Prime Time Live Interview
June 14, 1995
Diane Sawyer’s Live Interview with Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley- Jackson took place at the old MGM set at Sony Pictures in Hollywood, California. It was broadcast live on ABC in the US and on television stations around the World.
Introduction ∙The Interview
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: 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.
Michael: [taped at a recording studio] 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.
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 At the time, his mother worried that he was withdrawn.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?
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 neighbour.
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.
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.
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 thoust, 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. [tape of Michael’s voice box, mimicking various instruments is playing]
Michael: …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 sayin’?
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.
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 OK.
Sawyer: But as we said, two years ago that, this shy man faced some grave accusations that he had molested a young boy. As the headlines raged, a lot of people wondered if what had seemed merely eccentric was in fact something sinister. And the children always around him, were they lured by a seducer? The lingering question was, was Michael Jackson guilty? Or had he been put through two years of unequalled injustice? And hell. For parents, a warning it’s an adult topic. This was the allegation. A twelve year old boy, said that over a period of four months, while repeatedly sleeping alone in the same bed with Michael Jackson, there was kissing, then fondling, then masturbation. The boy said he had protested but Jackson had wept, saying that it was alright other boys had done it with him. That was the allegation. But, for the prosecution there were problems. The boy had spoken at the urging of his father, who was also seeking custody. And the father had talked to the Jackson camp about money, twenty million dollars according to the Jackson team. This is the father talking to someone he knew on tape.
Father: [from a taped phote converstation] – So, if I go through with this, I win big time. There is no way that I lose.
Sawyer: But, whatever the circumstances of the disclosure authorities say they believed the boyХs story. The investigation of Michael Jackson was set in motion and within days hit the airwaves.
Reporter 1: Tonight, a police investigation into allegations that Michael Jackson sexually abused a young boy.
Reporter 2: The pop star Michael Jackson under investigation for alleged child abuse. . .
Sawyer: It was a tabloid feeding-frenzy as people who worked for Jackson shopped stories, all claiming to belating knowledge of what they called, the special friends. And even when some of JacksonХs young friends tried to defend him, they raised other troubling questions. This is eleven year old boy Brett Barnes talking to a TV interviewer.
Interviewer: When you’d have sleep-overs and you’d stay in the same room or the same bed would that seem unusual to you at all?
Brett: No. ‘Cuz I slept on one side of the bed, he slept on the other, and that was that.
Sawyer: After several months of headlines, Jackson, on tour, and then, reportedly in treatment for addiction to pain-killers, returned to the United States and submitted to a series of police photographs. Sources say, to see if they matched his accuser’s description of identifying marks, on what authorities called his private parts. December 22, Jackson went public.
Michael: Don’t treat me like a criminal, ’cause I am innocent. I have been forced to submit to a dehumanizing and humiliating, examination by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department and the Los Angeles Police Department earlier this week. They served a search warrant on me, which allowed them to view and photograph my body, including my penis, my buttocks, my lower torso, thighs, and any other area that they wanted.
Sawyer: One month later, January 25th, 1994, Michael Jackson settled the civil suit filed by his young accuser. How much? Reportedly in the neighbourhood of fifteen to twenty million dollars. After the settlement, the boy refused to testify in the criminal case. So, after thirteen months of headlines, the prosecuters said, it was over.
Gil Garcetti: We must decline prosecution, involving Mr. Jackson.
Sawyer: They had no other children who would come forward in court. And none of the employees who claimed to have seen questionable things, had a story that could be confirmed by a child. To this day, a number of investigators remain convinced that glamour and money are so attractive, they can produce loyalty and silence. While Jackson’s team insists that it ended, because nothing happened in the first place. When we come back, Michael Jackson and Lisa-Maree Presley, their chance to speak.
Sawyer: And with me, of course, Michael Jackson and Lisa-Marie Presley. Welcome to Prime Time.
Michael: Thank you.
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 . . .
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.
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 wannted 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.
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.
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.
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 . . .
MJ and LM: We were everywhere together.
Lisa Marie: Everywhere.
Michael: Went to bookstores, . . .
Lisa Marie: To bookstores. We were not hiding it.
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]. . .
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.
