluded that there was no match-up, then, it was printed this big [showing a tiny area], as opposed to how big it was, what the match-up was supposed to be.

Michael: Because it isn’t so!

Diane Sawyer: Why did you settle the case then?

Michael: The whole thing is a lie.

Diane Sawyer: Why did you settle the case? And, it looks to everyone as if you paid a huge amount of money…

Michael: That’s… that’s, most of that’s folklore. I talked to my lawyers, and I said, “Can you guarantee me, that justice will prevail?” And they said: “Michael, we cannot guarantee you that a judge, or a jury will do anything.” And with that I was like catatonic, I was outraged! …

Diane Sawyer: How much money…

Michael: … Totally outraged. So, I said… I have got to do something to get out from under this nightmare. All these lies and all these people coming forth to get paid and all these tabloid shows, just lies, lies, lies, lies. So what I did, we got together again with my advisors and they advised me. It was a hands down, unanimous decision — resolve the case. This could be something that could go on for seven years! …

Diane Sawyer: How much money was…

Michael: We said, let’s get it behind us.

Diane Sawyer: Can you say how much?

Michael: It’s not what the tabloids have printed. It’s not all this crazy outlandish money, no, it’s not at all. I mean, the terms of the agreement are very confidential.

Diane Sawyer: I want to ask…

Lisa Marie: He’s been barred to discuss it. The, the…

Diane Sawyer: The specific terms…

Lisa Marie: The specific terms.

Diane Sawyer: … of the agreement.

Lisa Marie: … the specific amounts.

Michael: The idea, it just isn’t fair… what they put me through. ’Cause there wasn’t one piece of information that says I did that. And anyway, they turned my room upside-down, went through all my books, all my videotapes, all my private things, and they found nothing, nothing, nothing that could say Michael Jackson did this. Nothing! …

Diane Sawyer: But let me ask you a couple of questions…

Michael: … to this day, nothing. Still, nothing…

Diane Sawyer: Let me ask you…

Michael: … nothing, nothing, nothing…

Diane Sawyer: Nothing. We got nothing. As you may or may not know, we have called everyone we could call, we have checked everything we can check, we have gone and tried to see if what we heard before is in fact the case… I want to ask you about two things. These reports that we read over and over again, that in your room they found photographs of young boys…

Michael: Not of young boys, of children, all kinds of girls and… everything.

Diane Sawyer: And that they found photographs… books, of young boys who were undressed.

Michael: Noooo.

Diane Sawyer: It didn’t happen?

Michael: No. Not that I know of, unless people sent me things that I haven’t opened. People send, people know my love for children, so they send me books from all over the world. From South America, from Germany, from Italy, from Sweden, I…

Diane Sawyer: So people say, that they found those things, that there’s an indication, let them come forward. Let them produce them, right?

Michael: Yeah, because I get all… I get all kinds… you wouldn’t believe the amounts of mail that I get. If you say to somebody, you know, if I let the fans know that I love Charlie Chaplin, I’ll be swarmed in Charlie Chaplin paraphanalia.

Diane Sawyer: What about…

Michael: If I say I love children, which I do, they swarm me with everything pertaining to kids.

Diane Sawyer: Any other settlements… in process now or previously with children making these kinds of claims. We have heard… that there is one, not, not a case that the prosecutors would bring in court.

Michael: No.

Diane Sawyer: But, but once again, you’re talking about shelling out…

Michael: No. That’s not true. No. It’s not true. I think, I’ve heard everything is fine, and there are no others.

Diane Sawyer: I guess, let me ask this, and I’m trying to think how to phrase it, though. I can hear out in the country people saying — and you’ve been cleared of all the charges, I want to make that clear. People saying, look here is a man who is surrounded by… things that children love. Here is a man who spends an inordinate amount of time, with these young boys.

Michael: That’s right.

Diane Sawyer: What is a thirty-six year old man doing, sleeping… with a twelve year old boy? Or a series of them?

Michael: Right. O.K., when you say boys, it’s not just boys, and I’ve never invited just boys to come in my room. Come on, that’s just ridiculous. And that’s a ridiculous question. But since people want to hear it… you know, the answer, I’ll be happy to answer it. I have never invited anyone into my bed, ever. Children love me, I love them. They follow me, they want to be with me. But… anybody can come in my bed, a child can come in my bed if they want.

Lisa Marie: I can say… I can, I can say… sorry. I’ve seen this, I’ve seen it a lot. I’ve seen kids. I’ve seen him with children in the last year. I’ve seen it enough to where I can see how that can happen. It’s… you know… I understand…

Diane Sawyer: Isn’t part of being an adult… and you have a two year old child… two year old boy.

