Michael Jackson insisted he would 'slit his wrists' before abusing a child in newly-unearthed interview
Michael Jackson insisted he would rather "slit his wrists" than harm a child in a 1999 interview.
Speaking to British journalist Piers Morgan, the Thriller singer stated he "wouldn't care to live" if it weren't for children and accused the media of being "so hard on me" in the way it covered his relationship with kids.
However, in the wake of the release of Leaving Neverland, a controversial documentary that sees two men allege they were sexually abused by the musician, Morgan has publicly pondered whether Jackson pulled the wool over the public's eyes the whole time while re-listening to the tape.
When the unearthed audio was played on Good Morning Britain, the outspoken 53-year-old claimed: "if you look at it with a cynical eye, that tape, maybe he was playing us the whole time? Maybe he was a serial abuser".
In the 40 minute interview, Jackson asserted that children were his "inspiration", saying: "I want to touch the world, I want to touch the heart, the emotions of the entire world. If it wasn’t for children I would throw in the towel, I would kill myself, I wouldn’t care to live. They give me my inspiration, they give me…they inspire me. Everything I do, every song I write, the dance, everything I do. They try to use it against me and it’s just been so unfair and I’m very upset."
When Morgan asked him if he had ever harmed a child, the popstar replies: "I would slit my wrist before I could, I would never, ever."
The star goes on to discuss his love of London, but confesses he would never live there due to the cold-hearted British press.
"I would love to live in London because I love it so much it’s just the Press are so hard on me here," he explained. "I go to the hospital, I give presents to the children, and as soon as I leave the next day they say 'Wacko Jacko went to the hospital and ignored all the children' And that breaks my heart because I brought Minnie and Mickie Mouse all the way from Disney and they made fun of me."
He continued: "I just want to be honest and do good and make people happy and give them the greatest sense of escapism through the talent God has given me, that’s all I want to do. I just want them to leave me alone and let me do what I want to do, which is to share and give and put a smile on people’s face and make them feel happy."
Discussing the tape 20 years later, Morgan said it took on new meaning with the arrival of Leaving Neverland.
He explained: "I remember when I wrote about it at the time I said who knows where the truth lies with Michael Jackson. There had already been court cases involving abuse of children which had been settled, the families involved had taken millions of dollars which muddies the waters in terms of credibility. However, this new documentary is gathering a lot of steam."
"In light of that, if you look at it with a cynical eye, that tape, maybe he was playing us the whole time? Maybe he was a serial abuser and he used this love of children and the way he spoke about them as a cover story. If that is true, what a horrifying revelation to reach ourselves 10 years after his death."
Piers added that the Bad singer was in tears at different points through their talk, stating: "The most relevant part for me is him crying If it wasn't for children I would kill myself. Was it beautiful or was it horrific? That's the big unanswered question as he's not here to defend himself."