Jesse Fontana and Aphrodite Jones - The Exclusive Interview


The Queen HBIC
May 5, 2007
Las Vegas
This is the sequel to my story The Road To Neverland (the original posts are in my blog entry if you want to read the full story but I will bring it over to a thread) I wrote a few nights ago in one shot. It is written as an interview transcript. The setting is inside Jesse's house on June 25th,2014 being broadcast on national television on the Discovery channel.

Aphrodite: After writing the book Conspiracy, I had many more questions that hadn’t been answered by many people who’d worked for Michael in his four decade career. I had been turned down by numerous sources for interviews until I contacted a former financial advisor for Michael, Jesse Fontana. She was more than willing to sit down for our cameras and talk with us this evening. She also revealed that her and Michael were a couple at one point between July 1992 and January 1994, shortly before his marriage to Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie. Tonight she will for the first time reveal what it was like working for the world’s biggest superstar. Thank you for sitting down with us, Jesse.
Jesse: Thank you very much. It’s an honor to be sitting with you this evening.
AJ: So do you mind going back to the beginning?
JF: Absolutely. Well I was born on July 21[SUP]st[/SUP],1968 in a small town called Dayersville which is an hour south of Los Angeles. Many people have never heard of this town, especially in the area. But fortunately our town was apart of the Los Angeles county. I was born and my parents decided against other children.
AJ: How was it like being an only child?
JF: I mean, yeah, it was lonely being an only child not having a sibling to share my time with. But I was a very loved child so I don’t complain about it much. I grew up in a very musical family. Not only that, my parents worked for the Pepsi corporation. I was offered concert tickets all the time. Of course the concert that I wanted to go to the most was Michael Jackson.
AJ: How far back does your love go for Michael?
JF: Since being a baby! (laughs) My parents had all their records and I’d dance to it all the time. It made me feel good and it lifted my spirits. It’s carried on through my life. My first concert was The Jacksons’ Victory Tour in L.A. It was such a magical night and that’s when I fell in love with Michael. He was a staple on my walls in my room as a teenager.
AJ: So now let’s fast forward and go to June of 1992.
JF: Well I’d just graduated from UCLA with a degree in business management. My dad having worked as a veteran of the Pepsi corporation was able to pull a few strings and get me a job for Michael’s upcoming world tour. I forever am grateful to him for having been able to pull that off for me.
AJ: So your parents were always supportive of you?
JF: Oh most definitely. They’re the two most important people in my life. Obviously besides my husband Richard and my kids.
AJ: Tell us about when you first went to Michael’s home.
JF: I remember everything so vividly. Every small detail. All the plants were gorgeous. All the animals were beautiful. Everything looked like a fantasy land. It’s seriously an unforgettable sight. I’m sad that it’s not the way it was when he was alive. But I remember driving up in my ’92 red Camaro through the gates and up to the main house. It was seriously mind boggling that this was happening. I met Michael’s security personnel and they were absolutely the nicest people. Unfortunately some of them turned against him after his death, which I will never understand.
AJ: Do you still keep in contact with them?
JF: I’ve kept in contact with some of them, especially Dale Masterson, which was the first person I met working for Michael. We’ve kept the closest relationship out of all of his staff.
AJ: How was the first time meeting Michael?
JF: Surreal. He was everything I’d imagined and more. This was someone I’d admired for years and here he was standing in front of him meeting him. I was trying so hard not to pass out. (laughs)
AJ: Then there was your tour of the main house of Neverland.
JF: It was seriously a house ripped from the pages of Architectural Digest. I was in such awe of how beautiful it was. I’ve never seen anything like it and I don’t think I ever will. It was jaw dropping.
AJ: So what happened before you left?
JF: Well when I’d met him, he’d asked about if I’d been a relationship. It struck me as odd because I’m thinking “This is the biggest superstar in the world and he’s asking me this?!” After I’d answered him then he grabbed me by the small of my back and kissed me. I was shocked but it was a childhood dream come true. (laughs) Then I left and I was screaming with such excitement.
AJ: How was the tour environment?
JF: It was hectic and amazing. Seeing all the thousands and thousands of people was overwhelming but I kept composure since I was dealing with his finances.
AJ: Then you were invited on dates by Michael. Were you guys a couple?
JF: Yes we were a couple. We had to keep it under serious wraps because the media would’ve had an absolute field day about it. I’m sure they will now. (laughs)
AJ: The first round of child abuse allegations came out shortly before the third leg started in 1993. How’d you feel about that being his girlfriend and as a person in general?
JF: I was furious both as his girlfriend and as a person in general. I knew he was innocent 100%. He never once had the kid with him in any hotel rooms. Or any kids for that matter. I always kept eyes on everything and I knew this was ridiculous.
AJ: How’d you feel about the dad Evan Chandler committing suicide?
JF: I was honestly not surprised. I mean obviously, I feel sympathy for his family. But the man was after Michael’s money and I do not feel any sympathy towards him whatsoever. I don’t think there will be room for forgiveness ever. I’m very sorry for his son.
AJ: The tour was cancelled indefinitely when Michael went into rehab for drug abuse. How did you deal with that?
JF: Well I went into rehab with him and Elizabeth Taylor. We were with him the entire time he was there. I was also sitting right by him when he made the statement from Neverland.
AJ: How have you felt about the allegations of child abuse towards him?