Michael to Lisa Marie: Didn’t you want to finish?

Lisa Marie: Yeah. Let me just, let me just… sorry.

Diane Sawyer: O.K..

Lisa Marie: I, I just wanted to say I’ve seen these children. They don’t let him go to the bathroom… without… running in there with him. And they won’t let him out of their sight. So when he jumps in the bed, I’m even out. You know, they, they jump in the bed with him.

Diane Sawyer: But isn’t part of being an adult… and loving children, keeping children from ambiguous… situations? And again we’re talking about over an intense period of time here. Would you, let your son when he grows up, and is twelve years old, do that?

Lisa Marie: You know what, if I didn’t know Michael… no way. But I happen to know who he is, and what he is. And that makes it … you know. I know that he’s not, you know… I know that he’s not like that, and I know he has a thing for children, and I… go ahead, sorry.

Diane Sawyer: I just want to… is it over? Are you gonna make sure it doesn’t happen again? I think, this is really the key thing people want to know.

Michael: Is what over?

Diane Sawyer: That there are not going to be more of these sleep-overs, in which people have to wonder.

Michael: Nobody wonders when kids sleep over at my house. Nobody wonders.

Diane Sawyer: But are they over? Are you… are you gonna watch out for it now?

Michael: Watch out for what?

Diane Sawyer: Just for the sake of the children and for everything you’ve been through.

Michael: No! ’Cause, it’s all… it’s all moral and it’s all pure. I don’t even think that way, it’s not what’s in my heart…

Diane Sawyer: So you’ll… you’ll do it again?

Michael: I would never ever… Do what again?

Diane Sawyer: I mean, you’ll have a child sleeping over.

Michael: Of course! If they want.

Lisa Marie: He has…

Michael: It’s on the level of purity and love, and just innocence. Complete innocence. If you’re talking about sex then that’s a nut. That’s not me! Go to the guy down the street ’cause it’s not Michael Jackson. It’s not what I’m interested in.

Diane Sawyer: O.K., we’re gonna take a break now. When we come back, Elizabeth Taylor… talked to us a little bit about what she saw when she went over and talked to you, in the middle of this and helped you get treatment for addiction to painkillers.

Michael: Oh, wow… Elizabeth is on the show!

Diane Sawyer: When we come back.

[Commercial break]

Diane Sawyer: As we said, Elizabeth Taylor is going to talk a little bit about when she came to see you in the middle of this, what she called agony. And one of the things she was so…, I think she was so angry about with us, was that she said people always talk about one side of a person, they never give them credit for their accomplishments…

Michael: That’s right.

Diane Sawyer: … particularly, what they give to children and the money you give to children, that’s how it starts.

[Showing taped interview with Elizabeth Taylor]

Elizabeth: When he’s on tour… he goes to hospitals, without the press following him. Without anyone knowing. He’ll get up in a disguise and do it. Take his disguise off when he’s there, and the kids know, “Wow, it’s Michael Jackson!”.

Diane Sawyer: Was there no point at which you said to yourself… reading everything everybody had been reading… maybe this is true, maybe I completely didn’t understand who he was.

Elizabeth: No way. Absolutely not.

Diane Sawyer: Never?

Elizabeth: Never. I know Michael’s heart. I know his mind and his soul. I’m not that insensitive. Especially to him, or people I love.

Diane Sawyer: How did you decide to go to Singapore?

Elizabeth: He was my friend… he was alone. He was totally alone. And he just… he needed help. Nothing in the world could have hurt him more. If it had been calculated, if they’d planned an assassination, they couldn’t have done it any better. It almost… it almost broke his heart.

Diane Sawyer (voice-over): She said she recognised a friend turning to painkillers for escape.

Elizabeth: He wasn’t aware of what was happening, he was dulling his pain. But, it really frightened me because I have been there. And I know how easy it is to get there when you’re in mental or physical pain.

Diane Sawyer: And he knew right away that he had to deal with it, to…

Elizabeth: Not right away, not right away… but he knew.

[Back to interview with Michael and Lisa Marie]

Diane Sawyer: There were some reports during this period, Michael, that it was such agony for you that you were actually suicidal. Is that true?

Michael: I was never suicidal. I love life too much to ever be suicidal. I’m resiliant. I have rhinocerous skin. Never, ever suicidal.

Diane Sawyer: Did it leave you, though…

Michael: Heartbroken [touching his heart], but not suicidal.

Diane Sawyer: … did it leave you changed, completely? I… I’ve talked to you a little bit about what you’re thinking about where you want to live… in the world. Did it change your view about living here? Are you thinking about living someplace else?