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….
Sawyer: Did you say to him: Are they true?
Lisa Marie: No, I didn’t. No . . .I actually did not.
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, y’know, and …..
Sawyer: Over and over.
Lisa Marie: Just constant . . .yeah.
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.
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.
Sawyer: How about the police photographs, though? How was there enough information from this boy about those kinds of things?
Michael: The police photographs?
Sawyer: The police photographs.
Michael: That they took of me? ….
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 …..
Sawyer: So when we’ve heard the charges….
Michael: There was nothing……
Sawyer: . . .markings of some kind?
Michael: No markings.
Sawyer: No markings?
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?
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!
Sawyer: Why did you settle the case then?
Michael: The whole thing is a lie.
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!
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!….
Sawyer: How much money was….
Michael: We said, let’s get it behind us.
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.
Sawyer: I want to ask ….
Lisa Marie: He’s been barred to discuss it. The, the….
Sawyer: The specific terms ….
Lisa Marie: The specific terms
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!
Sawyer: But let me ask you a couple of questions….
Michael: To this day, nothing. Still, nothing.
Sawyer: Let me ask you ….
Michael: Nothing, nothing, nothing.
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.
Sawyer: And that they found photographs . . . books, of young boys who were undressed.
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….
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.
Sawyer: What about . . .
Michael: If I say I love children, which I do, they swarm me with everything pertaining to kids.
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
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. PART 2 WILL BEGIN WITH – 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.
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.
Sawyer: What is a thirty-six year old man doing, sleeping . . . with a twelve year old boy? Or a series of them?
Michael: Right. OK, when you say boys, it’s not just boys, and I’ve never invited just boys to come in my room. C’mon, that’s just ridiculous. And that’s a ridiculous question. But since people want to hear it . . . y’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 . . . y’know . . . I understand ….
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. Lemme just, lemme just . . . sorry.
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. Y’know, they, they jump in the bed with him.
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 . . . y’know. I know that he’s not, y’know . . . I know that he’s not like that, and I know he has a thing for children, and I . . . go ahead, sorry.
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 wanna know.
Michael: Is what over?
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.
Sawyer: But are they over? Are you . . . are you gonna watch out for it now?
Michael: Watch out for what?
Sawyer: Just for the sake of the children and for everything you’ve been through.
Michael: No! ‘Cuz, 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…..
Sawyer: So you’ll, you’ll do it again?
Michael: I would never ever…..Do what again?
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.
Sawyer: OK, 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!
Sawyer: When we come back.
[after commercial break]
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.
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 Taylor: 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 kids know, Wow, it’s Michael Jackson!.
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.
Taylor: No way. Absolutely not.
Taylor: 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.
Sawyer: How did you decide to go to Singapore?
Taylor: 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.
Sawyer (voice-over): She said she recognised a friend turning to painkillers for escape.
Taylor: 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.
Sawyer: And he knew right away that he had to deal with it, to . .
Taylor: Not right away, not right away . . . but he knew.
[back to interview with Michael and Lisa Marie]
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.
Sawyer: Did it leave you, though . . .
Michael: Heartbroken [touching his heart] , but not suicidal.
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, y’know. ‘Cuz I . . . I have Neverland. I don’t like . . . I’m very sensitive to the smog. Y’know, so I can’t have the smog. And ah, I would like to go abroad. Matter of fact, I am.
Sawyer: You are?
Michael: Ooh, I haven’t decided the exact place yet. Probably South Africa, maybe.
Sawyer: To live permanently?
Michael: Maybe, aah, Switzerland.
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 its a nice place to visit, yes. I would like to have a . . . a house over there.
Lisa Marie: We would be completely and utterly harrassed beyond belief . . . but
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.
entire Scream video is shown.
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: 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 . . .
Lisa Marie: . . . while we’re watching it?
Sawyer: Tell us.
Lisa Marie: While we’re watching.
Sawyer: Tell us. We’re watching here live.
MJ(To LM): I do.
LM(To MJ): What?
MJ(To LM): I do.
LM(To MJ): Hah.
Lisa Marie: In the middle he [judge] asks for his [Michael’s] autograph.