JF: I think they’re outrageous. They’ve always been outrageous to me. They’ve enraged me to no end. These people wanted money out of him plain and simple.
AJ: How do you feel about someone like Diane Dimond?
JF: I think she is a basket case. (laughs) She has never had a shred of credibility to her. She is a tabloid junkie who is more out for stirring the pot then being an actual investigative journalist. Michael said it best honestly, “Just because it’s in print doesn’t mean it’s the gospel.”
AJ: Shortly after Michael went to rehab you two broke up. How did you feel in that moment?
JF: I was sad of course. But I knew it was for the best because he needed his space and I finally needed mine. I always felt it was for the best and it was mutual. I’ve never held resentment towards him.
AJ: Did you meet Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe?
JF: I had met Lisa Marie and she was an absolute sweetheart We still keep in touch to this day. Debbie on the other hand I never met and I never got close with her. I feel indifferent about her because although she gave Michael two great gifts, she really was shady with the way she handled herself about him.
AJ: The second round of allegations came around in 2004. How was that time for you?
JF: Well I’d been working with five other high profile celebrity clients after I finished working with Michael and I was in the middle of working for Madonna when it came around again. It hurt me that they did this again.
AJ: How do you feel about Tom Sneddon and Martin Bashir?
JF: I think they’re both disgusting. They really manipulated the person Michael really was all over the board. I really hope karma comes back to bite them in the ass hard.
AJ: Let’s move to another topic for a moment if you don’t mind. How did you meet Richard?
JF: I met Richard in 1995 after I’d attended the Video Music Awards with Michael, Janet, Rene Elizondo, and Lisa Marie Presley. We were at an after party and Richard was there. We met and we clicked instantly. We were soul mates the way Michael and I were. It didn’t take us long to get married. I’d say about a year after we met we got married.
AJ: How was your wedding?
JF: Magical beyond words. Michael and Janet had attended and they were very cordial to Richard. At the time I was three months pregnant with our first child so they had to make adjustments to my wedding dress. (laughs) But it was seriously my favorite moment of my life. Michael even gave a toast to Richard and I that was very touching and very funny.
AJ: Now back to Michael. You say that you lost contact with him in 2004 during his trial. How did that feel to you?
JF: I was obviously devastated but I moved on. I had three kids by that point, I was working my butt off running my business. By that time I’d worked with over twenty celebrity clients since the business took off in February 1994. That was a pretty remarkable feat.
AJ: Who was your favorite celebrity to work for besides Michael?
JF: Hmm… I’d have to say Madonna. She was so nice and sweet and hilarious. She really knew how I worked my butt off for her and she really appreciated it. I’m forever thankful to have worked for four years for her.
AJ: So in June of 2009 shortly before Michael’s untimely passing he called you on the phone. What was the conversation like?
JF: Well for one it was shocking that he’d called in the first place since we hadn’t spoken in five years. I’d heard about This Is It and watched the press conference at work when it happened. We were on the phone for four hours and the last thing we spoke about was how exhausted he was preparing for these shows. He said “I love you Jesse.” and I said the same thing and hung up. That was the last time I spoke to him. He’d also asked me to visit him, but I was sick at the time and wasn’t able to muster up the strength to see him. (grabs a tissue and wipes her eye)
AJ: Talk about June 25[SUP]th[/SUP], 2009.
JF: (sighs) Well the day was like any other day. I was swamped with work. I was beginning work with Joan Rivers but she was not in the office that day. I had spoken on the phone with her earlier however and she was scheduled to come in later that day at 4pm. My phone buzzes and Richard called me. He said “Turn on the TV to the news”. So I did and the headline jumped at my face that said MICHAEL JACKSON HOSPITALIZED. I was frozen in time. I left work early and cancelled the appointment with Joan. I got in my car to drive home. Then I was caught in traffic and the news came about that he’d died. (sniffles and starts to cry) I’m sorry. (wipes her eyes with a tissue) (sighs) It’s a day I hate looking back on because all I did was I had my windows rolled up sitting in traffic screaming hysterically crying my eyes out. I made it home by two that afternoon and collapsed in the doorway. Richard was by my side while I was sobbing and shaking. I’m so glad he was there considering the circumstances. Fortunately the kids were at school when I came home so I was able to pull myself together once they’d come home.
AJ: How did you feel going to the memorial and the funeral?
JF: Guilty and devastated. Janet was by my side and stuck with me the most out of the whole family. I am truly grateful to have her apart of my life. I ended up going to Michael’s casket during the family funeral and telling Michael that I’m sorry.
AJ: Sorry about what?
JF: (wipes her eyes) I’m sorry that I couldn’t help you when you needed me.
AJ: Later that night you say you had a dream about Michael. What happened in the dream?
JF: Well I dreamt that I’d been whisked away to Neverland in its glory. It was the way it was when I first went all those years ago. I saw Michael so vividly looking at me. He grabbed my hand and kissed me. I hugged him and I said “I’m so sorry I couldn’t help you.” He said that it was okay and that nobody could help him. Then he kissed my forehead and the dream faded to white.
AJ: How do you feel about Michael today?
JF: I still see him as the love of my life. I see him as the person who started my career and someone who I owe a lot of my life and successes to. He was a tortured soul, but I always will be forever grateful to him for what he did for me.
AJ: Well thank you for sitting down with me this evening.
JF: You are very welcome. I enjoyed talking with you.