Michael: I don’t care to stay in America anymore, no. I… I don’t care. I will always have Neverland, you know. ’Cause I… I have Neverland. I don’t like… I’m very sensitive to the smog. You know, so I can’t have the smog. And ah, I would like to go abroad. Matter of fact, I am.

Diane Sawyer: You are?

Michael: Yes.

Diane Sawyer: Where?

Michael: Ooh, I haven’t decided the exact place yet. Probably South Africa, maybe.

Diane Sawyer: To live permanently?

Michael: Maybe, aah, Switzerland.

Diane Sawyer: Lisa, are you in favour of it?

Lisa Marie: Can we just… change… wait, just go into the fact that we don’t live in separate houses for… to start this with.

Michael: Yeah, we don’t live in separate… this is just a dream.

Lisa Marie: … it’s ridiculous. Wherever the camera is. Anyway, um… sorry, heh.

Michael: No. Jump in any time.

Lisa Marie: What? How do I feel about the overseas thing? I think that it’s a nice place to visit, yes. I would like to have a… a house over there.

Diane Sawyer: Hmmm.

Lisa Marie: We would be completely and utterly harrassed beyond belief… but…

Michael: [laughing]

Diane Sawyer: Before we move away from the last two years, we told you, because we want to, that we are going to show, what is really your… comment of those two years. And ah… is a video you have done with your sister Janet, called ‘Scream’. And in it you have some words, for middle-aged people who can’t follow these words. Ahh, the words you’ll hear will be about ‘confusion’, ‘bashing’, ‘victimising’, “stop pressuring me”, he says, “makes me want to scream.” The last two years.

[‘Scream’ video is shown]

Diane Sawyer: We have some… wedding video, of the two of you. And I’m gonna let you tell us a little bit about what we’re seeing here… if our director Roger Goodman wants to roll it in, we will take you there, a years ago. Right?

Lisa Marie: Yes.

Diane Sawyer: Just about exactly.

[Wedding video is shown]

Lisa Marie: I look like an idiot, I can tell you that.

Michael: You don’t look like an idiot, you look more like a, ah… no!

Lisa Marie: [laughing] Do you want me to tell you…

Diane Sawyer: Yes.

Lisa Marie: … while we’re watching it?

Diane Sawyer: Tell us.

Lisa Marie: While we’re watching.

Diane Sawyer: Tell us. We’re watching here live.

Michael to Lisa Marie: I do.

Lisa Marie to Michael: What?

Michael to Lisa Marie: I do.

Lisa Marie to Michael: Hah.

Lisa Marie: In the middle he [judge] asks for his [Michael’s] autograph.

Michael: [Comments to Lisa Marie about his stretching in the video, but is inaudible.]

Lisa Marie: Right, now we’re out of time.

Michael to Lisa Marie: How do I look?

Lisa Marie to Michael: Great.

Michael to Lisa Marie: You sure?

Lisa Marie to Michael: Yeah.Diane Sawyer: So… I know, that you, Lisa Marie, have wanted to talk about this. There are a lot of doubters about this marriage. I’ve heard that it’s a Scientology plan, you are a member of the ‘Church of Scientology’, which… is said to influence its members greatly, and that the husband you divorced was a Scientologist, and he’s still very much in your life and this is all part of a calculation to get… Michael, and his money into the church.

Michael: Oooh, gee…

Lisa Marie: It’s crap. I’m sorry… it, it’s like ridiculous! It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I’m not… um. First of all, you can’t get influenced by anything… like that… and, and under a term of a marriage… I’m not gonna marry somebody for any reason other than the fact that I’ve fallen in love with them, period. Period. And they can eat it, if they wanna think any differently…

Michael: [laughing out loud!]

Diane Sawyer: To put it succinctly.

Lisa Marie: Yeah.

Diane Sawyer: What is it you love the most about him?

Lisa Marie: Ooh, what do I love the most about him? Everything. He’s amazing. I really admire him. I respect him. I admire him. I’m in love with him. And no, we don’t sleep in separate bedrooms, thank you very much. And um… I love everything about him.

Diane Sawyer: To finish up on that, though… are you a Scientologist? Are…

Michael: No.

Diane Sawyer: Plan to become one?

Michael: I believe in spirituality and I believe in a higher source, that is God. But I’m not a Scientologist. I read everything, I like to read, I love to study.

Diane Sawyer: You said you don’t sleep in separate bedrooms, and I’m going to confess, O.K.… this is live TV and I’m copping out right here, because I didn’t spend my life as a serious journalist to ask these kinds of questions. But I’m not oblivious to the fact that your fans… had one question they most wanted to ask of you.