MJ(Comments to LM about his stretching in the video, but is inaudible).
LM: Right, now we’re out of time.
MJ(To LM): How do I look?
LM(To MJ): Great.
MJ(To LM): You sure?
LM(To MJ): Yeah.
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 Its 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!]
Sawyer: To put it succinctly.
Lisa Marie: Yeah.
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.
Sawyer: To finish up on that, though . . . are you a Scientologist? Are . . .
Sawyer: Plan to become one?
Michael: I believe in spirituality and I believe in a higher source, such as God. But I’m not a Scientologist. I read everything, I like to read, I love to study.
Sawyer: You said you don’t sleep in separate bedrooms, and I’m going to confess, okay . . . 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?
Sawyer: We have . .
Michael: He,he,he . . . sh . . . she didn’t ask!!
Lisa Marie: Ha ha ha.
Michael: She didn’t ask.
Lisa Marie: OK, I won’t ask.
Michael: We don’t know what it was gonna be.
Lisa Marie: Is that what you were gonna ask?
Sawyer: Let’s play just a minute or two.
Lisa Marie: Sorry.
Sawyer: Let’s play one or two.
[videotaped interterviews with fans.]
fan 1: We wanna know, if you’ve done ‘the thing’?
fan 2: Michael, I know this is an intimate question, but are you having sex, together, with Lisa Marie?
fan 3: Do you guys really love each other or are you just doing this to satisfy the media?
fan 4: Are you guys intimate?
Sawyer: Again . . .
Michael: I can’t believe it.
Lisa Marie: Wow!
Sawyer: But this is about . . . the scepticism.
Lisa Marie: Yes. Yes! Yes.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
Sawyer: But, Lisa’s children?
Michael: I love Lisa’s children. Its been a mission …
Sawyer: But are you going to adopt . . .
Sawyer: To adopt them, though?
Michael: Oh, I love her children, they’re sweet.
Sawyer: But to adopt? No?
Michael: Of course.
Lisa Marie: But if they have a biological father, and he’s the . . . he’s their . .
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.
Sawyer: We’re going to take a break for a minute, and come back with more questions.
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, Rieffenschtal. 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.
Sawyer: Did you watch that film before you did it?
Sawyer: I watch everything, I love movies, I love documentaries. It had nothing to do with that at all.
Sawyer: But there are people who keep saying, this is . . . they look at it and say this is . . .
Michael: Absolutely not.
Sawyer: You were….
Michael: It has nothing to do with politics, or communism, or fascism at all….
Sawyer: Well, the critics have said that, its the most . . . body vein, glorious, self-deification a pop singer ever undertook with a straight face.
Michael: Good! That’s what I wanted.
Sawyer: For the controversy?
Michael: Yeah! They fell into my trap
Sawyer: But the people who say that
Michael: I wanted everybody’s attention.
Sawyer: But for the people who say those symbols, matter …
Michael: No. The symbols . . . no . .
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 . . . y’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 . . .
Sawyer: About love. We’re gonna let everybody watch a bit of it.
Michael: Yeah, but its art. It is art!
Michael: We had a director, we get him to create art.
Sawyer: The short answer, coming up…here it comes.
[part of the HIStory trailer is shown]
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, ” 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.
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 its 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 its not somehow a choice on your part , along with the make-up . . . to be. Is it to be . . . neither black, or 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.
Sawyer: But . . . but, do you wish you were . . . the color you were, again?
Michael: Do I wish I was the cololor?
Sawyer: Black color.
Michael: You have to ask nature that. I loved . . . I love black, I love black.
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: One more question I wanna make sure I ask. Are you going to sing together?
Lisa Marie: No.
Sawyer: The two of you.
Michael: [singing to LM] I would love to sing with you , would you like to sing with me?
Lisa Marie: [shaking her head] Mm, mmm.
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] < P> Michael: What? Heh heh.
[Lisa Marie pinches him]
Michael: Stop! [giggling]
Lisa Marie: Um, grrr
Sawyer: I’m gonna let the two of you dupe this out over here. We’ll take a break, and we’ll come back.
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, its 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!
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.
Sawyer: And tonight is over.
Michael: Yes! [raises his fist in victory]