For all the plaudits about his achievements in entertainment, there was a more questionable side to Michael Jackson’s life. He believed that he was, in his own words, “Peter Pan” in his heart, and his preference for the company of youngsters landed him with two official allegations of molesting children.
On a more frivolous note, his friendship with a chimp, claims that he slept in an oxygen tent and several changes of appearance through extreme plastic surgery earned him the nick-name “Wacko Jacko”. He married Elvis Presley’s only child, Lisa-Marie in 1994. Some thought it a bizarre match saying it would not last. And it didn’t. The pair divorced in 1996. The same year he married Debbie Rowe, a nurse who had treated him some years before. They had two children before splitting three years later. They had never lived together. In 2002 Jackson’s bizarre behaviour earned him worldwide criticism, dangling his third baby out of a hotel window in Berlin. The following year, in a TV documentary, he admitted letting young boys sleep in his bed. It resulted in criminal charges, and one of the most closely followed court cases ever. The first accusation, 12 years earlier, never got to court. This second one held the prospect of 20 years behind bars for the superstar. Even so, his behaviour continued to astonish, turning up late – once even arriving dressed in pyjama trousers. He was acquitted on all charges. Following the case the jurors explained that after fourteen weeks of hearings, there simply was not enough evidence to convict.