Lisa Marie: Do we have sex?

Diane Sawyer: We have…

Michael: He, he, he… sh… she didn’t ask!! [holds his hand over Lisa’s mouth]

Lisa Marie: Ha, ha, ha.

Michael: She didn’t ask.

Lisa Marie: O.K., I won’t ask.

Diane Sawyer: O.K..

Michael: We don’t know what it was gonna be.

Lisa Marie: Is that what you were gonna ask?

Diane Sawyer: Let’s play just a minute or two.

Lisa Marie: Sorry.

Diane Sawyer: Let’s play one or two.

[Videotaped interterviews with people on the street]

1st person: We wanna know, if you’ve done ‘the thing’?

2nd person: Michael, I know this is an intimate question, but are you having sex, together, with Lisa Marie?

3rd person: Do you guys really love each other or are you just doing this to satisfy the media?

4th person: Are you guys intimate?

[End of videotaped interviews]

Diane Sawyer: Again…

Michael: I can’t believe it.

Lisa Marie: Wow!

Diane Sawyer: But this is about… the scepticism.

Lisa Marie: Yes. Yes! Yes.

Diane Sawyer: And… we have read in the papers, that you, are… expecting a child.

Lisa Marie: We won’t be expecting a child, no. When… I’m not gonna…

Michael: We’re not gonna say when, or…

Lisa Marie: It’s personal.

Michael: It’s in the hands of the heavens.

Diane Sawyer: But not yet?

Lisa Marie: Did we marry out of convenience? That’s really interesting, that’s really interesting to me.

Michael: It’s ridiculous.

Diane Sawyer: Why?

Lisa Marie: Well, why wouldn’t we have a lot in common? That’s the question. Why? Why not?

Michael: Like we’re faking this?

Lisa Marie: Like… no.

Michael: The most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

Lisa Marie: But you can’t live with somebody day to day. We’re together all the time, first of all. Second thing, how can you fake that 24 hours a day with somebody? Sleeping with somebody, waking up with somebody, having the…

Michael: It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

Lisa Marie: … He’s running around the house. I’m running around the house. You were in our house. We have a normal house, we have a nanny, we have a maid. And… we walk around, and he’s either in the studio or I’m in the kitchen. We’re running around like normal — I know its hard to believe — people.

Diane Sawyer: You go shopping together… you…

Lisa Marie: We go shopping. We go out to dinner. We argue… sometimes.

Michael: About what, may I say? [to Lisa Marie]

Lisa Marie: [laughs, looks at Michael]

Diane Sawyer: We also heard a report that maybe you were planning to adopt the children.

Michael: Oh, I would love to adopt children. I think that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. But children of all races: Arab children, Jewish children, black children, all races.

Diane Sawyer: But, Lisa’s children?

Michael: I love Lisa’s children. It’s been a mission…

Diane Sawyer: But are you going to adopt…

Michael: Pardon?

Diane Sawyer: To adopt them, though?

Michael: Oh, I love her children, they’re sweet.

Diane Sawyer: But to adopt? No?

Michael: Of course.

Lisa Marie: But if they have a biological father, and he’s the… he’s there…

Michael: I think they love me very much. I love them.

Lisa Marie: They do.

Michael: We have a lot of fun.

Lisa Marie: But I’ve never heard of that before, a person, someone adopting someone’s children, while they’re in a relationship with that person.

Diane Sawyer: We’re going to take a break for a minute, and come back with more questions.

[Commercial break]

Diane Sawyer: We’re going to show you a film now, created by Michael Jackson. And, it is causing a furor… in some movie theaters around this country. They say among other things that, it is clearly modeled, after ‘Triumph of The Will’. They mean, Riefenstahl. A Nazi film with a Nazi meaning to it.

Michael: It’s not true. None of that’s true. None of those things are true.

Diane Sawyer: Did you watch that film before you did it?

Diane Sawyer: I watch everything, I love movies, I love documentaries. It had nothing to do with that at all.

Diane Sawyer: But there are people who keep saying, this is… they look at it and say this is…

Michael: Absolutely not.

Diane Sawyer: You were…

Michael: It has nothing to do with politics, or communism, or fascism at all…

Diane Sawyer: Well, the critics have said that, it’s the most… body vein, glorious, self-deification a pop singer ever undertook with a straight face.

Michael: Good! That’s what I wanted.

Diane Sawyer: For the controversy?

Michael: Yeah! They fell into my trap.

Diane Sawyer: But the people who say that…

Michael: I wanted everybody’s attention.

Diane Sawyer: But for the people who say those symbols, matter…

Michael: No. The symbols… no…

Diane Sawyer: The suffering…

Michael: No. The symbol has nothing to do with that. It’s not political. It’s not Fascist. It’s not dogma. It’s not… you know, ideology and all of this stuff. It’s pure, simple love. You don’t see any tanks, you don’t see any cannons. It’s about love. It’s people coming together…

Diane Sawyer: About love. We’re gonna let everybody watch a bit of it.

Michael: Yeah, but it’s art. It is art!

Diane Sawyer: O.K..

Michael: We had a director, we get him to create art.

Diane Sawyer: The short answer, coming up… here it comes.

[Part of the ‘HIStory’-trailer is shown]

Diane Sawyer: Well, as we said, we’re gonna clearly agree to disagree maybe, on what this means to… some people watching it. There’s been another issue raised. In a song you say, “Jew me, sue me”. And some people are saying that that is anti-Semitic.

Michael: It’s not anti-Semitic. Because, I’m not a racist person. I could never be a racist. I love all races of people — from Arabs, to Jewish people, like I said before, to blacks. But when I say, “Jew me, sue me, everybody do me, kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me,” [‘They Don’t Care About Us’] I’m talking about myself as the victim, you know. My accountants and lawyers are Jewish. My three best friends are Jewish — David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stephen Spielberg, Mike Milkin. These are friends of mine. They’re all Jewish. So how does that make sense? I was raised in a Jewish community.

Diane Sawyer: I wanna ask you both about something ’cause it was the second most asked question by people on the street. And I know… I know it’s a sensitive issue for you, and you talked with Oprah about it. But, somehow, people still… are not, they don’t feel they’ve heard everything about the whiteness of your skin, and that it’s not somehow a choice on your part, along with the make-up… to be. Is it to be… neither black, nor white… neither… to look completely male, to be in the androgynous zone? I… I think they wanna know… it is a decision, on your part in some way, the way you look. Where does it come from?

Michael: I think it creates itself… it’s nature.

Lisa Marie: He… he’s an artist. He has every right…

Michael: I’m an artist, I’m a performer.

Lisa Marie: And he is constantly re-modifying something or changing it or reconstructing it or… you know, working on some imperfection that he thinks needs to be worked on. If he sees something he doesn’t like, he changes it! Period. He re-sculpted himself, he’s an artist.

Michael: And I wanna put a red dot right there one day [pointing to his forehead], And two eyes right here [pointing to his cheeks].

Diane Sawyer: But… but, do you wish you were… the colour you were, again?


Michael: Do I wish I was the colour?

Diane Sawyer: Black colour.

Michael: You have to ask nature that. I loved… I love black, I love black.

Diane Sawyer: But do you wish you were that way?

Michael: I envy her [pointing to Lisa Marie], ’cause she can tan and I can’t.

Diane Sawyer: One more question I wanna make sure I ask. Are you going to sing together?

Lisa Marie: No.

Diane Sawyer: The two of you.

Michael singing to Lisa Marie: I would love to sing with you, would you like to sing with me?

Lisa Marie shaking her head: Mm, mmm.

Diane Sawyer: You don’t sing?

Lisa Marie: I don’t sing. I did sing, if I wanted it. I mean, I’m not gonna marry someone for a recording career, just want to clear that up as well. Um.

[Michael makes Rabbit’s ears behind Lisa Marie’s head]

Michael: What? Heh heh.

[Lisa Marie pinches him]

Michael: Stop! [giggling]

Lisa Marie: Um, grrr.

Diane Sawyer: I’m gonna let the two of you dupe this out over here. We’ll take a break, and we’ll come back.

[Commercial break]

Diane Sawyer: And as our hour ends, I’d like to just ask each of you for a one sentence answer. Time’s so short. Where do you want to be in five years?

Michael: Oh boy, I love what I’m doing now… and to do everything I can to help the children… and hello Bobby Sherrit.

Lisa Marie: Ah, I just want people to know what they’re dealing with, before and… understand, that I’m not the, that we are not… the jokes, the degrading comments, all that kind of stuff, it’s really irritating. So I didn’t get to get it in there, I hope this is over alreay, but…

Michael: We want to choke them!

Diane Sawyer: Alright, so in five years you want to…

Lisa Marie: Yeah, we want to choke them.

Michael: Don’t believe the garbage, all the tabloid junk. Don’t read it, don’t listen to it. It’s junk, it’s stupid, enough of it.

Diane Sawyer: And tonight is over.

Michael: Yes! [raises his fist in victory]